Keeping up with life is easier after retirement when you have far fewer responsibilities to family and work. But you may also find that while your very busy routine of life has changed, creating a new routine is key to maintaining the healthy and active lifestyle you have waited so long to achieve. Take a look at how the benefits of a daily routine can really make life better.
Even in retirement life can be messy, but one of the benefits of a daily routine is that you can keep your life organized on many levels. Think about routines as your normal operating procedure for taking care of everything from cleaning house to paying bills to enjoying favorite pastimes to visiting with friends and family. By creating routines that incorporate not only the things you have to do but also those you want to do, you will find it is easier to get everything done without forgetting or running out of time. For great tips on reaping the organizational benefits of a daily routine check out thespruce.com article, “How to Create a Weekly Routine to Stay Organized.”
Aging brings many challenges and not the least of these is the feeling that you are losing control of your own life. Suddenly well-meaning family members are telling you what to do and when to do it, making you feel like you are no longer the independent senior you know you are. But having a daily routine shows the world that you are indeed in control and can manage much of your own life, even if you do need some help occasionally or even daily.
The benefits of a daily routine are especially evident in seniors with dementia. According to the verywellhealth.com article, “The Benefits of Routines for People With Dementia” which notes that routines help dementia patients remember better, maintain abilities, reduce anxiety, and remain independent longer.
Of course, feeling that you are losing control can also be stressful and one of the greatest benefits of a daily routine is that of stress reduction because with a routine, you know what’s happening and when, so there are no surprises to catch you up short.
For example, establish a morning routine to include waking up at the same time, dressing, personal hygiene, brewing coffee or tea, preparing breakfast, and reading the news or returning emails. Not only does this help you feel organized and in control, creating a daily routine for yourself also lets family and friends know when you are available to talk or visit without intruding. This routine will provide the private time you need to prepare for the day, feel happier, and not obliged to conform to someone else’s schedule. Find out more about the benefits of a daily routine in the webmd.com article, “Psychological Benefits of Routines.”
Remember when you had to back-burner goals like losing 10 pounds, taking up a new hobby, or volunteering because of family and work obligations? There is no better time than retirement to set those goals and work toward achieving them with a routine. For example, losing weight is much easier when you work out regularly so creating a daily routine that includes time for exercise makes that goal attainable. Or perhaps allotting time for working on a hobby each day, even if it’s just an hour or two can be very gratifying and productive, as can volunteering for a cause you care about. Once done, you will quickly realize the benefits of a daily routine and how it can make life more fulfilling. Learn more in the linkedin.com article, “Benefits of Having Routines For Your Goals.”
Making meals “routine” may not seem like a great idea, but when you portion out parts of your day to concentrate on preparing healthy and well-balanced meals you will improve nutrition, which is key to aging well. Another good idea is to make weekly meal planning part of your routine so you have a shopping list ready and can purchase everything you need for a week in one trip. Also consider incorporating regular healthy snacks in the routine to avoid dietary pitfalls like cookies, salty snacks or sugar-filled sodas to curb between-meal hunger pains. For great meal planning tips, ideas and sample menus checkout the National Institute on Aging article, “Healthy Meal Planning: Tips for Older Adults.”
The benefits of a daily routine can go a long way toward living the carefree and active life you deserve. To learn more about how senior living can help, download our “Stay or Go” guide, then contact us to schedule your Thrive Senior Living tour.