During your working years, you may have looked forward to retirement as a time to downshift and watch the world pass you by. Now that you’re in retirement though, you might be finding yourself wondering about your purpose in life.
For many retired older adults, volunteering offers a clear and meaningful answer to the question of your life’s new purpose. Each day you wake up with the knowledge that you’re making a tangible difference in your community or supporting a cause close to your heart.
9 benefits to volunteering in retirement
#1. Improved mental health
Volunteering is about giving of yourself, and with giving comes receiving some benefits as well. It provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment that can do wonders for your mental well-being. The joy of making a positive impact on others can be a powerful antidote to feelings of loneliness, depression, or isolation.
#2. Increased physical activity
Many volunteering roles come with a healthy dose of physical activity, whether it’s tending to a community garden, taking shelter dogs for a stroll, sorting cans in a local food bank, or helping out at local events. Staying active through volunteering is a fantastic way to keep your body in good shape and maintain your mobility.
#3. Getting out of the house
Volunteering can be the perfect excuse to leave the confines of your home. It offers a chance to establish a new routine, explore new environments, interact with different people, and add variety to your day-to-day life.
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#4. Building new friendships and growing your social circle
Volunteer opportunities introduce you to like-minded individuals who share your interests and values. The connections you form can blossom into lifelong friendships, combating the potential for social isolation that can sometimes accompany aging. Plus, the people you meet might even be helpful the next time you need a ride to an appointment.
#5. Reigniting old passions
Now that you have more time on your hands, it’s an ideal moment to rediscover the hobbies and interests you may have set aside during your busy career. Volunteering in areas that align with your passions can be an incredibly fulfilling experience, especially if your hobby is one that you can teach to a younger generation, like woodworking, creative writing, or art.
#6. Lifelong learning
Many volunteer roles offer opportunities to acquire new skills, polish existing ones, and share your knowledge with others. This continuous learning keeps your mind sharp and engaged, contributing to your cognitive well-being.
#7. Giving back to the community
Your years of experience and wisdom are invaluable assets. Volunteering enables you to share your knowledge and leave a lasting, positive impact on younger generations.
#8. Sense of belonging
Being part of a volunteer team fosters a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie. This feeling of being needed and appreciated can significantly boost your self-esteem and overall happiness.
#9. Leaving a legacy
Volunteering allows you to create a lasting legacy of kindness and compassion. It’s your chance to be remembered for the positive influence you’ve had on your community and the lives of those around you.
For more information about the independent living lifestyle that a senior living community can offer, check out our free ebook, Just the Facts: Independent Living.