Living a full life exposes us to many events – taking care of a family and home, having a career. These are sometimes challenging events, but also usually very fulfilling, and when we move on to an independent senior living community, there is an empty space where all of those personal responsibilities used to be.
Sometimes we lose our sense of purpose, and life becomes dull, and if we’re not careful, it’s easy to fall into depression.
It is imperative to get back that sense of purpose. Structure your life so that you participate in social activities, make a list of things to accomplish, and most importantly, do things that you enjoy and will look forward to every day. Not only will you get things done, but you will boost your self-esteem and generate a feeling of well-being and positivity.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Keep a gratitude journal.
Don’t focus on what you no longer have, but rather concentrate on what is positive in your life, and what you are grateful for each day. It can be something “small” like a perfect cup of tea, or as “big” like a visit from your grandchildren or a great report from your doctor. There are many things to be grateful for if you are in the right mindset. A beautiful smile from your neighbor, a newly bloomed flower, a cloudless sky, an opportunity to watch an old television show or movie that you have always loved.
Are there things you’ve been putting off for ages? Now is the time to tackle them – or to decide they are not worth your time. Either way, free yourself of the “guilt” of having to complete a task you dread. Whether it’s cleaning out your closets or going through your junk mail pile or re-arranging the photographs you’ve kept in a keepsake box, do it, or be done with it. It’s fine to say “no” to something that will not bring a reward. Hire someone to do it, or just cross it off your list of things to do.
Schedule “playdates” with your friends or neighbors.
If you have a few close friends that always lift you up, spend more time with them. Surround yourself with positive people and keep the meetings light and fun.
Do something for yourself.
Remember that as a retired person, you are responsible for your own sense of purpose. Do something you enjoy, whether it’s getting a manicure, sleeping in, taking a bubble bath, or having a nice chat with your best friend, just do it!
Live in the moment and count your blessings!