New Year’s Resolutions for the Retirement Years
If you’re thinking that 2018 flew by, you’re not alone! Here we are with another year behind us, and 2019 just around the corner. The start of the new year is a time when many people not only reflect on the events of the past year, but they also plan for the future.
The best New Year’s resolutions are ones that, not only help you to live better in the coming year but are attainable. Although we make resolutions with the best of intentions, if we try to change too fast, we may find that we’ve abandoned them by March or April.
The following 7 resolutions can improve your life and your well-being, but they’re also quite attainable with a little effort.
7 New Year’s Resolutions for Retirees
1. Eat Well *
Eating nutritious foods contributes to good health and higher energy levels at any age. Since many find that their appetite has diminished, it’s important to make sure your choices pack a nutritional punch. Aim for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. When you eat bread, rice or pasta, choose whole grains whenever possible. Pick lean sources of protein, like chicken or turkey, and include heart-healthy fish at least twice each week. Keep your bones strong by including sources of calcium and vitamin D in your diet. It’s also a good idea to use healthy fats, like olive oil, in place of butter, and to season with herbs and spices, which are lower in sodium than salt.
You may also want to talk to your healthcare provider about whether you should include any vitamins or supplements to meet your nutritional needs.
2. Stay Active *
Regular exercise can help you to stay active and independent. It can lower your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Because it increases your strength and improves balance, it can also lower the risk of injuring yourself by falling. And it’s a great way to regulate your mood, increase energy, and even reduce depression.
Most experts recommend that seniors exercise an average of 30 minutes each day. However, even if you only have time for a few minutes here and there, you’ll experience health benefits.
Signing up for an exercise class, taking a daily stroll around the neighborhood, or scheduling time at a local pool are all excellent ways to incorporate regular activity into your routine. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
3. Make Time for Friends
Maintaining social relationships is important for our health and happiness at any age. However, after retirement, some people find that they start to feel a little more isolated. Thankfully, though, loneliness isn’t an inevitable effect of retirement.
Keeping active socially can be as simple as reaching out to friends and family to make plans. Take the initiative and invite someone out for coffee. Don’t wait for someone to invite you out for coffee – take the initiative. If those close to you live too far away to get together regularly, consider keeping in touch through social media. Facebook and other social networks can be a great way to keep up and interact with friends. If you’re not sure how to get started, ask a tech-savvy friend or family member for help.
You may also be able to develop some meaningful new friendships with people in your community. Consider volunteering, taking a class, or joining a local club or group. You’ll meet people with similar interests, creating lots of opportunities for entertaining social engagements.
4. Quit Smoking
It’s never too late to stop smoking, even if it’s been a part of your life for decades. Quitting smoking at any age will improve your breathing and circulation, increase your heart and lung health, and decrease your risk of getting cancer or having a heart attack or stroke.
If you’ve tried to quit smoking before, don’t be discouraged. It can take a few attempts. On average, it takes four attempts to kick the habit for good. The good news is that if you’ve managed to quit for just 24 hours within the past few months, you’ve doubled your chances of quitting for good in the next year!
Talk to your doctor for advice on quitting, or visit smokefree.gov for resources.
5. Challenge Your Mind
Keeping your mind active can help you to stay sharp and focused throughout your senior years. Many seniors enjoy mentally stimulating activities such as reading and writing, but the choices don’t end there.
You may also enjoy doing puzzles, playing cards and games with friends, or doing crafts. Taking a class is a great way to learn a new skill and to pursue any other interest that you may have. Check your local senior center or adult education program to see if they offer anything that interests you. Many community colleges offer lower (or even free) tuition for seniors.
Isn’t it amazing how things can accumulate? Especially if you’ve been living in the same home for many years, it’s easy to keep sticking things in the closet or the basement until there’s no more space.
If you’re greeted by a mountain of “stuff” every time you open a closet or if it’s getting difficult to park the car in the garage, it’s probably time to weed out a bit. Although it can be overwhelming to think of digging through all of the outdated clothing, kids’ school work, and years worth of other mementos, it’s worth it. Click here for some great tips for making decluttering manageable.
7. Update Important Documents
If you haven’t already created important financial documents such as a Will, an advance directive (Living Will), or a Power of Attorney, 2019 is time to get the ball rolling. Contact your attorney or use an online service such as LegalZoom if you prefer a self-guided service.
Even if you do have plans in place, it’s always a good idea to review them from time to time. Circumstances change, so you may need to make updates.
Are you ready to get 2019 off to a great start? Realistic New Year’s resolutions can keep you happy and healthy in the year to come.
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or a loved one are in need of help living a safe, active and independent lifestyle, call the Davis Community today at 910.686.7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington, NC. We offer a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. Davis Community is pleased to offer customized concierge home care services, including meal preparation and nutritional guidance, to independent seniors living in Landfall, Cambridge Village, Wrightsville Beach and Porter’s Neck, NC. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!
*Always consult with your doctor about what nutrition & exercise plans are right for you.