Do you remember some of the challenges you faced early in life? I vividly recall two instances in kindergarten when I had to learn new skills.
I was proud that I was able to ride my bike to school every day. And I was the only boy to learn how to skip rope for the graduation held in front of all the parents of the class. It took me 40 years to realize that while the three girls were skipping to the beat of the music, I was just skipping “pepper”!
We have all experienced life challenges — from learning to drive to making the team to welcoming students on the first day of school.
Now that we have entered this new phase in life — retirement — we face new challenges. We fill our daily schedules with activities we may never have tried before. For example, I’m learning to play the piano. I know members who are mapping their family history, studying painting or taking up a new sport.
A common challenge for many of us is social isolation and loneliness. The RTOERO Foundation has focused on ways to overcome social isolation. Here are some research-based strategies to stay engaged:
- Connect regularly with family and friends.
- Prioritize self-care.
- Make moderate exercise a regular part of your routine.
- Get enough sleep — try for seven or eight hours a night.
- Pursue activities you enjoy to manage stress and stay mentally and physically healthy.
Continuing to engage with people and the world around us is not just good for our souls, but it’s good for our health too.
We know people who engage in meaningful, productive activities with others feel a sense of purpose and tend to live longer. For example, helping others through volunteering gives you a feeling of mission and purpose, which is linked to better health.
The challenges we face change throughout our lives. What doesn’t change is our ability to meet these challenges — and to learn and grow from them.
Stay connected and engaged!