Retirement boredom is a common experience, but many people are hesitant to talk about it.
After looking forward to retirement, many people feel guilty when they find themselves feeling bored and missing work. It can be hard to talk about this experience with friends who are still working, because they consider you lucky to have all that free time.
Still, it is important to recognize the ways boredom in retirement may be affecting your life so you can address it and enjoy a fuller, happier life after you retire.
Signs of Retirement Boredom
Do you notice yourself snapping at your spouse? Or scrolling idly on your phone or laptop for hours?
These are signs of retirement boredom. Spending so much time at home and with your spouse can cause restlessness and resentment. And without work to fill your time, you may find your screen time increasing significantly.
Other signs include feeling sluggish, sad, and dissatisfied. Retirement and depression can often go hand in hand, with the transition causing so many changes to how you manage your day to day life.
Ways to Avoid Boredom in Retirement
Below are just a few retirement ideas for avoiding boredom and making the most of your free time.
Make New Friends
Many people experience a sense of isolation and loneliness after they retire. Work provides social interaction, and the difference can be noticeable when you no longer have casual conversations in the lunch room or passing in the hallway.
It can be challenging to make new friends as an adult. One of the simplest routes to new friendships is to join a group or club involving one of your hobbies or interests. Maybe your community has a hiking group. Or maybe there is a knitting or book club nearby.
These kinds of activities are common in senior living communities. They make it easier to connect with adults who have similar interests to yours, which is a great catalyst to friendship.
Focus on Hobbies
What did you enjoy doing as a little kid? What have you been waiting for more free time to try? Retirement is an opportunity to reconnect with your interests outside of the responsibilities and demands of work and raising children.
Maybe you’re interested in learning a language. Or maybe you’d like to work through the cookbooks you’ve accumulated throughout the years. Now is also a great time to take up a low-impact exercise routine to keep you healthy and active into your older years.
No matter what you choose to explore, hobbies provide much needed structure and enrichment now that you have more free time. They keep your mind and body active so you don’t find yourself restless or aimless as you enjoy your retirement.
Limit Screen Time
It is easy to default to screen time when you are not sure what else to do. In retirement, suddenly, you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want. That open, unstructured way of life leads many people to feel aimless. As a result, hours go by before you realize you’ve been watching TV or scrolling through Facebook for hours.
As nice as it is to relax and unwind with some screen time, it can also become an issue when it gets in the way of a rich, fulfilling retirement lifestyle.
Limiting screen time is often easier said than done. It can be helpful to make a deal with your spouse to hold each other accountable. Many devices also have screen time limit options in their settings.
When you limit screen time, you give yourself the option of filling your free time more intentionally with activities that make you feel energized. Then, when you watch TV or scroll through social media, it feels restful instead of restless.
Make Your Retirement More Fun
Retirement comes with a lot of newfound free time. With that free time comes a responsibility to fill it for yourself, without the demands of work and children to fill it for you. How you choose to spend your time is entirely up to you.
Interested in adding more fun to your retirement? Living in a community of fellow retired adults can make it easier to make new friends, engage in enjoyable activities, and keep retirement boredom at bay.
Click here to learn more about retired life at Copeland Oaks.