You've probably heard it said about getting ahead in life that "it isn't what you know, it's who you know." While there is a certain amount of truth to that claim, I can assure you there is a great deal of truth in this statement: "Happiness depends on your ability to stay connected in retirement." Quite simply, numerous studies show that people who withdraw from life and from connections with others are not only miserable in their retirement years, but they tend to die sooner than people you stay connected in retirement.
It is always easy to postpone doing things; and this doesn't change when we retire. Staying connected is one of the most important things people need to do after retiring. Fortunately, this is not difficult. No matter how shy you are, and no matter how much of a loner you are, you need to stay connected to life, to the world, and to at least one or two other people. We don't have to become isolated or lonely in retirement. We just need to stay connected.
Here are a few ideas to help you stay connected:
Consistently watch one news broadcast each day at least. This is one way to stay informed about the world and your community. It also gives you topics for conversation with other people. Keeping up with the news also keeps you informed of new developments and the like that can make your life better.
Have a conversation with at least one person who is important to you each day. It really doesn't matter so much whether the conversation occurs over the telephone or face to face. The important thing is to stay in conversation with someone every day. Whether you discuss world news or childhood memories, the conversation is good for you.
Write a letter (not an e-mail) to someone each week. Take the time to actually connect with someone by taking the time to sit down and write a long letter. Write about what is happening in your life, your family, your thoughts, and your feelings. Not only will the letter brighten someone else's life, you will probably receive a response that will brighten your life.
Find an exercise buddy. We all need exercise. Whether you choose to walk or engage in some other physical activity for exercise, it will be more fun if you share the experience with a friend. You can discuss many things on a daily walk, or even at a pool or a gym or spa.
Volunteer to help others. There are many people around us who need help with things. There are people whose only contact with others is a conversation with the meals-on-wheels delivery person. There are children who need to be taught or just need to be loved. There are many organizations that rely upon volunteers to carry out their mission. Not only will you stay connected with other people, you will know you have done something to help someone, and that will feel good.
Join a group or club. Regular get-togethers with other people who enjoy the same things you do, are great fun. Whether you play cards, mah jong, dominoes, chess, checkers or bunko; whether you share bird watching experiences or take in a movie or a show together, you are spending time in conversation with people with whom you share interests.
Remain or become active in your church, synagogue or mosque. You can be assured that you share basic beliefs and values with the people you meet there. You will also find ways to help others, teach others, and contribute to a better world.
Learn to do something new. Whether you take computer classes, dancing lessons, or you audit a course at the local college, learning something new keeps your mind sharp, puts you in contact with others who have similar interests, and opens up new possibilities for social, business or educational activities in the future.
Try these tips to become connected and stay connected in retirement. You will be happier, healthier, and you can make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Dr. Cynthia Barnett is a ”refired” educator who had reinvented her life moving from the school house to an entrepreneurial venue.. She is the author of “Stop Singing the Blues: 10 Powerful Strategies for Hitting the high Notes in Your Life, and RE-FIRE, Don’t Retire: 7 Secrets of Highly Successful Retirees She was featured by Time magazine for their article on women in mid-life who have reinvented themselves.
If you are ready to “RE-FIRE” your life sign up for my free 7 day audio mini course on the 7 biggest mistakes retires make and how to avoid them for an extraordinary life at http://www.refiredontretire.com
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