Do You Suffer From Retirement Boredom
Be Aware & Take Charge Now!
It’s Your Retirement………Own It!
Can You Recognize Retirement Boredom?
Having a “lazy” day or two does not indicate that you are experiencing retirement boredom. But, if you have ever said to a family or friend, “I’m retired and bored what can I do? You may not got a lot of sympathy. Retirement is being able to do anything you want so how can you be bored!
For a long time boredom was seen as simply the result of having to do a monotonous job. Then researches made a “boredom proneness” scale (2010,Farmer & Sundberg) and boredom could be measured and linked to other lifestyles.
Knowing the signs of boredom and how high on the scale individuals were followed by identifying that boredom was linked to depression. Specifically of interest to us is the direct link between boredom and senior depression.
“Retirement is doing what you want, when you want! “What do you mean your bored!”
When researchers had something to measure so they isolated specific behaviors such as apathy and inattention, lack of creativity, poor perception of time, procrastination, low self esteem, lack of interest
Seek medical advice to eliminate any other problems, and, when givent the “All clear” take charge of the situation.
I’m Retired & Bored. What can I do?
The answer to the question begins and ends with you. Firstly you have to accept there is a problem then you have to make the decision to deal with it! We may not always be able to control how we feel but we can have more choice with our behaviors!
The changes you decide to make depends on what makes you tick
Do you feel the need to be busy? We are the generation who were defined by our employment. When meeting someone for the first time our opening conversation starter was usually, “What do you do?” Sometimes this carries over to our retirement when we introduce ourselves as a “retired teacher” (Mea Culpa!) LINK
Or maybe you are a retired hippy and think you should be part of the solution and have a need to contribute to the wider community.
Were you always the life of the party with a wide circle of friends. Is sociability an issue? The gender divide is very obvious here. Retirement boredom affects men more than women. Women often speak of retirement in terms of freedom from responsibility, a time where they can focus on their friends and activities that they didn’t have time for while working and/or raising a family
Perhaps your lifestyle pre-retirement was financially more secure or, perhaps like me your retirement Plan A didn’t pan out. Capitalism depends on disposable income and unfortunately our self esteem and self worth often takes a dip when we no longer have the means to shop with gay abandon!
Emotions are not a choice. Behaviors are. Mark Manson
Changes That You Can Make
1. Take an Unusual Holiday
Chances are by retirement age you have already been on many holidays By taking an unusual holiday you are opening yourself to surprise and unplanned experiences. Obviously, your unusual holiday is subject to your disposable income but, speaking from my own situation, where there’s a will there’s a way! Spend some time “googling” your options.
Here are some of my bucket list of unusual holidays
- Sweden: Museum of failures (out of my league)
- New Zealand: Otago Cavalcade (horse riding through the goldfields)
- England: Cheese rolling
- Any where! House sitting in your own country. My number one go to! I have house sat on small islands, turkey farms, waterfront mansions and a rain forest pole house. The only cost involved was getting there. This year we’re heading for Northern Queensland, a distance of 1,800 kms. (Australia provides a free train trip for pensioners!)
2. Hobbies in Retirement
This may seem like a cliche but hobbies in retirement can be part of the solution to a stagnating retirement. However, if your hobby while you were working was fishing, golf or knitting it is unlikely more of the same is going to get your motor running.
If necessary think back to your childhood. What did you leave behind that you were passionate about. I took up playing the guitar and now my friends and I have a band! We entertain(loosely speaking) at our Volunteer Sailability club a couple of times a year. (It takes us months to learn one song!) The plus side of having hobbies in retirement is that they often increase sociability, may earn you money and should always be fun!
“Hobbies in retirement can link back to those you left behind in your childhood”
3. Volunteer opportunities for seniors
Statistics show that volunteering is predominately done by women. Perhaps the years of supporting the school tuck shop or helping out at sports clubs has programmed us to accept volunteering as a lifestyle choice. Or maybe we just like being social! My “significant other” does not volunteer for anything! He has simply swapped his working life for boat renovation. On the other hand I fit the stats of being a volunteer junkie. It fits my needs of lifelong learning and as much social networking as I am comfortable with. Volunteering can move away from local activities with opportunities to experience other countries and cultures. Here’s a couple of web sites I have in my sights.
4. Retirement Activities
When your levels of motivation are low and procrastination high your first step is to make a decision. Here is where you take charge! Make the decision to do one activity a day. ONLY one. Achieving a small step is better than failing a giant leap! Inactivity changes the level of the “feel good” hormones. If you like music put on something with a beat and shake your booty! Speaking from my own experience don’t set the bar too high. Give yourself the best chance of success you can. Retirement activities that include 2 hours at the gym everyday can wait until later. I have also found that trying something completely different can give you that little extra push. I found a free Tai Chi class (on the beach) did it for me!
“Success breeds success”
5. Retirement and Work
Before you make the decision that the answer to your retirement boredom is to work take a look at the questions in my retirement and work post. A part time or seasonal job may take the edge of the transition time from full paid work to retirement. If your previous work was very stressful working in a job connected to your hobby may not seem like work at all. You may be able to sell your skills at a level of your choosing. Accountants and book keepers are always in demand. I live on a Marina and the busiest retirees are ex plumbers and electricians.
6. Educate Yourself
Even if your memories of school are not positive there’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then so it’s worth rethinking the opportunities. Education can be found in the local paper, library or social clubs. Many of these options are free. Currently, I am learning to sail at a club that takes adults and children with special needs sailing. I could just as easily chosen to learn Majong at the local seniors group or genealogy at the library. At the other end of the scale there are university courses that can be done online. Your choice should be something you have always wanted to do but work and life got in the way.
As Mick Jagger said, “Time is on your side. Yes it is!”