October 12 2018
Boredom can happen at any time in a person’s life. Though children seem to be the ones who are most vocal about how bored they are at any given moment, even adults can experience long days when nothing seems to happen.
When Boredom Becomes Dangerous
Sometimes, a day or two with nothing to do can be a welcome break from the busyness of life. Too much time with nothing to do, however, can be hazardous; especially to retired senior citizens. Without a sense of purpose, the risk of depression increases. As depression increases, senior citizens can become withdrawn from family, friends, and even activities. Boredom can quickly turn into isolation. What should be a joyous time of relaxation after retirement becomes a time of anxiety.
Making It Meaningful
Studies show that cognitive abilities can start to diminish when senior citizens find themselves with nothing meaningful to do. Though it can help pass the time, binge-watching old episodes of “West Wing” does not count as something meaningful. There are, however, plenty of other activities that senior citizens can engage in to keep busy while still enjoying their retirement years.
- Go back to school. You might already have a PhD, or you might have dropped out of high school, but college can be beneficial to anyone. Several Universities offer programs that are specifically designed for senior citizens, and many classes can be done online from the comfort of the home. Lifelong learning can keep the mind sharp.
- Take up a new hobby. Or, revisit an old one. Maybe you always wanted to play the piano or learn how to cook Thai food. Maybe you started writing a book years ago but never had the time to finish it. Anything that you never had the time for when you were younger can be explored in your golden years. Sign up for a class or two and meet other people who share in your passions.
- Volunteer your services. Those who have had a lengthy career might actually miss their work after they retire. The good news about volunteering is that you aren’t under the same pressures and time schedules as you once were. Volunteer work is flexible, and you have an opportunity to give back something to the world. And you might just make a new friend or two.
- Start socializing. Socialization is the number-one way to keep from becoming bored. You can make connections on social media, correspond through email, or get a cell phone and learn how to text with your grandkids.
If you live in a retirement community, take advantage of the resident opportunities and programs that are available. Many places offer a monthly calendar of events and activities designed to meet the interests of all residents. It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and make new friends. With so much to do, you’ll never have to worry about boredom again.