How to Find Passion and Purpose in Retirement

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

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Yes, retirement is a time of freedom and fun, but for many retirees. It’s also a time of feeling a little lost, particularly if the responsibilities of work and/or parenting have previously defined much of your life. You may now wonder, “What’s my purpose?” And it’s important you find it, not just because having a purpose in retirement gives you a sense of direction, satisfaction ,and happiness, but because it also benefits your health. We can help you get started.

The Link Between Purpose and Health

According to Harvard Health, having a purpose later in life may help reduce the risk of early death and, in general, may improve your health in several ways such as:

  • By reducing stress and/or helping you to recover more quickly when stressed.
  • By reducing inflammation in the body that’s linked to cardiovascular disease and other health conditions. 
  • By making you more likely to protect your health through eating better, sleeping better, and increasing your use of preventative health services.
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Finding Passion and Purpose in Retirement

So, now that you know the importance of having a purpose in retirement, the question is how do you go about finding that purpose? It may have been a long time since you’ve focused on what you’re passionate about or what you’d like to try – another great benefit of retirement is that it gives you the time to do so! These ideas can get you started:

  • Open yourself up to opportunity – It won’t help to put pressure on yourself in your endeavor to find purpose, but you have to be open to the process, and also allow yourself to see new opportunities that may be in front of you. Practicing mindfulness can help with this as it teaches you to be more at the moment.
  • Enjoy some self-reflection – Consider your talents, skills, and strengths, as well as what you enjoy in daily life. Talents and skills can be your current and past hobbies. What you enjoy can include types of foods, books, movies, and music. Then, consider what attracts you to these things to find common themes that you can explore.
  • Put yourself out there – Maybe you love to sing in the car, you doodle constantly, you are a champion at charades, or you always dreamed of writing a novel. There are several ways to explore potential creative outlets like these from joining the church choir to taking an art class or acting class to self-publishing a book (it’s easier than you think today).
  • Broaden your horizons – With age comes wisdom, but none of us know it all, and your next passion may just be waiting for you to discover it. Consider learning a new skill, a new language, go back to school to finish a degree, or travel to learn about different cultures. Whether you find renewed purpose or not, continued learning will always reap rewards.
  • Volunteer your time – Young people can benefit tremendously from tutors, mentors, and coaches; depending on your experience and skills, you could reach out to a local school, sports league, or vocational program to offer your help. You might also consider a mission trip either nationally or internationally; check with local churches for opportunities. Or, check VolunteerMatch or AmeriCorps Seniors to find volunteer opportunities in your area as another way to find purpose.

Check out our Active Adult Decision Guide to learn more. Or, contact us today to schedule your virtual tour!

 

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