A forever vacation

by Jill Dickie

Congratulations on your retirement! Now that you’ve made the decision to leave work forever, you will have less time on your hands than you thought you would, or so it seems.

For many, leaving the structure of a work routine means more time for relaxation, reading, gardening, catching up with family and generally enjoying life, but what often happens is the household chores are done at a much more leisurely pace, you stop for a cuppa more frequently, and suddenly the days are passing with little achieved!

It is important then to go into retirement with an action plan, deciding which interests or hobbies to maintain, and which new activities to start and how to ensure a sense of fulfilment from each day.

Maintaining good health and an exercise program is imperative, and this can incorporate walking or hiking, swimming, cycling or even joining a gym class. All options are a great way to maintain physical activity, and meets the needs of connecting with others sharing the same experiences. If you feel like you’ve neglected relationships with family, friends or neighbours while you’ve been working, now is the time to re-establish the close bonds you used to have or didn’t have, with some lunches out, trips to the movies or a family barbecue.

The more you keep your brain active, the better it will work for you, so maybe this is the time to take up Sudoku, or read all those books you bought but didn’t get around to reading. You could even learn a new language or new style of cooking, or finish up some of that tinkering that you started in the garage years ago! Using your brain to solve problems, or learn something new, is the best stimulation for it.

Alternatively, if you’ve had an extremely busy and stressful working life, this may be time to relax your brain, practise yoga or meditation, take time out with nature or a walk along the beach. Do what makes you feel happy and at ease.

At the end of each day, take a mental note of all you’ve achieved, and spend a moment basking in your sense of satisfaction, you’ve earned it!