Don’t Slow Down In Retirement Years: 10 Ways To Keep the Mind Sharp
Retirement sounds like a dream for many professionals, but the end of a career often comes with a sudden drop in mental stimulation that can lead to a variety of health issues. Like the rest of your body, your brain needs regular stimulation to stay healthy and sharp. Maintain optimum brain health with a regular stream of physical and mental challenges.
10. Learn a New Skill
Keep yourself busy after retirement by learning a new skill. Take a ballroom dance or tap dance class. Learn how to paint or take a creative writing class at the local community college. According to Brain Fitness Strategies, the process of learning in and of itself leads to new brain cells developing.
9. Move Your Body
Stimulate your body and mind by exercising regularly. Brisk physical activity keeps your memory strong. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes per day of walking, jogging, or sports such as tennis and swimming.
8. Clear Your Mind
Even after you stop going into work, stress from family and everyday life can have a negative effect on your memory and mental clarity. Calm your mind with meditation or take a yoga class. Avoid stressful situations, and minimize the time you spend with angry or worrisome people.
7. Maintain a Schedule
After you leave your career, the unscheduled days can feel interminable and boring. Keep your brain working normally by scheduling activities during your normal work hours. Meet friends for lunch, work on a new hobby, or join an activity group.
6. Invest in Relationships
Invest a portion of your newfound free time in building and strengthening relationships with family and friends. Offer to care for your grandchildren a few afternoons each week, go on a date with your spouse, or start a book club with other retired friends. Strong, positive relationships can help reduce stress, while thought-provoking conversations can help you maintain your reasoning abilities.
5. Become a Social Butterfly
For new retirees, it can be disconcerting to lose the camaraderie and constant stimulation that an office provides. Fill your calendar with social engagements to ensure exposure to a variety of people; regular interactions with friends and contacts keep your mind engaged and active.
4. Find a New Purpose
It is not uncommon for retirees to feel directionless, particularly if their children are grown and out of the house. Stay sharp and avoid mental conditions such as depression by finding a new purpose. Learn about investing to increase your wealth, offer advisory services at a local university, or volunteer your time for a worthy cause.
3. Work on Puzzles
Puzzles and games provide a thought-provoking workout for your brain. It doesn’t matter whether you like to complete the daily crossword puzzle or play strategy games with family, as long as you choose an option that challenges you to think, reason, and remember.
2. Eat Well
A healthy diet is an important factor in brain health. According to AARP, you should aim for a balanced diet that is full of vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts and a variety of spices. Don’t skip the healthy fats; look for foods with omega 3 fatty acids, or take fish oil capsules.
1. Try Something New
After retirement, it can be easy to fall into a comfortable pattern. Challenge your brain by deviating from your routine. Travel to new places, perform in a community theater production, take a new route on your morning walk, and make a point to visit unfamiliar locations in your city.