The office of national statistics has predicted that by 2040, one in five people in the UK will be over 65, that’s a lot of us, which makes it even more important we look after ourselves to ensure we can make the most of our twilight years, or as the younger generation might say #LivingOurBestLives.

 

The University of Cambridge’s PHG Foundation says that‘ Healthy ageing is about creating the environments and opportunities that enable people to be and do what they value throughout their life into later years’ ‘we need to explore the potential to gain new skills or be exposed to fresh opportunities.’ – we couldn’t agree more. For the first time, often after many years of working and raising a family, retirement brings the gift of time and there are so many opportunities that should be seized. 

Although eating well, getting exercise, sleep and keeping your physical health in check is important, you should prioritise your mental health too. Keeping yourself happy will inevitably keep you feeling more energised, besides, age is just a mindset – studies have even proven this – A 2009 study suggests that optimism is specifically related to a longer life.

So how can we look after our wellbeing in retirement? Here are some ideas:

Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness have been buzz-words for a while now, but what does it all mean? It’s about taking time to reconnect with yourself, listening to how your mind and body are feeling without distraction. This might simply be taking a minute out of your day to close your eyes, focus on your breathing and take stock of the here and now, or, you could combine it with meditation too. You’ll find plenty of guides on YouTube to get you started. Various studies have found mindfulness to help reduce stress, improve cognition, improve sleep and even boost your immune function.

Two hands holding a yellow flower

Get outside

For healthy bones our bodies need vitamin D, the NHS says that between April and September we can get all the vitamin D we need by spending some time outside each day. Also, walking is massively underrated; it’s free, it keeps your heart healthy and is good for your mental health. There’s a lot to be said for getting out into the fresh air.

Senior couple walking

Learn a new skill

Try something new, now you’re retired you will have the time to do the things you always wanted to try. Play piano, learn a language, take up skiing, or go back to university – you’re never too old to upskill. Learning in itself can be a rewarding experience, it increases the dopamine levels in your brain, dopamine is known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone, aside from affecting immediate mood and behavior, dopamine also produces positive changes in the brain that are persistent, sometimes lasting a lifetime.

Woman playing the piano

Meet new people

Humans are social creatures, it’s in our DNA, and it’s never too late to make new friends. Isolation and loneliness can have a profound negative effect on your mental wellbeing. Consider widening your social circle, finding those with a shared interest is a good place to start. Look at local groups; book clubs are fantastic, or perhaps join an organisation that invests in the local community such as your local WI, or why not go to the local pub and strike up a conversation with the person next to you? If you’re more reserved there are also a plethora of groups online, search for groups on Facebook and you’ll find something to suit you whatever your passion – cute dogs, knitting patterns, molecular gastronomy, they’ve got it all!

Senior couple sitting on a bench looking at the sky

Travel

Go somewhere you’ve never been before. In a study at the University of Surrey they found that those who have booked a holiday are happier with their life as a whole, now if that’s not a reason to get in touch with your local travel agent right now, we don’t know what is. You’ll also get the benefits of being outside, meeting new people and learning new things, all previously mentioned above. 

 

Whatever you would like to explore, at Santhem Residences, we have a wellness coach on hand who can offer complimentary consultations on anything from nutrition and exercise to mindfulness and companionship, they can even help organise social activities or events. Working alongside the concierge, the coach is a community-based role helping those who wish to make the most of village life.

 

Most important of all, focus on what you can do, not what you can’t! Retirement often brings you more free time, financial freedom and most importantly the opportunity to #liveyourbestlife.  And as we say here at Santhem Residences, we are #LivingForLaterLife… Now let’s get to it, have a great day!

If you would like to find out more about retirement living with Santhem Residences, give us a call or email us at enquiries@santhemresidences.co.uk and we can arrange for you to visit our information suite and show apartments.

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