6/10/2020 | By Terri L. Jones

After our kids leave home and we retire from our jobs, so many of us settle into passive lifestyles, where we just float on the waves that others make but don’t make many of our own anymore. Coasting through life can be peaceful and relaxing, even a relief after a hard-charging life; however, it can also lead to ennui and restlessness. Not the way I want to spend my “golden years!”

When you’re feeling bored or stuck in a rut, below are some ways to challenge yourself.

Learn Something New

Whether it’s mastering the skills needed for a retirement job or just taking a fun flower arranging class, acquiring new information and challenging our minds to work in new ways can stimulate the growth of new brain cells. “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health,” said Dr. Ipsit Vahia, director of geriatric outpatient services for Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, in Harvard Health Publishing. “The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy.”

Do Something That Scares You

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” Eleanor Roosevelt wrote after her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, died. Taking brave steps, like vacationing alone, speaking before a group or even moving to a new town, may feel scary at the time, but these leaps of faith lead to a place of greater strength, confidence and courage.

Meet New People

There’s a certain comfort in being around people you’ve known for a long time; however, your relationships may have grown a little stale over the years. Meeting new friends and going through the process of getting to know them can help you not only expand your social circle but also grow as a person.

Champion a Cause

Few things light the fire within us like standing up for our beliefs. Whether campaigning for a political candidate, joining a committee or sitting on the board of an organization, challege yourself: this advocacy can give your life a sense of purpose and in so doing make you feel more vital and engaged with life.

Don’t just sail off into the sunset. Go out there and test the water, rock the boat and make some waves!

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over 10 years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones