Creative Pursuits to Increase ROL in Retirement
You don't have to be an artist to add some art to your retirement. From singing in a choir to taking an improv class, creative activities can improve your health, encourage self-expression, and expand your vision of a positive Return on Life.
Here are three reasons why seniors should consider including an artistic hobby in their Ideal Week in Retirement.
1.Art is good for your mind and body.
According to a report by the World Health Organization, creative activity can help prevent and treat mental and physical illnesses, including dementia, schizophrenia, depression, and even cancer. Making art can also reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and fill your days with a greater sense of purpose. Instead of dreading the blank spaces in your retirement calendar, you might look forward to an extra hour where you can paint, throw clay on your pottery wheel, or design custom shelving for your living room. Art can also open up quiet spaces where you can reflect, express your feelings, and connect with the ideas and values that are most important to you.
One art form that can have immediate benefits to your wellbeing every day is cooking. Plan out meals in advance, shop for healthy ingredients, and practice new skills with help from cookbooks or online videos.
2. Art can increase your social circle.
Although we sometimes think of art as a solitary activity, even the best artists often turn to each other for support and encouragement as they perfect their crafts. Writers have circles where they share what they’re working on. Singers and dancers practice their movements and harmonies together. Painters mingle at gallery nights.
Amateurs can find that same sense of community in classes, workshops, and local showcases. If you are serious about developing a particular talent, teachers and peers will help you learn and inspire more ambitious work. And if you're just throwing paint around for the fun of it, you'll likely meet other adventurous seniors who might lead you to a series of new artistic adventures.
You could also organize more of your retirement schedule around your artistic interests. Take vacations to see some of the world’s great museums. Attend lectures by artists you admire. Visit art shows and university events to immerse yourself in the local scene and expose yourself to new ideas and emerging talent.
3. Art can be your new career.
Folks who cultivated creative habits professionally or in their spare time often devote themselves to their crafts in retirement. With a little extra focus and a little extra time to sharpen your skills, your art might even develop into a new career. You could sell your paintings, crafts, or woodworking at local art fairs or in your own online store. Devote a few hours every day to finishing your novel and publishing it on your website.
Creative professionals might also find ways to repurpose their skills in retirement so that they can earn some extra money or give back. The nonprofit you couldn't afford to work for when you were raising kids might hire you part time to update their website, redesign their logo, compose a new radio jingle, or write content for their blog. Your local school might need a substitute art teacher. Open up your at-home music studio and teach guitar lessons. Create your own series of masterclass YouTube videos or host a workshop at the local senior center.
Finding a fulfilling balance of activities and relationships in retirement can be an art in and of itself. Schedule a meeting and let's work through our Ideal Week in Retirement interactive planning tool to help you start sketching in your calendar.