8 ways to make the most of your free time now that you’re retired

8 ways to make the most of your free time now that you’re retired

The excitement of retirement is finally here – so from taking on new projects to enjoying the luxury of relaxing, here's some inspiration for how to spend your days.

The excitement of retirement is finally here – so from taking on new projects to enjoying the luxury of relaxing, here's some inspiration for how to spend your days.

Retirement can bring up so many emotions – it’s the close of your career, which can feel strange, but it also means you finally have the time and freedom to choose different ways to spend your days.

Leaving a career behind provides the opportunity to try a whole new way of life, which itself is exciting and stimulating, but slightly scary too. If you’re now officially done with your 9-5, here’s how to make the most of it...

1. Look back to look forward

This is the perfect time to review all the experience you have under your belt. It’s not just about professional accomplishments, but also recognising the things you’ve done well over the years, both in and out of work. It might be organising every school play for a decade or remodelling the homes you’ve lived in. Write these achievements down and highlight the ones you enjoyed the most – then use this assessment to guide your next move.

2. Share your knowledge

While building your career and raising a family, you naturally end up sharing your experience with others. As soon as these roles change, it can feel as if you still have a lot to offer but fewer people to share it with.

Use your retirement to find things to do that’ll enable you to pass on your wisdom, whether that’s through volunteering or taking on a part-time role in a local business (bonus: you’ll be earning a little extra money!).

3. Embrace being a whole new you

Don’t focus on the identity you’re losing; remember that this is your time to call the shots. As you pack away your work clothes, plan a new image. If you want to get fitter, join a gym, find a walking group, start a wild-swimming group, or whatever else takes your fancy. Discuss a new hairstyle or colour with your hairdresser, overhaul your make-up with help from your favourite department-store counter, or book a personal dresser for inspiration. You’ve finally got the chance to indulge yourself a little, so take advantage!

4. Learn something new

Whether it’s a new language, a musical instrument, a whole new way to cook, or taking college classes just for the fun of it… the choices are endless when it comes to obtaining new knowledge or skills.

Getting back into education after 50 can be incredibly rewarding; from part-time and evening classes to distance learning, trying or studying something new is a pleasure you should definitely indulge in.

5. Fill your diary

Retirement can be unnerving, especially if you’re someone who likes a structured day. If this is you, accept that you prefer focus and routine, and create a new timetable that highlights the luxury of time.

Plan lunches, extended holidays, theatre outings, long walks and leisurely exhibitions with people you haven’t seen enough of recently. But be careful – your diary might fill up so quickly you need to start scheduling in downtime too!

6. Take time to travel

Now that you no longer have to be constrained by office hours, less-than-generous leave entitlements and school holidays, you have the perfect opportunity to spread your wings and explore the world.

Whether it’s a cheeky city break (you’ll get great deals now you can go midweek) or an epic expedition exploring an area you have always wanted to visit. Now you have the time to spend as long as you’d like, there has never been so good a time to travel.

Planning a trip soon? Check out our video on how to make the most of the space in your carry-on case in the video below:

7. Spend more on you

Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, grandmother… you’re someone special to so many people, but you’re also still you. If you find yourself with more free time, perhaps you’ll spend some of it looking after your grandchildren, getting involved in a friend’s project or helping your children out as and when they need it.

But, for once, your first focus should be you. What have you always wanted to do but never had the time for? Grow your own vegetables? Adopt a rescue dog? Go on a sailing holiday?

Now’s the time to do it, for the sake of both your physical and mental health. Looking after yourself will keep you feeling younger and more energised for longer.

And don’t forget the small things like keeping your mouth healthy too. Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair Toothpaste helps promotes a healthy and youthful smile by taking care of your gums every day, and that can give you a huge confidence boost – so important when you’re embarking on a project of your own.

8. Always set yourself new challenges

Retirement frees you from the constraints of work, but challenge is good for everyone. The bravest people are those who try something that doesn’t come easily to them, so write down a list of situations you’ve always considered awkward, and work your way through them, from learning to dive to public speaking. It’ll help you feel empowered and comfortable with yourself, and give you new goals to constantly tackle.

And if you haven’t yet retired, be sure to check out our guide on getting retirement ready – now!

What’s been the best part of your retirement? Share your experiences with other Victoria readers in the comments section below.

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I love it

hazeld15 28/02/2018

I'm 64 years old and been fully retired from work for about 3 years now due to really bad arthritis. It's such a pity we can't all retire early and make the most of what time we have left instead of having to work until we are almost too old to enjoy it. I have been fortunate. Now I can choose how I spend my days whether it's reading or browsing the internet all day or gardening and going on walks. Not that I can walk but if I could that's what I would be doing.

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