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Avoiding depression in retirement years

Author: Ann Bailey
Published: Oct 11 2012

While many discussions surrounding retirement tend to focus on money, the truth is that there are far more important investments to be made. Social scientists and doctors have long since discovered the correlation between human activities and interactions and better overall health. Below are just some of what modern-day senior living communities offer that have been proven to bring happiness in retirement years.

1. Seek companionship and friendship.

The number one thing that contributes to overall health and well being is compassion and that is established through human relationships. According to our facility sources for independent living in Gainesville GA, of the many enjoyable activities to bring contentment, spending time with others is at the top of the list for having an enjoyable and worthwhile life. It is even more important as people advance in years to have good friends and family partners in many rewarding activities.

2. Use technology.

Despite what some may think retired people who use technology have found it to be a great way to get and stay connected. Many people have family and friends who live far away, so using computers, cell phones, emails and texting can be a very affordable way to keep in touch. Additionally, social networks offer a way to make new friends. As long as safety and good common sense is considered, seniors can enjoy all that is offered in the modern digital age.

3. Volunteer and find community engagement.

Researchers have found that doing things for others goes a long way toward personal contentment. Whether directly or through group activities, helping others can add a tremendous level of value to one’s sense of identity and worth. Similar to work, volunteering allows people to feel connected and validated.

Also, volunteering is a great way to make many new friends and acquaintances. There is no better way to feel fulfilled than through volunteering. An added bonus is that it also includes ways to naturally engage in physical exercise.

4. Keep studying and learning.

Well-being and longevity are enhanced easily through education. Non-financial benefits of increased knowledge include brain stimulation which maintains healthy blood flow. Better coping skills from learning help seniors work towards having a balanced, calm and more fulfilling life. Education also allows everyone to make better decisions, particularly concerning emotional and physical health. Continuing to learn in retirement is critical to motivate staying active, which is also crucial. The mind is just like a muscle that needs to be kept challenged and engaged. Remaining mentally active creates direct satisfaction and allows for better overall health.

5. Know your goals and purposes.

Just because one retires does not mean that goals retire as well. In fact, retirement offers the opportunity to do many of the things that one had no time for previously.

Taking the time to establish new goals adds enormous value to one’s life. Goals such as working toward better education for others and contributing to community related activities not only make people better human beings, but encourage others to do the same.

Retirement is a time that can include even more aspirations than before. Those who are engaged with life are naturally in better health and experience far more contentment. Above are just a few of the many aspects to consider while enjoying a senior retirement community for a more independent, aware and content life.

Ann Bailey teaches art to adults of all ages and encourages senior learning experiences. She contributes this article on expanded learning opportunities for seniors at locations like Lake Lanier's community independent living in Gainesville GA, The Holbrook, a senior residence facility that offers healthy, active living experiences for its residents.

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