With all the time on your hands, it’s easy to get bored to death or even pick up some not-so-helpful habits at your golden age. Should you go shopping, go out to eat daily, or call your kids every day?
These things can create emotional and financial strains, so it is best to avoid them. What about new hobbies?
Of course, taking up new hobbies in retirement is great. But those too can pretty much become unexciting and even tiring if you do them continuously over a long period. A better solution would be to find retirement boredom busters that are rewarding on several levels.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of several interesting things to do when retired and bored.
These activities will keep your mind engaged in retirement and boost your overall health. Plus, they will fill your social calendar and help you to avoid feeling stagnant.
15 Exciting Things to Do When Retired and Bored
From making new friends to mentoring and everything between, this list contains some of the best things you can do in retirement to help you overcome boredom and stay active both physically and mentally.
Make New Friends
One of the surest ways to fight boredom is being more social. Just because you are in your 60s and 70s doesn’t mean it is too late to make new friends.
Expand your social circle by meeting new people and bonding with them. Join local seniors groups in your neighborhood or search Google for ideas about where to start.
But you shouldn’t limit your circle to people in your age group. Younger people can be great friends, too! Sometimes, their perspectives about certain things can be refreshing and provide a fresh stimulus for your mind.
Do the Things You’ve Never Done Before
You feel energetic but there’s seemingly nowhere to direct all that energy. That’s why you feel bored. Of course, there are lots of things you can do but you’re no longer interested in them.
What next? Get out of your comfort zone – your routine – and do something you’ve never done before!
Take a road trip with no destination, learn a new recipe, attend a film festival, read a racy novel, or try a means of transportation you’ve never used before. It doesn’t have to be expensive or something big – just break your monotonous routine!
Take on New Helpful Habits
It’s never too late to learn new habits, and doing so can be helpful if you take on good habits. With more than enough time in your hands, you can read all the self-improvement books collecting dust on the shelf. That’s one of the fastest ways to learn new helpful habits.
Try meditation or do yoga, if that’s something you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps taking a daily walk or joining a gym is more like it for you. These activities can tone up your body and improve your mental health.
Get Involved with Spiritual Activities
Becoming more involved with spiritual activities is one of the most psychologically rewarding things to do when retired and bored.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you subscribe to organized religion. The most important thing is that retirement gives you plenty of time to be of help in the various spiritual programs or activities that you couldn’t fully participate in during your working years.
Break free from the stereotypical thinking that says people in their 60s and 70s can’t maintain amazing body shapes. Of course, it takes quite a bit of effort but it is possible.
Staying fit by exercising regularly decreases your chances of falling ill. Working out also minimizes the risk of cognitive decline associated with older adults. Plus, no anti-aging pill works as great as physical exercise.
Remember to take things slow. Also, it can be helpful if you do physical activities with other like-minded people.
Do What You’ve Always Wanted
Life has a way of making us push our wildest ideas to the back-burner. There is a career to build, a family to support, and the weight of so many responsibilities on your shoulders – you hardly have time to do any of the items on your “silly” wish list.
Now that you’re retired, nothing is holding you back from bringing to life all of those things you’ve always wanted to do!
Have a second childhood and do those seemingly silly things because some of the happiest retired people are those who, like children, see the world as their oyster. They found ways to bring back childlike silliness into their lives – pursuing their true passion without seeking permission, being self-conscious, or feeling guilt.
Start drawing for the fun of it, get the pet you’ve always wanted, start a garden, learn to bake – it doesn’t matter what you do, all that matters is that you’re doing what makes you happy.
Doing what you love is good for your emotional balance. As a bonus, you may even earn some side income from what you’re passionate about.
You’ve spent six decades or more being alive. While it may feel like you’ve been knocked down more times than you can remember, still, there are many things you can celebrate about yourself.
It’s easy to focus on the wrong things when you are bored. Overcome this feeling and get your perspectives right by creating a list of your past accomplishments.
Think about all the great ways you’ve contributed to making your family, work, and society a better place. This will get your mind off of self-pity and blame, and help you to focus on how meaningful and purposeful your life has been.
You will not just kill time by making a list of your accomplishments and contributions; it is also a way to remind yourself of the things you love and are passionate about.
Create a Scrapbook
Creating a scrapbook is one of the easiest and fun things to do when retired and bored. It is similar to creating a list of your accomplishments but this time, you are more focused on the memories you created with others instead of your contributions.
Postcards from some of your memorable vacations whether with family or alone
Newspaper clippings from the era you were born
School photos of your children, grandkids, or even photos of yourself when you were in school if you still have them
The more time it takes for you to create the perfect scrapbook, the better! You are essentially immersing yourself in nostalgia and that’s great for your mind because it reminds you of the days you pursued your goals with vigor and how far you’ve come.
Also, by creating a scrapbook filled with your family’s greatest moments, you leave behind a lasting legacy.
Explore Your Town All By Yourself
This is not your regular walk. Instead, it is a time to actually see the parts of your town you’ve never been to before.
If you’ve lived in your town for a long time, it might feel like you know just about every place and there’s nothing new to see.
But what if you only assumed so because you are used to certain places out of habit? What if you tried a new route? What if you visited a part of town you’ve not been to in a long time? You may discover new developments since you last visited.
Bring a camera or a smartphone and take photos. You’ll be pleasantly amazed when you go over the images when you get back home.
Alternatively, you could bring a journal with you and find a quiet spot in a park to write what pops into your mind as you explore your town or city. This can be an enlightening and therapeutic activity.
Mentor Children and Young Adults
Young adults looking to get into the same career where you’ve worked for over three decades can use some mentoring from you. Spend time with them on weekends or after work hours and share some of your tips and tricks of the trade.
Help your grandkids and other children with their school projects. You can even teach English to foreigners in your neighborhood or teach other languages you are proficient in to interested individuals.
Mentoring helps you meet and socialize with people, making it one of the engaging things to do when retired and bored.
Sell at a Farmer’s Market
If gardening or baking is among your hobbies, you can inject more life into these activities by turning them into a form of side hustle.
Go to the farmer’s market and set up a stand where you can sell plants from your garden or freshly baked homemade delicacies.
This will allow you to meet and interact with different people, especially during the weekends. Plus, you can earn some change to spend on whatever you enjoy most.
Take Online Surveys
You can make your voice heard and give manufacturers valuable feedback by taking online surveys.
The good thing about online surveys is that you don’t have to be a computer geek to set them up and they are a low maintenance way to earn money while keeping boredom at bay.
Do Charity Work
With all the bustle of a full-time job, it can be nearly impossible for most people to help organizations out in a more meaningful way. Thankfully, retirement gives you plenty of free time to get involved with charity work.
Charity is not just about donating money to the less privileged. Instead, it is about being part of something bigger than you.
Some of the ways to get involved with charity work include:
Helping your community and alma mater in any way you can
Learn a Language
Who says you can’t learn a new language in your 60s and 70s! No one is too old to learn something new, so don’t accept the myth that says it’s difficult to learn a new language at old age.
Learning one or two new languages can come in handy during a vacation to a foreign country. Even if you don’t become fluent, you still learn a few words to help you get around easily.
Fortunately, you can pick up a new language rather quickly these days, thanks to the many free resources online.
Find a New Sport
Boredom has no business with someone who stays physically active, regardless of their age. There are other ways to stay active and happy in retirement besides signing up for a gym or joining a yoga class.
You can go up hiking, fishing, canoeing, running, or take up swimming classes. Go mountain climbing if you are up for it. The idea is to find a new sport that interests you and give it a go. You’re not looking to become a pro in the sport. Instead, your goal is to find something that keeps you active and happy in retirement.
Fight the urge to go on a shopping spree when you are bored. Also, you will likely tire out your children if you continue calling them every day. Instead, make use of the suggestions in this article.
From this list, you’ve probably identified a handful of things to do when retired and bored. Now go out there and do them! Your mind and body will thank you for it, and who knows, you may even make some side income from some of these activities.
John E Chambers is an experienced financial advice expert. Born in Chicago, he has a master's in Industrial Finance, but he has spent decades offering investment advice to businesses and individuals alike. He is the founder of RetireeWorkforce.com and wants the website to be valuable for retirement advice. In addition, he writes articles that help users jump-start their retirement plans and choose the best investment options. If not pondering over stock market statistics or reading some magazines, you can find John spending time with his family. As an early retiree, John also offers unique insights into what post-retirement life is like.