DON’T LET BOREDOM JOIN YOUR TEAM
By Darrell Griffin
Nov 4 2022
Growing older often leaves people feeling as though there is no longer a purpose or purpose to their lives. This can lead to depression and loneliness. However, you (or a loved one) do not have to accept a boring life post-retirement. Seniors can take up many interesting activities to occupy their bodies and minds while they are bored. Learning how to paint or play the piano, sharing your skills and knowledge with others, or discovering new places are all good activities for seniors. By keeping both their minds and bodies active, seniors are likely to remain healthy and happy years after they retire. It is estimated that adults over the age of 65 spend as much as 10 hours per day sitting or lying around. Finding activities that keep you engaged and not bored can keep you healthier longer. Here are 25 things seniors can do when bored.
SENIOR CITIZEN CENTERS
Many senior centers exist purely to help seniors stay engaged in productive, enjoyable activities. Here, individuals at a similar age may enjoy games and activities like bingo, dancing, trips to local landmarks, and more. It is a great way to stay busy, but also spend time with peers who might be as lonely and bored. Not all senior citizen centers have the same vibes. I am not saying there is a “right” or “wrong” vibe but there is a “good” vibe. I have a good friend, he just turned 74. He was getting bored and tried a local senior center. The big showcase event was Friday night bingo. Harold, the center bingo champ was also the local “chick magnet.” Harold had the coolest decals on his oxygen machine. The evening at the senior citizen made Harold feel old. He did find a great, high-energy senior center and found Mrs. right.
ADOPTING A PET
If you are single, maybe you can meet that one special person who can lighten up your day. Some older folks may not be able to adopt a pet physically or financially, but it is a wonderful way to spend some downtime, if possible. Adopting pets not only keeps you from feeling lonely, there are many mental and physical health benefits associated with caring for animals. Don’t think about just dogs and cats. I have a friend that had the smartest miniature pig I have ever seen.
The type of animals that you adopt depends on your personality and level of fitness. If you are not looking forward to running behind a dog or caring for a cat, then maybe a fish or a hamster is more your speed.
Birds make for good conversational companions, while dogs are perfect for those who enjoy going on walks. Almost any type of pet is great for companionship, which is why having them is important. As long as you think you will be able to take care of an animal, getting a pet is an awesome way to alleviate boredom. They also add a sense of safety and structure to your day.
A NEW HOBBY
Just because you are more mature does not mean there is not still creative energy left. If you are older and you are feeling bored, why not pick up a new hobby. Your new hobby can be whatever it is, just so long as it is something that you will enjoy. Learning how to knit or crochet, using sculpting clay, or trying calligraphy are all great ways to help you curb boredom. When your hands are engaged in these types of creative activities, your mind is also stimulated. A stimulated mind stays sharper and healthier longer, so the benefits are big.
If you want to really get the most out of your new hobby, try something that has not been done before. Maybe it is a activity originating in another country and is not as well-known, such as growing bonsai trees at home or raising silkworms. Of course, it depends on where you live and what is considered exotic there. You have lived an entire life, with plenty of adventures and hardships.
WRITE A BOOK
Why not put all of your experiences into one book. You do not need to publish it, and you do not have to share that book with anybody, either. But this type of writing can be valuable for your family to read as they learn all about what you have been through in life. If you enjoy fictional books and shows, why not try writing your own fiction books. It can be so much fun, and it will surely get you through a lot of hours as you come up with worlds and characters. Poetry is also an amazing way to record your emotions and memories. You do not have to follow poetry rules, either. Just have a little fun with it.
LEARN TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT
Most of us have one instrument that we love listening to all the time. While learning to play an instrument takes a great deal of dedication and patience, it is a very enjoyable way to keep yourself occupied as you get older and bore. The benefits of playing an instrument make the initial awkward trying outs and feeling stupid worthwhile. It can enhance your hand-eye coordination, help strengthen your short-term memory, and enhance your fine-motor skills. Once you start, learning a musical instrument of your choice will give you hours of enjoyment. Learning an instrument is also an amazing way to meet like-minded people from different ages who enjoy the same kind of music you do.
Gardening is a highly popular senior citizen activity, and with good reason. It gets you out, and it keeps the spirits high. Plus, having a flourishing, beautiful yard gives you a sense of achievement and a feeling of joy. Even if you only spend a half-hour every day outdoors in your yard, you reap the benefits of being active and outdoors. Of course, you should always wear protective clothing when spending time outside. Use a trusted sunscreen like SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen to keep your skin protected. While it may not seem like it to many, gardening is actually a great way to keep yourself active when you are older. It offers a nice, low-impact form of exercise that works all of your muscles.
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If you like spending time outside, but you do not want to be hiking all the time or moving around fast, then birdwatching is an excellent alternative. You can go at your own pace, but still get a taste of Mother Natures wonders. You can practice your bird watching skills almost everywhere birds love to roost, although hiking spots are often better than your own back yard.
Keep your eyes peeled, however. Many birders occasionally find rare specimens right in their own backyards!. If you are looking for some companionship, you could take birdwatching trips in groups to try to spot the rare birds together. There is more to birdwatching than simply looking through binoculars--birdwatchers listen to their targets with their acute ears. They also notice how birds act, their colors, and their unique feather patterns.
You do not have to have a bunch of people around to enjoy a game and to keep your mind fresh. Many games you can enjoy alone, like puzzles, such as this huge 1,000-piece puzzle from Puzzle Crush. You can also practice your memory with crossword and Sudoku puzzles. These games also do not need to cost you anything; many of them are available for free in magazines and newspapers. There are also other kinds of games: computer games or games for consoles. These can be very entertaining, and many are good for improving your memory.
SHARING YOUR MIND
As a senior, you have learned many things about your life and your career. Why don’t you share all of your knowledge with a younger generation. If you are devoted to something all of your life, then you have plenty of knowledge that can be passed on.
You can teach all that you have learned, and earn a little extra cash along the way. Many educational programs employ instructors to share their experiences and the knowledge they gained over the years. If you do not want to speak with someone in person, you may be able to record your lectures and upload them online. As long as you have something worth teaching, someone out there is going to be interested in learning from you.
Photography is another good way to burn off some of your boredom. It gets you out there spending time looking at the world from different perspectives. Plus, taking pictures helps to boost cognitive functions.
You can explore your surroundings by taking pictures of old buildings, new developments, noteworthy landmarks, and picturesque natural scenes. You could even make an entire project out of documenting what is happening in your neighborhood with photos. Many online groups let amateur photographers share their photos and learn to get better. It is also a great way to meet others who have similar interests to yours.
LEARN A SECOND LANGUAGE
You are never too old to learn something new, and this includes languages. While early childhood is considered to be the best time to learn a new language, you can still give it a shot no matter what age you are. Language learning can be great fun, and also opens doors to exploring new and exciting cultures. When learning the language of a country, you are also getting to know about their people, traditions, etc.
TRAVEL AND LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE
You may even make new friends that you might not otherwise talk to. You can even put your newfound knowledge of a language to the test by visiting a country that speaks it the most. Such a trip can become an one-of-a-kind adventure for you. Learning a new language offers even more benefits.
It may help boost cognitive functions, perhaps even delaying the onset of Alzheimers. Many people also think speaking two languages may be able to do more to combat dementia than drugs. You do not need to speak the language of a country to appreciate its beauty, its food, its culture.
You can go around and see exciting new places during your golden years, and see life with a new set of eyes. As long as you plan well and visit safe, safe countries, you can enjoy your grand sightseeing at your pace. If you cannot afford to go very far, then simply take a peek around your country. Unless you are extremely busy, there are bound to be plenty of areas that you have not visited yet, and you should enjoy them.
REMEMBER ARTS AND CRAFTS
If you are bored and stuck indoors, you can always try some new art activities, even if you don’t feel like you are really that artsy. There are lots of different ways that you can use arts and crafts to combat boredom. You could try carpentry, ceramics, painting in oils or acrylics, or drawing in graphite pencils. These are just some options seniors have when it comes to arts and crafts.
Keeping busy with arts and crafts is an enjoyable way to keep the mind sharp, as well as serving as a stress reliever. If you are feeling stressed, do some art, and you will find yourself feeling much more relaxed.
There are plenty of clubs and communities out there (both locally and online) that welcome beginners. Joining these groups will expose you to new people and help hone your craft skills.