Hobbies and passions are key to healthy aging. As people enter their senior years and begin leaving the workforce, they can find themselves with a lack of purpose. Discovering and developing a hobby can bring joy and fulfillment, improve a person’s mood, and help keep cognitive skills fresh.
It’s valuable to stay active and important to establish a routine to prevent getting stuck in a rut. Having newfound free time creates an opportunity to try something new and different or pick back up an activity previously enjoyed. You may even discover that you have a hidden talent. Below we have identified the top benefits of hobbies for seniors.
Top 5 benefits of hobbies
1. Stress Relief
Engaging in a hobby has far-reaching effects on one’s mental and physical health. One of the goals of engaging in a hobby is to leave the stressors of everyday life behind and dedicate some time just for you. If you can find an outlet to mitigate stress, you’re more likely to stick with it and make it a part of your routine or schedule. If you choose something that requires physical activity, like golfing, yoga, pickleball or trail walking, it can also give your system a big immune boost. Hobbies that require some type of movement help to maintain or prevent chronic illness. Don’t think that you can’t do something because it requires your body to move, most physical hobbies can be modified to suit your needs and level of skill.
Whether it requires learning a new skill or leads to an extra stream of income, hobbies are a great way to test your growth mindset. Even if you struggle with certain skills, your abilities aren’t set in stone. That green thumb may just need a little extra pruning to truly flourish. Soon enough you could be selling the vegetables from your garden at the local farmer’s market. That extra cash in your pocket can help to keep your hobby growing or may even fund another!
Pushing beyond your comfort zone is great for boosting one’s confidence. It may feel scary or intimidating at first, but what have you got to lose? Retirement is an ideal time to stop putting up barriers and to find something in your life that truly makes you feel good and gives you enjoyment. Doing something you enjoy and learning something new can enrich your life in so many ways, while building self-esteem. Finding an interest outside of family life or work helps ease the transition to retirement.
Coming to terms with the transition to retirement and aging can be tough. Entering a new season of life can bring its own set of challenges but acceptance is a key factor in finding joy and opening yourself up to new possibilities. Getting older doesn’t have to mean slowing down, unless that’s what you want. You may get to travel or sit on the board of your favorite nonprofit.
5. Sense of accomplishment
You may have had a very accomplished career, and that’s important to you, but it’s possible to feel that same sense of accomplishment again through a hobby. Finding this new sense of accomplishment can help you grow, nourishing you both physically and spiritually. When you pursue a passion that promotes or allows for creativity its benefits are boundless.
If there are social determinants holding you back from exploring new hobbies or preventing you from basic daily needs, we encourage you to visit the resource section on our website. Here, you can learn more about our Maslow application and complete a short questionnaire to help identify gaps and social barriers to your physical and mental health.