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6 Benefits of Staying Busy in Retirement

As we age, there are added benefits of staying busy. Remaining active and engaged during the day can improve sleep, increase energy, boost memory and brain health, improve productivity, and help to boost moods. In addition, anxiety and depression are less likely to occur in those who are busy interacting with others around them.

Finding a balance between being busy and socializing as well as getting enough sleep and having time to rest and recharge, is a key component of healthy aging. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of staying busy!

Reasons to Stay Busy in Retirement

  1. Sleep Better

    older man sleeping in bedStaying busy during the day can help to use the energy that the body produces and will increase the likelihood of being tired enough for sleep. It allows people to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, making for a better morning as well. Being busy does not require one to be physically active all day. Instead, it involves using the brain, engaging in conversation and thought processes, along with physical activity. Doing crossword or word search puzzles, reading, knitting or crocheting, and playing cards or shuffleboard games with others are all great ways to stay busy. Having conversations with other people is another way to exercise the mind and keep your brain healthy.

    For the best sleep possible, create a consistent nighttime routine. Go to bed at the same time every day and follow a bedtime routine that helps to prepare both mind and body for bed. 

    Click here to learn more about how to get a good night's sleep

  2. Increase Your Energy

    It may seem counterintuitive to stay busy to have more energy. However, staying sedentary and doing fewer things will decrease the energy that the body produces and can slow metabolism. Remaining busy will ensure that the body continues to burn calories and have energy to burn throughout the day.

    Physical activity will help to increase energy and makes it easier to remain active in the following days. This boost of energy can be used to complete more tasks, learn new hobbies and skills, and even make new friends or spend time with family.
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  3. Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Both memory and cognitive function will improve when you remain busy. Puzzle-solving, conversation, and learning new hobbies or tasks are all ways to improve brain health. Reading is one of the best ways to maintain cognitive functioning. Puzzles and memory games are also among the best ways to remain busy while strengthening your memory.

    Laziness or doing few to no tasks during the day can allow the brain to wander and daydream. Still, it will not actively challenge thought processes or encourage the exercise of the brain. By completing tasks, even simple ones, the brain works and learns more, staying healthier and improving memory.

    To improve and maintain cognitive functioning, tasks that are completed physically, such as writing by hand, knitting, games, card games, and more, will help to keep dexterity in your hands. They also reinforce the mind-to-body connection that allows for the brain to use those sections that control movements and processes. Things like shuffleboard are helpful for both using the physical connections and problem-solving and encouraging new thoughts. Staying busy with these types of activities will improve both memory and brain health.

  4. Productivity Increases

    The better that someone can focus on what they are doing, the faster tasks will be completed, and the more things can be done in a day. Many of the same tasks and activities that improve memory will also help to improve focus and, therefore, productivity.

    As productivity improves, you're likely to experience a boost in self-confidence. This can also lift the mood and help you have better days than you otherwise would. It also allows for more tasks to be done each day, which can help people remain busy and be interactive and social with their friends and family.

  5. Better Relationships

    two older women playing cards togetherBusy people will see more people throughout the day, and they will also spend more time with their friends and family. Forming stronger relationships improves mental health and ensures that others will be more aware if cognitive functioning begins to decline or illness sets in. It is beneficial for everyone within these friends or family relationships and interactions. Click here to learn more about how to make new friends in retirement! 

  6. Boost Your Mood

    Depression, anxiety, loneliness, and other mental health concerns may occur more in aging adults and seniors as they become isolated from people. As people retire and lose contact with some of their friends, they may find themselves spending more time alone and feeling less of a part of the community.

    To combat this, staying active in your community can help, including visits with friends, shopping trips, or going to the movies. With many activities and interactions, including arts and crafts or hobbies that bring joy, there are many benefits, including better moods, confidence, appreciation for family and friends, and the ability to do many things.

There are many benefits to remaining busy for everyone, including aging adults. This can include tasks around the house such as baking or crafting, joining clubs like book clubs or bowling leagues, and games. Interactions and socialization with others are important to help maintain memory and cognitive functions.

Busy people will also sleep better and have a better metabolism than those who live a sedentary and solitary lifestyle. Other benefits include avoiding loneliness, increasing productivity, lowering illness, and helping to keep higher energy levels. Each of these benefits will also improve interactions with others and confidence, leading to a happier and healthier life overall.

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