Retirement can be an exciting prospect, but at the same time it can be kind of scary. Not only are you leaving behind the 9-5 daily grind, but you’re also entering the ‘twilight years’.
We all know that staying mentally active is key to warding off memory loss. But as much as you’re glad to be retiring, your full-time job probably did just that. Now that work’s gone, it’s time to take your cognitive function into your own hands.
Go back to school
The best thing about retirement is that you have more time on your hands. Why not make the most of it by taking a short evening or weekend course? There are so many to choose from: cooking, crafts, crochet, or a whole new language. Maybe you’re a history buff. Maybe you have a penchant for the Old Masters. Whatever your interests, there is a multitude of courses ripe for the picking. All you need to do to get the ball rolling is contact your local community centre, university, or maybe a local TAFE. Remember, if mobility is an issue you can always opt for online courses.
Keep up your fats
Wait, what does eating fat have to do with our minds? Well, body mass decreases as we age, and our brains are mostly comprised of fat. Healthy fats from oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil and organic butter can keep our brains healthy. So make sure you add some healthy fats to your diet!
Puzzles are great for whiling away a lazy afternoon while keeping your mind pumping at the same time. Sudoku and crosswords, though extremely frustrating, definitely get those neurons firing and keep them young too! But you could also read a detective novel, organise a regular cards night with friends, or find a mate to play chess or backgammon with. The key is to find something you enjoy that challenges your decision making and do it regularly.
Playing a musical instrument can improve your memory. There are numerous studies on the physical and psychological benefits of playing instruments. And not only does playing an instrument keep your mind limber, but just having music playing in the background can be beneficial too. If you don’t know how to play, learn. You’ve got the time, so why not!
Everyone’s life is interesting, yours included. Why not write about it? Or maybe you’d prefer to write a work of fiction. Whatever it is, writing can help keep your creative and cognitive facilities functioning. Who knows, you might even find a whole new calling! A number of famous books like J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’, Frank McCourt’s ‘Angela’s Ashes’, and Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ weren’t published until their authors were well into their fifties and sixties.