What are other options besides work? Explore Volunteerism!
Find a volunteer gig – not something to fill time, but something that really fulfills you.
Volunteerism is an area that is wide open. Places where you can make a difference both for those you are helping and for helping yourself. Visit this link offered by the Corporation of National and Community Services. Whatever your passions are, whatever touches your heart, there are many places that welcome volunteers.
How can you help?
Think about our own life span so far and you will be able to picture the life spans of those who may need some type of help. For example:
There are babies to be rocked, and toddlers to be watched.
Children need tutoring and teens need mentoring.
College kids need a surrogate ‘family-like’ place to regroup.
Nurseries need helpers and senior centers need caregivers.
Blood banks need donors
Missions need teachers.
Libraries need storytellers
Hospitals need folks ready with a quick smile and a reassuring hand.
Election headquarters need campaigners.
School field trips need chaperones.
Warm meals need delivered.
Those disabled need transportation.
Lonely folks need company.
The list, like the “beat of the Sixties” that we Boomers are so familiar with, just goes on.
Most of these volunteer opportunities don’t require special skills. They require the precious gift that you now have, time. Time is the same commodity that is in short supply when you’re working 40 hours a week.
Research shows there is as much benefit to you from volunteering as there is for those you are helping.
You might be counting down the days to retirement. I know I was, but I always knew that I’d want to do some kind of work when my “career” came to an end.
You don’t have to rush into it. Take some time to bask in the joy of ignoring the alarm clock. Remember when you were a kid and the early days of June heralded the long and wonderful summer ahead? That’s how the start of retirement is. The world opens up before you with endless possibilities.
But if you decide you want to work, how do you get started? You might want to make a list of all the things you’ve been interested in doing over the years. Maybe you want to remain in the field where you’ve worked, or maybe you’d like to branch out and try something completely new.
You may be able to turn your current skill-set into a consulting job or a part-time teaching position, either on-line or in a classroom. If that’s what you want to do, then finding part time work in those field might be easier while you still have your career position and contacts. Dixie worked for several years as a marketing consultant when she retired, and I’m still teaching online. It’s wonderful to get up and work in your pajamas.
If that isn’t feasible and you want to try something you’ve never done like flower arranging or working at the golf course, then a time lapse after retirement shouldn’t hurt your choices. Go for it. It should be fun.
“According to US News, 60% of workers over sixty look for a job in retirement.”
Okay, so you have this precious new gift. 40-60 hours a week that you haven’t had for the past several years. How will you fulfill your life?… not your work life, your retired life? How will you use these 60- minute gifts?
Take a couple of “vacation weeks” and decide. If you want to sleep for two weeks, do it. If you want to lay on the beach with your toes in the sand, do it. These hours are YOURS!
After decompression from a workweek filled up by others, decide how to arrange this next very important phase of your life? Your expanded life. Your freed-up life!
Stress isn’t all bad. Being mildly stressed can actually help us perform better in a committee presentation or on the tennis court. It gives us a little edge, and it’s been around forever. It’s the thing that helped our ancestors outrun the saber-toothed tiger, and though the tiger is long gone, the stress of modern life – even in retirement – can rob us of the joy we seek at this time in our lives.
It’s living with chronic stress – that constant bombardment of worry and anxiety – that’s the real problem. You know that tight feeling you get in the middle of your chest or the pit of your stomach? Your heart pounds; your hands get sweaty; and you wake up worrying in the middle of the night. Eventually, it can lead to health problems by making our hearts work harder and harming our immune systems. That means that stress management should be a priority for all of us.
The good news is that there’s plenty we can do to control the stress in our lives. All we need is a plan! In the next few blog posts we’ll be talking about taking steps to conquer stress in our lives. Let’s get started right away.
Three easy steps to getting started with stress management: