Selecting Activities

In retirement, you can treat yourself to a smorgasbord of interesting things to do, to achieve and to enjoy. You can choose things that you’re skilled at and others you’ve never tried before.

The quality of the activities that you pursue is more important than the frequency or number of activities. Your activities should be challenging and interesting. Include regular physical activities. They not only tone up your body but can help to relieve anxieties, tension, fear or depression, and make you feel more alive and cheerful. If you feel good about what you’re doing, you’ll feel good about yourself.

When selecting activities, look for major events that you can put on your calendar, such as a golf date, a visit to a friend, volunteering, taking an online course, babysitting your grandchild or going on a trip. Avoid filling your calendar with time fillers, such as watching television or surfing the internet.

Travel

Most people associate retirement with travel. The limiting factors are cost, energy, enthusiasm, and health issues. Travel does not necessarily mean going to exotic places. It may include discovering your community or province.

Packaged Tours

An increasing number of tours are being designed for the retired and there are travel agencies that deal exclusively with retirement travel packages. The advantages of packaged tours are:

  • Everything is usually prepaid
  • Someone else worries about baggage
  • You may form lasting friendships
  • Group travel provides security

Self-Planned Trip

Things to consider in planning your own tour:

  • Plan a general route
  • Ask people who have been on the tour for specific suggestions
  • Do your research or contact a reputable travel agent for advice
  • Be flexible in your plans
  • Relaxed and enjoy the unexpected

In addition, educational and volunteer opportunities exist for retirees who want to combine them with travel. If these opportunities interest you, have a look at organizations such as Road Scholar, which offers educational programs for seniors at universities or colleges in Canada, the U.S. or overseas.

Leisure Activities

Use the ''Leisure Activities'' section of the Life After Work worksheets to categorize and list all of the activities you plan to be involved in when you retire. Then select how you will carry them out, e.g., alone, with a friend or family member. Indicate the number of hours per week or per month you intend to spend on each activity. Once you are done, check to see if your choices are sufficiently varied to maintain your physical and mental health while keeping you socially active. Then challenge yourself by completing the “Seasonal Activities” section of the Life After Work worksheet. Will you be busy in the winter but not in the summer? Consider adding new activities to your list.

Ideas for New Activities

What new activities should you consider? The list below isn’t exhaustive, but you might find some things to your liking.

Acting

Archery

Art

Astronomy

 

Babysitting

Beachcombing

Blogging

Botany

Bowling

Bucket List

Building

 

Cards/Checkers

Chess

Civic Involvement

Classes

Clubs

Concerts

Contests

Counselling

Croquet

Cross-country skiing

Curling

Cycling

Dancing

Decluttering

Design

Drawing

 

Exercise

 

Fencing

Fishing

Fitness Group

Fundraising

 

Games

Gardening

Golf

Gourmet Cooking

 

Helping Others

Hiking

History

Horticulture

 

Jogging

 

Knitting/Crocheting

 

Landscaping

Languages

 

Mentoring

Museums

Music

 

Needlepoint

 

Online Courses

Organizing

Ornithology

 

Painting

Philanthropy

Photography

Pickleball

Politics

Puzzles

 

Reading

Renovating/Repairing

Riding

Sailing

Sewing

Sightseeing

Singing

Skating

Skiing

Snowshoeing

Socializing

Spectator Sports

Sports League

Starting a Business

Swimming

 

Teaching

Tennis

Theatre

Tour guiding

 

Visiting Family

Volunteering

 

Walking

Weaving

What If... File

Winemaking/Brewing

Woodworking

Writing

 

Yoga / Pilates

 

Volunteering

The first person you help when you volunteer is yourself. The dedication of time, effort and commitment to a worthwhile cause provides personal satisfaction. Volunteering:
  • Stimulates your mind and your body
  • Lessens the shock of retirement
  • Provides comradeship
  • Creates the opportunity to help others and contribute to a useful goal
  • Provides pleasure without stress
  • Provides a daily routine
  • Creates the opportunity for recognition
Use the “Volunteering” section of the Life After Work worksheet to record your anticipated volunteer activities.
 
To enjoy life after work:
  • Plan early
  • While working, have a commitment to work and leisure
  • Try out new activities before you retire
  • Consult and share your plans with others
  • Expand your social network
  • Have a variety of activities and include some in each of the social, intellectual and physical categories
  • Be an active participant and not an observer
  • Use gap fillers cautiously and try to stick to main activities and events