What Hobbies Help Retirees Stay Mentally Alert and Smart?

by Wendy

As I sit here, I suddenly wondered: What Hobbies Help Us Stay Mentally Alert and Smart?

I think READING would be top on my list. My dear friend, Phyllis, was an avid reader. She'd get Audio Books from the Library for the three book clubs she belonged to.

She was SO well read... she knew lots about the world, because she learned through reading. Her vision wasn't great (in her mid-80s) but that never stopped her, she found the same books in audio without a problem. She also was a great conversationalist because of her wide knowledge of all things read... makes perfect sense to me!

My Dad, Chuck, at age 88, likes crossword puzzle books using a pencil... not on the computer. They keep him searching for the right word, sometimes, hours later, it dawns on him and he goes running back to complete the puzzle. The brain is being used to find that perfect word and that's great!

My husband, Terry, loves playing music on his guitar. He plays for several local churches, and has a pretty full schedule (for a retiree) with practices and playing on the weekends (and some weeknights). This really keeps him mentally working those brain neurons... especially since he performs in front of people every week! Plus - he is forced to learn new songs all the time, depending on what each church chooses for the service.

Then there is ME. Everything I do is on the computer... creating my website, images, writing articles and books. I just LOVE my site and all the work and challenges that comes with it. I love Facebook, where I connect socially with my friends and followers... love to see what others are doing out in the world!

Finally... we all need to take walks outdoors. Short naps work too! How on earth do walking outside and naps connect? Well, both allow you to Disconnect from life for a bit.

I am a workaholic and could sit all day long at the computer. Just in the last year or two, I've found, much to my surprise, that stepping away provides me so much more creativity in life. When I sit all day long, the thought patterns start to decline and eventually I get confused and maybe even crabby. But - when I take breaks, I am way more alert, happier, and focused when I am back on task. Take a walk outdoors, and give yourself time for some personal introspection while also being outside and away from home.

So, What Do YOU Do to Keep Mentally Alert?

Go Retirees!

Comments for What Hobbies Help Retirees Stay Mentally Alert and Smart?

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by: Grace. Edmonton. CanadaYour Name/Location

I play "sudoku" . I found out that it 's not just brain exercise "... It also helps you to calm down and peaceful .....

by: Pat/Delaware

My favorite hobby has been gardening for as long as I can remember. In addition to providing beneficial exercise, I find that while I am dealing with the pesty worms and weeds, I can work through problems, come up with additional bucket list activities and dream of all those destinations I might want to travel to.

An Idea for Wendy
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA


During the 80's I had a website and a question board and I received questions from people all over the world. No charge.

It was on certain subjects I had researched for many years with clients and which I had taught at the local comm. college and in my home and on radio. The question board was hugely successful but then my husband became ill and I stopped it.

I don't know whether having a type of INTERACTIVE FORUM on this website would be too much to manage but you would be excellent at it. Right now you are doing it to a large extent.

WENDY'S OPINION FORUM could offer up a subject each month that might be of general interest, and would allow people to directly write in and offer opinions on the subject discussed. You could even accept people 's subjects they would like to see addressed.
It might be too much for you to take on ...or It might be quite a dynamic venture. Elna

Wendy WOW...that's an interesting idea. Just wrote it down, let me think about how to do it. Thanks!!

computer solitaire card game
by: mildred/tn

I have many small hobbies-container gardening for vegs an flowers, You Tube and Crackle for free movies, Facebook, email sites for frugal living, working on my budget to get it lower than the month before ,reading, telephone buddies, visits to family...but most I play solitaire on the computer. I place it in the right hand corner of my computer screen and play while I watch a movie etc.

by: Linda C., Annapolis, MD

I can easily entertain myself (retired since 2005) - and the latest 'hobby/activity' that I've been doing is: I find read-online short stories by famous authors (a huge collection out there!) and I not only make a list of them that I've read, but I make notes to myself about why I did or didn't like a particular story or style.

If a photo of the author isn't given, I Google one. I also keep certain 'lines' or 'excerpts' that have touched me for one reason or another and I share some of those with friends on Facebook. I am also reading THE FUN OF IT (Stories from 'The Talk of the Town' - NEW YORKER, edited by Lillian Ross). They are quite entertaining and if I don't know the person of subject, I also Google them and learn a bit more about them (These are from the 1920s - 2000. This indulgence has provided me with a type of 'education' as well as some good giggles!

Another fun thing I do for myself (not so much for the 'brain'..) is a 'Nostalgic Day' once a week. This involves watching old TV shows or DVDs, then playing music from favorite past eras while cooking something that reminds me of my mother's or grandmother's dinners when I was growing up. I could share more ideas but will stop here now ;)

A Change In Direction
by: John A. / Tyler, Tx

We hear about all the wonderful technologies improving our lives. At first when I retired I thought technology would be the answer to keeping my mind occupied and active after retirement. I started a web site on solar power and wrote about it for a couple of years and used the latest and greatest technologies to help make it successful. But, that idea began to wane after a couple of years and I lost interest. There was something missing; something technology alone could not fill.

Then two years ago a friend introduced me to ham radio and I have never looked back. This hobby is exploding with new technologies everyday. But, it's not the technology that excites me. Instead, it is the interaction I have with other people that I find most rewarding and keeps me going.

Through the world of ham radio, I not only learn new things and about electronics, I have a whole new circle of friends locally and around the world. It is wonderful to make new friends / acquaintances each day as I talk with folks in the next community or on the other side of the world. And these folks are reaching back to me for the same reasons.

So, if there are some out there wondering what to do in retirement, why not give ham radio a try? Licensing is very easy to get started and one can begin on a budget with a few dollars.

On top of this, one will learn about electronics, how radio waves propagate to reach around the world and make new and meaningful relationships. Ham radio is more about friendships than anything else. And now I have been blessed with many new friends I communicate with on a daily basis and get together with for lunch and dinner.

by: Deborah, Bath OH

If you like walking, if you like adventure, if you like mystery, if you like puzzles, if you like scavenger hunts, use your smartphone, and get geocaching with others.....worldwide!
Difficulty levels 1-5; terrain levels 1-5.

Do solo or with friends

Free app CEO: geo

On Blogs...
by: Wendy

There are millions of blogs out there, but every single person will do it differently and have a different voice.

-- You must have a niche, so search engines and visitors know who/what you are. If you write about everything and anything, you will get no visitors. Period. (Other than family and friends, and the occasional person finding you).

-- You also don't have to find advertisers. If you do it well, they will find you. You can earn commissions or affiliate fees from many other sites, like Amazon. Just sign up, grab code for whatever item it is that you want to promote, and start writing!

Best Wishes!

A lot of options, no focus yet.
by: Anonymous

I am still working full time at 67, in the health care field. My job involves a lot of driving so I, too, check out audio books from the local library through Overdrive which is free and you don't have to be online to listen.

Right now I think my brain is staying active by searching for what I want to do after retirement, I have a lot of interests, one is animals, I will definitely volunteer for the animal shelter maybe a day week, but I need something for a little pin money as I call it.

I am planning to start a website or blog maybe health related or not, and possibly get some advertisers. Some people are discouraging me saying that area is saturated, would like to know what other readers think about it.

I like growing things as I am in South Florida so it can be pretty much a year round thing. I say I have too many options, need to focus. I would also like to do healthy cooking classes for children.

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