Growing old often leaves people feeling like they no longer have any purpose or goals in life. This can lead to depression and loneliness. However, you (or your loved one) do not have to settle for a life of boredom after retirement.
Seniors can do many fun things when they’re bored to keep their bodies and minds busy. Learning to paint or play the piano, sharing their expertise and knowledge with others, or discovering new places are great activities for seniors.
By keeping their minds and bodies active, senior people can stay healthy and happy years after retirement. It is estimated that adults older than 65 spend up to 10 hours a day sitting or laying down, and finding activities to avoid boredom will help keep you healthier for longer. Here are 25 things that seniors can do when they’re bored.
Visit the Local Senior Center
Many senior centers exist solely to help keep older people busy with productive and fun activities. Here, people of similar ages can enjoy games and activities such as bingo, dancing, trips to local attractions, and more. It is a great way to keep busy while also spending time with peers who may be just as lonely and bored. If you’re single, perhaps you’ll meet a special someone to brighten up your days!
Adopt a Pet
Some older folk might not be physically or financially able to adopt a pet, but if possible, this is a great way to pass the time. Adopting pets not only prevents loneliness but there are also many mental and physical health benefits associated with caring for animals. The kind of animal that you adopt depends on your personality and level of fitness. If you don’t look forward to running after a dog or taking care of a cat, you might like having a fish or hamster.
Birds are great conversation buddies, and dogs are ideal for people who enjoy taking walks. Almost any kind of pet is good for companionship, and that’s the point of having one. As long as you feel you can take care of the animal, getting a pet is a fantastic way to kill boredom. They also add a sense of security and structure to your days.
Start a New Hobby
Just because you’re more mature does not mean you have no creativity left in you. If you’re a senior and you’re bored, why not take up a new hobby? Your new hobby can be anything, as long as you enjoy it. Learning to knit or crochet, using modeling clay, or trying calligraphy are brilliant ways to keep boredom at bay.
Many of these activities (knitting, calligraphy, etc.) can even be done from the comfort of a bed or cozy sofa. When you have your hands busy with such creative activities, your mind gets stimulated as well. A stimulated mind stays sharper and healthier for longer, so the benefits are great.
If you really want to make the most of a new hobby, try something you have never done before. Perhaps an activity originating from a different country that isn’t so well known, like growing Bonsai trees or breeding silkworms at home. Of course, this depends on where you live and what is considered ‘exotic’ there.
You’ve lived a full life and went through many adventures and tribulations. Why not pen all your experiences down in a book? You don’t have to publish it or even share the book with anyone. But such writings might become precious to your family when they read about all the things you experienced in your life.
If you love fiction books and shows, why not try your hand at writing your own fictional book? It can be a lot of fun and is definitely going to help you get through many hours while you dream up worlds and characters. Poetry is also an excellent way to write down your emotions and memories. You don’t even need to stick to the ‘poetry rules.’ Just have fun with it!
Learn To Play Your Favorite Instrument
Most of us have a favorite instrument that we always enjoy listening to. While learning to play an instrument takes a lot of dedication and patience, it is a really nice way to stay busy when you’re older and bored. The benefits of playing an instrument make it worth the first few awkward tries and feeling silly. It improves hand-eye coordination, helps enhance short memory, and improves fine motor skills.
Once you get started, learning your favorite instrument can bring you hours of joy. Learning an instrument is also an excellent way to meet like-minded people of all ages who love the same music as you.
Get Your Hands Dirty in the Garden
Gardening is a very popular activity with many seniors, and for a good reason. It gets you outside and keeps your spirits up. Plus, having a thriving and beautiful garden gives you a sense of accomplishment and feelings of joy.
Even if you spend only half an hour a day outside in your garden, you’ll reap the benefits of being active and outdoors. Of course, you should always wear protection when spending time in the sun. Use a reliable sunscreen such as CeraVe Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30 to protect your skin. While not many might think it, gardening is actually a good way to stay active as you grow older. It offers a good, low-impact form of exercise that works out all the muscles.
Try Out Bird Watching
If you enjoy spending time outdoors but don’t always want to be hiking or moving quickly, bird watching is a superb alternative. You can walk at your own pace and still enjoy the wonders of mother nature. You can practice bird watching just about anywhere that birds like to hang around, though hiking spots are usually better than your backyard. Keep your eyes peeled, however. Many bird watchers sometimes spot rare specimens right in their gardens!
If you want to socialize, you can go birdwatching with a group and try to find rare birds together. There is more to bird watching than just looking around in binoculars — bird watchers listen for their targets with keen ears. They also note the way birds behave, their colors, and unique feather patterns.
Play Games on Your Own
You do not need to have a group of people around you to have fun playing games and keeping your mind fresh. Many games can be enjoyed on your own, such as jigsaw puzzles like this massive 1000-piece puzzle by Puzzle Crush. You can also exercise your memory with crossword puzzles and sudoku.
These games don’t have to cost you anything either; many can be found in magazines and newspapers. There are also other kinds of games: computer or console games. They can be a lot of fun, and many of them are great for memory improvement.
If games are of interest to you, you may want to read these articles, too:
- 9 Reasons Why Seniors Should Play Brain Games
- 28 Best Board Games for Senior Citizens
- 20 Best Video Games for Seniors
Share Your Knowledge
As a senior, you’ve learned many things in your life and your career. Why don’t you share all your expertise with the younger generations? If you were passionate about something your whole life long, you will have a lot of knowledge to impart.
You can teach everything you’ve learned and make some extra money in the process as well. Many education programs hire instructors to share their experiences and information gained through the years. If you don’t want to talk to anyone face-to-face, you can record your teachings and upload them on the internet. As long as you have something to teach, there will be someone interested in learning from you.
Explore the World Through a Lens
Photography is another great way to kill boredom. It motivates you to spend time outside and look at the world from a different angle. On top of that, photography can help improve your cognitive function.
You can explore your neighborhood and take photos of old buildings, new developments, notable landmarks, and scenic nature. You can even create a whole project of documenting what happens in your neighborhood through photography. Many online groups allow amateur photographers to share their photos and learn how to improve. It’s also a great way to meet people with the same interests as you.
Expand Your Mind With a New Language
You’re never too old to learn new things, and that includes languages. While it is believed that early childhood is the best time to learn a new language, you can still try regardless of your age.
Language learning can be great fun and opens the door to learning about new and exciting cultures as well. When you learn a country’s language, you also learn about its people, traditions, and more. You can also make new friends that you otherwise would never have spoken to.
You can even put your new language knowledge to the test and visit the country where it’s spoken most. Such a trip could be a unique adventure for you. Learning a new language offers more benefits. It can help increase your cognitive function and perhaps even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Many also believe that speaking two languages can help fight against dementia more than medicine can.
See the World
You don’t have to speak a country’s language to appreciate its beauty, food, and culture. You can travel around and see new exciting places in your golden years and look at life with fresh eyes. As long as you plan it well and visit safe and secure countries, you can have a grand time sightseeing at your own pace.
If you can’t afford to travel far, just look at your own country. Unless you’ve been very busy, there are bound to be many areas that you haven’t visited and appreciated yet.
Get Creative With Arts and Crafts
If you’re bored and stuck at home, you can always try out new artistic endeavors, even if you don’t think you’re very ‘artsy.’ There are many different ways you can use arts and crafts to fight off boredom. You can try woodworking, pottery, painting with oil or acrylic paint, or graphite and pencil drawing. Those are just a few of the options that seniors have when it comes to arts and crafts.
Staying busy with arts and crafts is a fun way to keep your mind sharp, and it also serves to keep you calm. If you’re feeling stressed, get artsy, and you’ll find that you feel a lot more relaxed. There are many clubs and communities (both local and online) that welcome newcomers. Joining these groups will introduce you to new people and help you hone your artistic skills.
As long as you have fun, you don’t even have to be very good at the art you choose. Just enjoy it for what it is — a form of relaxation and expression.
Cook Up a Storm
We can’t all be Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver, but we can all learn to make delicious food. If you can read a recipe and taste your food, you can whip up marvelous meals! You can learn to cook even if you’ve spent most of your life avoiding the kitchen. Getting started doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. You can join a cooking class or find an online course to get you going. Or, you can watch YouTube videos and follow the instructions.
Many cooking shows are entertaining as well as informative. Alternatively, you can go shopping for exciting cookbooks and try out the new recipes at home. Invite over your friends and family and show off with your tasty dishes — you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment when they praise your food.
Volunteer Your Time
If you’re bored, it means you have a lot of time and no idea what to do with it. Volunteering is one option, and it’s something that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. There are a great number of things that you can volunteer to do and many organizations you can join. Of course, it does depend on where you live and what your community gets up to.
Find out about the various causes in your area and commit your time to help them out and lend a hand. You can make and distribute food, help raise money, donate labor (as much as you can do), and spend time with those in need. Older people are more likely to experience depression, but if you spend your time bettering the lives of others, you’ll feel more accomplished. It’s also a great way to meet new people and touch their lives in extraordinary ways.
Volunteering can also help reduce stress, so if you’re feeling a bit stressed, find the nearest volunteer opportunity and see how you can make yourself and others feel better. You don’t have to be in peak physical condition to volunteer – you can try something like tutoring children or reading to them. You can also spend your time in hospitals and care homes, brightening the days of sick people.
Turn Your Efforts Into Money
If you’ve managed to grow vegetables or fruit in your garden that’s more than enough for you, you can sell it at a farmer’s market. You can also bake delicious cakes, tarts, and more if you’ve taken up cooking or know your way around a stove. Selling your goods at your local market is a great way to earn extra money and get rid of boredom.
If you’ve learned to make beautiful or interesting arts and crafts, you can sell them online. There are many platforms, such as Etsy, that are ideal for selling homemade goods and products. You can even turn your hobbies into full-blown businesses if you think you have the energy for it. Why let the items you created gather dust in your home if they can be sold off instead?
If you want to get more ideas, read our article: 10 Best Hobbies for Seniors To Make Money.
Many people dream of taking up dance lessons and learning how to do fancy ballroom dancing or the passionate Tango but never have the time. If you’ve retired, you may find that you have enough time to take dance lessons. While hip-hop dancing might be a bit too exciting for you, the Waltz can be fun to learn and an excellent form of exercise.
There are usually many dance classes that give discounts to seniors or focus solely on the older students. If not, you can always try to find some online classes, but then you’ll need to find a partner on your own. Maybe your friends would love the chance to try something new and exciting.
Play Group Games
It can be fun to play games on your own, but sometimes, you need socialization. If that’s the case, you can try to engage in friendly competitions in your area. Chess and bridge are popular choices for old and young alike and keeps your mind focused. Most senior centers and community centers host these competitions for the older generations free of charge.
You can also play games at your home with your friends and family. Even board games can be a lot of fun with the right people. If you can find a group of people who will regularly meet with you for a game or two, you’ll be a lot less bored and feel more connected. You don’t even need to always meet people in person; there are many online ways to play games with friends.
Go for a Walk
Walking may seem like a dull and everyday activity that won’t do much for boredom. But if you approach it with the right attitude, walks can be more than just a way to work in some exercise. You can spend your walks doing more, like documenting the local fauna and flora or keeping track of architectural developments. It’s also a good idea to pull in your friends or family and have them walk with you.
You’d be less inclined to cancel a walk if you’ve planned to have someone join you. You can also alter the routes you take and explore new areas, and find new locations to walk through. Walking is good for seniors and can help them live longer, so don’t neglect this form of relaxation. You can either take long walks or have short routes that you speed walk through to get your blood pumping.
Join a Book Club
It may seem unlikely for the younger generation, but there are many book clubs still actively enjoying old-fashioned physical books. You can join one or more of these clubs if you enjoy reading. When you’re part of a club, reading becomes a bit more rewarding, and you get the chance to share your love for certain books with like-minded folks. You also get introduced to new books that you may otherwise have never read.
Book clubs are great for expanding your understanding of books that you thought you knew, so you keep boredom at bay and exercise your brain. Now that’s hitting two birds with one stone! There are many different book clubs as well — some are relaxed and only focus on the fun of books. Others are more serious and have intensive analyses and discussions of the books and their deeper, hidden meanings.
You can join the ones that appeal most to you and have a blast reading and sharing the love of literature.
Try Your Hand at Origami
If you’re looking for a way to fill many hours and improve your fine motor skills and dexterity, the art of origami is a great option. It is an affordable but extensive way to create decorations that you can use to add color to your home or give to your friends. All you need is paper and instructions, nothing more. Oh, and maybe a healthy dose of patience.
It doesn’t look very easy when you first see how origami works, but it can be very satisfying to complete a project. And it’s not as tricky or as difficult when you know what it’s all about. Origami gives you a great way to express yourself and be creative while staying entertained. It’s also believed that origami can improve mental concentration, which is always good news for older people.
In addition, when you’ve finished a particularly challenging project, you’ll feel a nice sense of accomplishment, which boosts self-esteem.
Yoga might seem like the kind of thing younger people do, the many health benefits it offers seniors make it perfect for older people. From improved sleeping habits to stronger bones and reduced stress, yoga is more than a good way to become flexible.
This form of exercise doesn’t require any fast movements, and you can stick to poses that you’re comfortable with. Yoga is very focused on breathing, so your lung capacity is increased as well.
There are many different Yoga styles that you can choose to take part in — from simple to challenging. If you don’t know how to get started, you can always join a class where an instructor will help you. It’s not recommended that you do it on your own at home with just a YouTube video to guide you. You could get injured if you do the poses wrong or don’t warm up properly.
Make Your Own Hot Sauces
Coming up with your own hot sauces may seem like a strange way to fight off boredom, but it’s quite an interesting undertaking. Making your own variations can be a lot of fun, and there are many resources you can tap into. Several websites will guide you through making new hot sauces. You can find information on what you need to know how to bottle your sauces, and more.
There are even hot sauce-making kits that you can purchase, like this DIY Gift Kits Hot Sauce Kit. You can create hot sauces that will impress your friends and family and perhaps even make them sweat a little bit.
Dive Into Research
If you’re into non-fiction and facts, you might find conducting your own research to be a lot of fun. You can research virtually anything and everything; it’s all up to whatever you find interesting. You can look into politics, conspiracy theories, history, historical figures, true crime, and even sport.
Find something that you’re passionate about, dig deep into it, and learn as much as you can. You can use your local libraries and the internet to find as much information as possible. If you dedicate enough time to your research, you can even become an expert on the topic of your interest.
Get Into Alcohol Appreciation
If you enjoy a good beer and quality whiskey or bourbon, you might want to try out alcohol appreciation. You can learn more about liquor, its history, and its tasting notes and become a connoisseur.
Once you know all about your favorite drink, you can even take it a step further and start making your own. Brewing beer is a popular hobby that is appreciated by many. You can also distill your own spirits if that’s something you’re interested in. Remember that you may first have to obtain a license before you start making your own alcohol depending on where you live.
There are hundreds of hobbies that can keep seniors busy when they’re bored. We’ve listed some of the most interesting activities, and many of them are also beneficial for their health. You just need to find the hobbies that appeal most to you and get started whenever you’re ready.
- ASC Care: Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
- Origami Spirit: Mental and Physical Health Benefits of Origami
- The Adult Man: 101 Best Hobbies For Men Of All Ages
- NHS UK: Exercise as you get older
- David Morgan Education: Learning a musical instrument helps enhance working memory
- Health: Computer Games That Boost Your Memory
- World Economic Forum: The best time to learn a new language? You’ve missed your chance
- Medical News Today: How bilingualism may protect against Alzheimer’s
- NJ Senior Care: 6 Ways to Keep Seniors from Being Bored and Withdrawn
- 101Mobility: What to Do When You’re Homebound: 7 Activity Ideas for Bored Seniors To Do
- Develop Good Habits: 37 Fun Hobbies and Activities for Seniors
- Good Life Home Loans: Bored in Retirement? 20 Things To Do When Retired and Bored
- Rebel Retirement: 50 Boredom Busters [Things to do When Retired and Bored]