It’s easier to find purpose in life when you are raising a family and pursuing a career. But what happens after your kids are grown and gone and you leave your career behind to retire? Is purpose still important? And how do you go about finding it?
Researchers from the Blue Zones, those areas of the world where people live the longest, say having purpose can add as much as 7 years to your life! Clearly, having a reason to wake up each morning is important. The Okinawans call this sense of purpose Ikigai.
How can you find purpose during retirement?
We have a few ideas to get you on the right path.
5 Ways to Build a Purpose-Driven Life During Retirement
- Take an inventory: This isn’t an inventory of your household goods. Instead it’s an inventory of what is important to you. Think about how you want to be remembered and what your priorities are. Then create a plan for building a life focused on those priorities. Start with the big picture and work your way down to the daily tasks that will help you get there.
- Find passion: Busy days spent raising a family and working can force you to leave your own interests behind and skip pursuing new hobbies you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Retirement years are a time to create a bucket list and go after those dreams. Pick one or two to tackle at a time.
- Volunteer work: Seniors who volunteer their time with an organization they believe in live more purposeful lives. Research also shows they live longer, healthier lives. Call your local United Way or visit VolunteerMatch online to connect with a volunteer opportunity near you. Some even offer transportation for older volunteers who do not drive.
- Nurture the spirit: Another way to find purpose in life is to spend time nurturing your spirit. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to join a church or synagogue if you don’t already belong to one. Activities like gardening, yoga, and meditation can all help you connect with your spirit.
- Write your autobiography: You don’t have to be a writer to benefit from this one. Documenting your life story and family history helps you leave a legacy for future generations to read and learn from. If you aren’t a writer, consider creating a video version of your autobiography. It can be an activity you tackle with your children and grandchildren. Have them ask you questions about different times in your life. You can answer them while the interaction is recorded.
Live a Vibrant Life
At Vitality Senior Living communities, we provide our residents with the knowledge and opportunities they need to live vibrant lives every day. Part of our mission is to help seniors living at home live their best lives, too. We created the Vitality Senior Living Guide to Aging Well to help you do just that. Download it with our compliments today.