Senior man happily shaping clay pottery in a well-lit communal art room with shelves and tables.

You're Never Too Old to Have a Hobby: The Best Retirement Hobbies

If you’ve retired from a full-time job, you suddenly have 40-60 hours of time previously filled with working, commuting and eating lunch with co-workers. Some retirees use their newfound time to check stuff off their to-do list. But after you’ve seen the sights, visited relatives, caught up on your reading list and got your house in order, what’s next?

Many seniors may pick up a hobby or dive more deeply into an existing one. But what if you don’t have a hobby or are tired of the ones you have? A hobby is defined as a pleasurable activity you regularly do during your leisure time. By that definition, anything you enjoy qualifies. Still at a loss? This post will cover the many benefits of hobbies for mental health as well as your emotional, social and physical well-being. We’ll also offer some retirement hobbies for seniors.

Health Benefits of Hobbies

Besides being an activity where the main goal is doing something you enjoy, having a hobby can have a positive impact on your life. Some examples include:

  • Stress relief: Doing a pleasurable activity can help you relax and take your mind off other things in your life.
  • Sense of purpose: The more you learn while doing your hobby, the more satisfied you’ll be with your progress and have a sense of accomplishment. And a hobby can give you something to look forward to doing.
  • Explore new frontiers: A hobby lets you enjoy the process of learning something new without feeling discouraged if you’re not good at it right away. It can also encourage you to venture out of your comfort zone by picking something that challenges you in new ways.
  • Discover hidden talents: Until you try something, you’re never really sure what you can do. A hobby can help you discover something you’re good at.
  • Earn additional income: You could find you’re good at something others will pay you to do.
  • Improved self-confidence: Learning something new and pushing your limits to achieve things you might not have thought were possible can give you a feeling of being able to do anything.
  • Gain new perspectives: By taking up a hobby, you’re certain to be exposed to new opinions, ideas and ways to look at life. You could even make new friends.
  • Improved memory: Craft hobbies like sewing and beading can improve your focus to help ward off depression and could protect your brain from some types of memory loss.
  • Being excited: Doing something because you actually want to do it can create excitement that can carry over into other areas of your life.

Hobby Thought Starters

If you’re looking for some ideas for hobbies after retirement, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • TravelStay close to home or visit faraway places. Once you pick a spot, there are lots of online resources to help you find things to do, sites to visit, and places to stay that can accommodate a variety of budgets. Or you can take an all-inclusive tour to practically anywhere.
  • Volunteer: Whether once a week or every day, volunteering can enrich your life while making a difference in the lives of people in your community. Check with local libraries, schools, hospitals and other nonprofit organizations.
  • Arts & Crafts: Try new artistic and creative endeavors, or perfect ones you’ve enjoyed all your life. Some arts and crafts ideas include painting, jewelry making, knitting, quilting, pottery making, woodworking, stained glass making and gardening.
  • Music/Theater/Dance: If you want hands-on involvement, call some local community theaters and community centers to see what opportunities exist. Or if you’d rather enjoy it from a seat in the audience, start a club with your friends to see a weekly/monthly performance.
  • Clubs/Associations: There are several local and national clubs and associations that can provide you with fun and engaging activities. You can also start a new club with your friends or by posting a club notice online.
  • Exercise: You could try a low-impact exercise routine like walking, swimming, yoga or tai chi to get in shape or help you stay in shape.
  • Cooking: Find inspiration in cookbooks, magazines or online cooking videos, and then try some recipes that really appeal to you. You can also surprise neighbors by making baked goods.
  • The Great Outdoors: Go bird-watching; learn about plants; go on a nature hike; or participate in trail, creek and lake cleanups.
  • Teach: Adult education programs are frequently looking for part-time evening instructors. You can teach a younger generation about your previous profession or one of your hobbies.
  • Connect with Family: Invite your family over more often or offer to babysit your grandchildren so your kids can have some time to themselves.

Now that you know the benefits of hobbies and have some ideas of retirement hobbies for seniors, it’s time to get started.

Discover a Community of Opportunity

Life Care Services® has been serving seniors with an innovative lifestyle since 1971. Our goal is to provide the thoughtful hospitality, helpful services and convenient amenities community residents want and need to live more active and fulfilling lives. To learn about the wide range of classes, clubs and committees you can expect to find at one of our communities, use our location tool.