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Having a sense of purpose can work wonders for your mental health and happiness. As you approach retirement, you may have mixed feelings: excitement for a new season and the end of your working days; as well as anxiety over the clean slate and how you will spend your time. While you are preparing for retirement it’s important to take care of your mental wellbeing.
There are various activities that promote a sense of purpose, and finding your own individual purposeful activity can be an enjoyable experience in itself. In collaboration with Retirement Now, here are two main purposeful activities for you to consider and explore.
Perhaps you are a born creative and you can’t wait to have more time on your hands and space in your head to let your creative ideas overflow. Or perhaps you remember being creative and enjoying it once upon a time but it’s been so long since then that you don’t know if it’s for you now. Perhaps you are certain that you don’t have a creative bone in your body. Whatever your story is, creativity is a purposeful activity that is worth trying out. And the options for creativity may be more broad than you think.
Painting and drawing are among the more obvious creative activities. Buy some supplies, set up your space and start making art, or find classes to attend. Writing is an activity that you can take with you just about anywhere; use a notebook or a note taking app on your phone to jot down inspiration when it hits, and set aside dedicated time for writing or typing from your notes. Dancing classes might bring you great joy and, whether it’s a singles’ or couples’ style that you choose, you are sure to meet other adults who share the passion or are just starting out. Perhaps your kind of creativity is the more get-your-hands-dirty kind and your mental wellness flourishes when you absorb yourself in gardening, or building.
Meaningful interaction with others can be another purposeful activity to engage in. You might be worried about the relationships you might lose when you stop working, or you might be looking forward to having more time to yourself. Whatever your personality tends toward, complete isolation can lead to loneliness and depression; there are ways that you can connect with others. Consider setting up some new traditions with people you know: Second Sundays–a roast lunch with friends every second Sunday of the month; or Play Day–when you take a younger family member to watch a play or concert. If you want to get to know new people start volunteering for a cause that is close to your heart and you might meet a kindred spirit or two.
Creativity and connection are by no means the only ways to find a sense of purpose, but they might be good places to start. Remember that worthwhile endeavours sometimes take time, and you might not find your own purposeful activity right away. Take courage and appreciate the journey.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.