Retirement is a time for reflection. An opportunity to take better care of you – and make the most of your wiser years. Here are our top tips for a healthy and happy retirement.
Get a good night’s sleep
Staying active is a frequent recommendation for the elderly, but getting enough sleep is just as important! The National Institute on Aging recommends older adults get at least 7-9 hours sleep every night to stay in good shape. Simple things can significantly affect the way you sleep. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to calm your body. If you’ve been awake for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and read a book until you feel sleepy. Just don’t look at any screens, as they’ll make you feel more awake.
Keep your mind active
It’s just as important to be mentally healthy as it is physical. In September 2018, The Alzheimer’s Society launched ‘GameChanger’ with the University of Oxford, to support dementia research. They’re asking people without dementia to spare five minutes a day, every day, for one month, to play fun, free brain games. Try it today – you’ll be helping researchers and having fun!
Join a group
Age UK’s global report on loneliness in later life revealed that as well as mental health issues, loneliness can have physical effects too. Feeling lonely has been shown to increase blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases, so it’s important to be as sociable as possible. If there’s something you’re passionate about, joining a club or group is a great way to socialise. For example, you could go walking with like-minded people. Or learn a new skill by taking classes.
Getting the right nutrients
As you grow older, what your body needs from food changes. Your skin’s ability to synthesise vitamin D decreases with age. This means you won’t be getting vitamin D from the sun, so it’s recommended to take a vitamin D supplement as well as regularly eating food sources of the vitamin, like oily fish. Make sure you are eating a varied and healthy diet and if you need to, taking supplements for vitamins you aren’t getting from your food.
Feeling safe in your own home is important. Put a reminder by the front door to lock it, or set up a camera that means you can see what is happening outside if you hear a noise. If you’re worried about fire, why not try a Welbeing smoke detector.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When you are struggling, it can be hard to ask for help. Even if it’s as small as not being able to carry your shopping home, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask someone for help. It could be a neighbour, family member or a charity.
Don’t overdo it
As much as it’s important to stay active and keep busy, make sure you do things at your own pace. Don’t overdo it with activities – start small, and build up to more. There’s nothing worse than overdoing it and making yourself unwell.
If you’d like more advice about how to keep well in your retirement, find out how Welbeing can help you.