Retirement Planning | April 14, 2022 |

Top 10 Hobbies for Seniors in Retirement

5 minute read
Top 10 Hobbies for Seniors in Retirement

What’s your favourite hobby? If you’re struggling to answer this question, it could be you haven’t found that thing yet to occupy your time now that you can enjoy your retirement. Hobbies are great because—unlike your career—there’s no pressure. There aren’t any hard deadlines or any goals other than the hobby itself. And when you’re retired, filling your days with something you enjoy is its own reward. 

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips on how to find a hobby and a list of activities you may wish to explore. After all, you deserve to spend your retirement on activities that bring you pleasure. 

How do I find a retirement hobby?

You’re retired now, or perhaps you will be soon enough. It’s time to plan your days with things you enjoy and adding a hobby should be near the top of that list. Or perhaps you really want to plan a hobby but don’t know where to start. In that case, here are some ways to find a hobby: 

Make a list of things you enjoy 

This is simple but also very effective. List all the things you enjoy doing. Don’t worry about how silly it sounds. No one is reading this list but you, so lay it all out there. Once you have that list, start prioritizing the ones that get you the most excited. You don’t need twenty hobbies to fill your time, but two or three that you can do consistently should keep you occupied.   

Try something you used to love as a child 

It’s almost ironic that the times you feel most free to do what you want are when you were a child and when you’re retired. Reflect on some of that childhood freedom as a starting point, then figure out if it’s still something that interests you now. If it does, why not give it a try. You were so curious as a child and with the extra time you have now, let that curiosity guide you to find new hobbies. 

Try the opposite of what you think you’d enjoy 

A big part of retirement is trying new things. Of course, there are activities you already enjoy and can’t wait to start doing in retirement, but don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try something you never thought you’d do. 

Find a hobby that makes you feel productive

While taking up a new hobby shouldn’t feel like pressure, if you’re someone who likes to push themselves, then consider an activity that has an end goal. Maybe helping some of your friends decorate their home or maybe you’re good at organizing budgets and want to help friends with that. Those are activities that should give you that feeling of accomplishment that you’re looking for. Also, consider volunteering. You may not get that immediate rush, but your time and effort would go a long way to helping someone else’s life.   

Take a class 

Hobbies are great, but when they don’t involve other people, it can get lonely. Taking a class gives you a chance to learn with a group of people who share your interests. Maybe you’ll even make a friend or two who can join you in one of your hobbies. Even though you may not be in it to make friends, the energy of a group is a good boost from your more individual hobbies. 

A senior couple take up dancing as a hobby in retirement

Benefits of hobbies for seniors 

Hobbies aren’t just time fillers. If you’re spending time on something you’re truly passionate about or excited about learning, then there are some real benefits, especially in retirement. 

Add joy to your day 

It’s important to remember that retirement is about you. It’s about what you love and enjoy and the top benefit of any hobby should be pure happiness. Engaging in an activity simply for the joy of it is good for us in more ways than one. This study shows that people who have hobbies report a greater positive mood, well-being, and life satisfaction. 

Opportunity to socialize 

We really are social creatures, and if you’re not intentional about your days, retirement may feel isolating. Finding at least one hobby that involves other people makes sure you’re connecting with other people. Even if you’re an introvert, trying at least one social hobby is a good idea. Remember, there’s no more office, no more meetings. And while that can feel liberating, it cuts down on the amount of conversations you have during the day. 

Find a purpose 

When you stop working, it’s easy to lose your sense of purpose. You’ve likely been connected to your line of work for decades, and now that’s over. To offset some of this nostalgia, find a hobby that’s intrinsically connected to your morals and values. Something that gives you that feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment that’s unique from other activities you do purely for enjoyment.  

Sense of accomplishment

Similar to finding purpose in your hobby, a hobby can also make you feel a sense of accomplishment. These hobbies are likely in line with ones that make you feel productive, so if ticking items off your to-do list is your thing, finding a hobby to match that desire can be of benefit. 

Helps you transition into retirement  

Retired folks will let you know that retirement can be jarring. Even if you’re well prepared, transitioning out of the routine of full-time—or even part-time—employment is something that’s difficult to adjust to. Finding hobbies you’ll enjoy that bring you a sense of purpose can ease that transition by helping you form new routines to look forward to. 

Keeps you mentally and physically active

Hobbies can be a great way for seniors to stay active in retirement – either with a focus on mental stimulation, such as reading books or doing crossword puzzles, or on physical activity through things like tai chi or yoga. Read more about the 10 best exercises for people over 50.

A retired couple take an online yoga class as a retirement hobby

Hobby ideas for older adults  

Hobbies are a great way to stay active and engaged with everyday life, no matter your age. Whether you’re just starting to explore your interests or looking for new hobbies, it’s never too late to get creative and try something new.

If you’re an older adult who needs ideas for a new hobby, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled the best hobbies for seniors, so all you have to do is pick one and get started!

1. Yoga 

Just saying the word “yoga” makes you feel more calm. It’s the perfect blend of physical, mental, and spiritual exercise. Because there are so many variations, you can choose a style of yoga that suits your current skill level. Restorative yoga, for example, focuses more on taking your time with each pose rather than speed, while Vinyasa yoga is a more physically challenging experience. Learn more about our online yoga classes.

2. Cooking 

Yes, cooking takes some skill and maybe it’s something you’ve been doing your whole life. But when you take up cooking as a hobby, you tap into the creativity of the craft and open yourself up to new possibilities. Maybe you’ve always wanted to bake or maybe there’s a recipe you saw on your favourite cooking show that you’ve always wanted to try. Cooking as a hobby is as much about enjoying the process for yourself as it is about eating delicious food. 

3. Tai Chi

Tai Chi is all about connection. It connects your physical and spiritual body with the natural energy of the universe. Sounds a bit fancy, but tai chi is expressed through slow, simple movements that originated centuries ago from martial arts. Similar to yoga, taking up tai chi as a hobby keeps you physically and mentally active and adds a social layer of connection if you do a group Tai Chi class.

4. Calligraphy 

With so much of our communication happening online, calligraphy has become a precious art form of writing. The translation literally means “beautiful writing” and when you participate in this art form, you can appreciate the nuance of lettering in a way you can’t get through typing. Calligraphy is great as a hobby because there’s no rush to it. You’re trying to perfect the creation of every letter and your only goal being to get better. That said, it would be a nice gesture to send someone a letter written in calligraphy; think how special a gift that would be to receive. 

5. Gardening 

Yes, this is seasonal, but even during the cold months, taking care of houseplants is still a form of gardening. That may not replace the feeling of being outside planting seeds or wrestling with weeds while you think of ways to design your garden, but that’s okay. You should welcome those changes in pattern. It keeps your gardening hobby interesting and presents new challenges as the process shifts from outdoors to indoors. And with new challenges come opportunities to try new methods, which is not only exciting but helps keep you engaged in the process. 

6. Baking 

Baking is different from cooking because it takes more precision. But that precision is what makes it the perfect hobby. If you’ve never baked before or have only done so sparingly, it can take a lot of patience and practice to master. Now that you have a lot more time on your hands, you can get lost for hours in the kitchen baking variations of apple pies, cranberry cookies, or an elaborate carrot cake. And the best part about baking as a hobby is that you get to taste your creations.

7. Ballet 

Don’t be intimidated. We know you’re thinking about dancers up on their tiptoes doing pirouettes that may seem impossible while you were in your twenties. But ballet is far more age agnostic than it gets credit for. It’s really all about movement and learning dancing skills and techniques that are in line with the spirit of ballet. So although one-person shows at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts may not be in your future, ballet as a hobby is physically and creatively challenging, along with being a lot of fun. Learn more about our beginner dance classes.

8. Painting 

Painting is a low-intensity activity that almost feels meditative. As focused as you are on creating art the best you can, your mind can wander and be at ease throughout your sessions. Painting is great as a hobby because you can come back to it every day and go at your own pace. One painting can take days or even weeks to complete, while others can be done within an hour. It’s up to you, but this is one of those hobbies you can do every day. 

9. Osteofit 

If the yoga and tai chi are a bit too lightweight and you want a straight up workout, then Osteofit might be the hobby for you. It’s all about strength and balance, and can be done with hand weights or bodyweight. You should always check with your doctor before doing any physical workout, but once you have the green light, find an online fitness class for seniors and make it part of your week. 

10. Photography

Photography is a great reason to head outdoors and discover new neighbourhoods, new sites and new experiences. Smartphones make it so you don’t really need to make any additional investment in equipment (unless you want to, of course) and editing software is free or cheap to download. Every new place you go and every new experience is a chance to take photos. 

Find your retirement routine with Boomerang 

Pursuing your interests or rediscovering your passions has never been easier. With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 100+ online classes a month in areas of physical, mental and financial wellness. Our online classses are led by passionate instructors to help you live your life to the fullest. 

Sign up to Boomerang today.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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