Becoming a senior citizen has never been better than in today’s world filled with opportunities. With modern day advancements in medicine and lifestyle enhancements our golden years can be a time of good health and well-being, better relationships, and exciting new experiences. Whether you have retired from work or are living with a spouse or partner who has retired, now is the time to make the most of all the time you have in the world for yourself and for your loved ones. Here are a few things you can do to make ‘old age’ your gold age.
1) Start something new. Go back to school. Make your hobby your enterprise.
It is never too late to start working on some of your dreams that perhaps got left behind in the grind of life. Colonel Sanders was 65 years old, and by then a lifelong failure at every job he took, when he founded Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), now an international chain of restaurants earning millions of dollars. Closer home, Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar from a small village in Uttar Pradesh are two women who became the world’s oldest competitive sharp shooters at the tender young ages of 65 and 63 respectively. More and more institutes these days provide short courses for mature students that you could study to keep your mind active and learn a new skill. If there is something you always wanted to be – a chef, a florist, or even a marathon runner – now is the time to go for it. Here is an article to get you started: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/working-after-retirement-here-are-careers-options-for-seniors-citizens/articleshow/8900384.cms?from=mdr
2) Learn a new language
Keeping your mind occupied with constructive activity is important at any age, but more so for seniors. Learning a new language is not only a challenging and rewarding exercise for your brain, it also opens up a whole new world of books, films, music, and people to explore.
3) Make exercise your best friend
Senior life does not have to be a sedentary life. An hour-long walk every day can keep your blood flowing, body oxygenated, and mind energized to take on other physical tasks during the day. Exercise increases your stamina and boosts your immunity so that you have all the energy in the world to play with your (or your neighbour’s!) grandchildren, help your family out with errands, or even make a spontaneous solo shopping trip to your favourite malls and stores.
4) Join a club. Make new friends.
If you are naturally outgoing and extroverted you should find it easy to locate a group of people who meet up regularly to share a common interest. Even if you are not naturally very social, finding a group activity and sticking to it can be a great way to challenge yourself to learn to mix with new people who could become important friends and support systems for you. There are many different types of local groups that you can choose from. For example, if you are an avid gardener you can join the local chapter of the All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA). Find a Senior Citizen’s Club near you to participate in informative talks, fun activities, and even travel to exotic places in India and abroad as a group. Other popular groups include Yoga groups, spiritual or religious gatherings, and community clean-up squads.
5) Give back to community
Helping others not only makes someone else’s day, it is also one of the best known ways to lift your own spirits. Now that you do not have deadlines and schedules to adhere to, you have all the time in the world to join an NGO or cause of your choice and lend a hand to those in need. There are many different ways in which you can make a difference, for instance, organizing donation drives, spending time with those in care, taking responsibility for administrative tasks within the NGO, etc. Whatever you skill or talent you possess can be used to the benefit of those who need that extra bit of help.
There are plenty of senior citizen discounts, and especially attractive fares by the Indian Railways, that should encourage you to visit places you have not been to before. Most Senior Citizen Club chapters, and even many travel agencies and websites (like 50+ Voyagers) also organize group tours within India and abroad so you can dare to go even if you are solo. Seeing a different part of the world can help you discover new parts of yourself too.
7) Relive your childhood. Indulge yourself.
Most of us as children have a long list of wishes we hope can come true. As a senior you have all the time in the world as children do, but with the added advantage of having the freedom and means to get what you desire. There is no one to set the rules either. Make a list of things you would like to indulge in, it could be something as simple as an ice cream flavour you have not had in ages, something really indulgent as gifting yourself a piece of jewellery, something nostalgic as locating your best friend from school, something ambitious as watching all Amitabh Bachchan movies back to back, non-stop with only sleep breaks, or something as eccentric as keeping a duck or some other unusual animal for a pet (but please do not break any laws!). Some of your wishes might require resources that you do not have as yet, start a plan to make them happen. But some of your wishes could be easily achievable, start already. The trick to making this work for you is to proceed with moderation, balance out physical excesses (when required) with healthy habits, and space out your activities to avoid them becoming tiresome or demanding.
8) Get Ayushmaan Active!
Your Dish TV service now has a special Ayushmaan Active channel with programs that focus on the specific advantages and concerns of senior living. If you want ideas on how to plan your finances, or how to make the most of your time to achieve whatever you wish to achieve this is the channel for you. And even if you do not have any plans and just want to relax, Ayushmaan Active has songs from your era and entertainment especially designed for you too!