It can be hard to step outside of your comfort zone, especially when we've been set in our ways for so many years. But good things come to those who are open to new experiences! Here are ten things to keep in mind when trying something new, as well as a few suggestions for potentially “new” activities this summer.
1. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to try
Many of us have things we’ve wanted to try for years, but just haven’t gotten around to them yet. Well, there’s no time like the present, and it’s never too late! Think about activities you’re interested in, hobbies you’ve dipped your toes in before, or even brand-new things you never considered but sound fun now.
2. Find something you’re interested in
Don’t just choose the first thing you find – do some research and figure out what sounds like the most fun! Make sure it's something that you can look forward to.
3. Try it with a friend
Friends make everything better, and sometimes a little moral support goes a long way. Venturing into the unknown can be intimidating, but testing the waters with a friend brings comfort, camaraderie, and strength in numbers! The saying “better together than apart” rings true, especially when you need a little nudge.
4. Keep an open mind
It’s important to try new experiences with an open mind and your best foot forward. If you go in with the mentality that something won’t be fun, or you won’t like it, odds are you won’t! Be optimistic and try not to allow yourself to create a preconceived notion without having given it a fair shot.
5. Seek opportunities to learn
Learning keeps our bodies and brains engaged. It’s just as important to exercise our minds as it is our bodies, and learning new things can offer more than just fun facts! Go out and try something new, then bring it back and tell everyone about it at dinner or share your new fun facts with your grandkids and friends; you might be able to teach someone else what you’ve learned and pass on the gift of knowledge!
6. Seek opportunities to reminisce and look at how things have changed
Age brings wisdom and experience, two gifts most of us didn’t have much of as youngsters. It can be fun to go back to places we knew earlier in our lives or analyze things we used to know from our current perspectives. Seeking opportunities to reminisce on old times and compare things to what they used to be versus how they’ve changed can be great fun, especially when we take the advice of tip number three and do this with a friend!
7. Be proactive
Being proactive is so important. Don’t let circumstances or perceived obstacles hold you back. If you want to do something, take the steps or make the changes to do it! And don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your community is here to help ensure that you are getting exactly what you want out of your retired life.
8. Get outside
The great outdoors is such a gift, so take advantage of it! Studies have shown that spending time outside and getting fresh air and sunshine can boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that improves mood and helps with positive emotions, which can motivate us to do things and feel better overall.
9. Seek opportunities to get involved in your community
Community involvement is great for both socialization and giving us a sense of purpose. Giving back to our communities can make us feel like we are contributing, as well as have a positive impact on those around us.
10. If you’re in a senior living community – submit your outing and activity ideas!
Your community exists to serve YOU. If you have ideas about fun outings or activities to host in house, let your Activities Director know. Any excuse to bring people together and create fun for all is a great opportunity, and your friends and residents might have the same idea!
Below are just a few “new” things to consider trying this summer season. Let these tools help guide you and get after it! The world is your oyster!
- Start a walking group
- Seek volunteer opportunities in your communities
- Look for game groups like bridge, bunco, or poker
- Propose museum trips or town tours to learn about local history or reminisce on old times
- Meet new friends by asking residents you may not have met yet to join you for mealtime
- Start a book club