Boredom Can Be a Problem for Older Adults
Time for a shake-up!
Typically, I get up around 6 in the morning, have breakfast, and do the household chores. Then, I work on the computer, fix lunch around 11:30, take a break, write articles, walk and work on art projects until 5, fix dinner, clean up, and read or watch television ‘til bedtime, about 9:30. Lots of variety but the same schedule - the same television programs, the same old stuff.
The retirement years are supposed to be a time of well-deserved relaxation after decades of being in the workforce - but some of us are not ready.
In fact, many seniors find retirement isn’t what they hoped. The loss of their routine, contributing to society, losing friends or family, and health issues can bring about depression and loneliness in later life.
I’ve retired three times. Most of my work was challenging and exciting. However, for the past three years, I’ve done roughly the same thing every day - stuck in a routine and old habits as I began living independently as a widow. Recently, I realized how bored I was.
Generally speaking, people who wish to age well must create change to keep themselves from being bored. I suspect it’s time for me to do some creating.
No, I’m not moving to Mexico, but I am ready to make modifications - particularly after reading this quote.
Seniors often struggle with depression and anxiety; boredom is a big culprit in this. They can feel lonely and isolated as they age; boredom compounds this problem. Everyone needs self-worth, but we probably don’t realize how dangerous it can be for seniors to cope with the effects of loss of purpose, and boredom compounds this problem.
We can alter our daily routines or add new focuses. But we must also rule out ideas that aren’t productive - like me dropping my daily exercise routine, but more about that next week.
Here’s my proposed plan.
Writing - I want to write more personal stories about my multicultural family, living next door to my grandsons for ten years, introducing my grand pets, and how-to stories for those of us who don’t want to cook, for example.
Art - For the past three years, my daughter and I’ve painted acrylic paintings - like this one.
But there are only so many pictures you can store or put on the wall - trust me. So, we’re looking at different directions for our art.
Exercise -I plan to spend more time and effort on my exercise plan. More about that next week.
Saying Yes - I’ve been saying no a lot - it's time to start saying yes more often.
I plan to offer email coaching for caregivers after the first of the year.
I’ve cooked for years but never liked it. So, I’m now thinking of it as a hobby, focusing on simple recipes that I can freeze or use for a few meals.
These are my initial ideas for bringing more passion to my life and aging well. I must confess that I’m more excited about getting up at 6 in the morning and doing the “have-to’s” first so I can work on what I want. Life looks more interesting.
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If you want to contribute to my work, consider donating to the Alzheimer's Association. This link takes you to their website. The choice is yours.