After spending half of her life in the corporate world, making contributions to her company and bringing bread to the table for her family, my mum is finally going to bid farewell to her company of twenty years. 

Though she will definitely miss her co-workers, the water cooler chats, fun group lunches, she is excited to embark on the next chapter in her life – retirement.  In future, she has more time in her hands, she can do the things she wants and take up the hobbies and pursue her interests that she has been shelving aside due to her family and work commitments. 

The retirement chapter in her life is the chapter where she calls the shots, she gets to do what she wants.  No more going through the daily work routine, waking up at a certain timing to go to work, no more spending a large part of her waking hours at work.  When she goes to the next phase in life, the large part of her waking hours will be to try out things that she has not done before and embark on her self-discovery through her hobbies and interests, quality time spent with her family, bonding sessions with her friends and most importantly through her self-care activities, her “me” time.

To ensure that her extra time is used more productively when she retires, she needs to have proper planning and scheduling of her time.  This is critical so that she does not while her time away and spend her time mindlessly.  She wants to ensure that her time is put into good use, to maintain and improve her well-being in all aspects – physical, emotional and mental well-being. 

She has entrusted the planning to her dear daughter, me, a mindfulness practitioner, to help her plan her to-do activities, based on her likes and dislikes and most importantly maintain her holistic well-being.

Bearing her requirements in mind, I have come up with this list of activities that she can undertake, which will surely help her maintain her holistic well-being:

Indoor Exercises

Maintaining physical well-being is important for senior adults as it helps them build their immunity system, which in terms help them fight off diseases.  It helps them ensure that their muscle mass and bone density is not lost.  Maintaining the muscle mass and bone density help prevent them from falling and enable them to live independently.  Being able to live independently is important for senior adults to live a purposely life and have a sense of self-worth.

Hence, the list of activities which are top on my list are those activities that aid in maintaining her physical well-being.  One important reminder that I have for her is that she has to listen to her body and undertake exercises which suits her current body condition. 

For indoor activities, as part of the planning for her retirement, I will need to include the items she need for the transition. I have included riding stationary exercise bike as it is easier on her knees, doing gentle yoga and engaging in low impact aerobic activity. I also need to buy her a yoga mat which is also one of the best retirement gifts for women as doing yoga also helps in maintaining her emotional and mental well-being too, as yoga enables us to align our mind and body into one and enable us to focus and be at the present when we do each of the pose. 

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities are a must because she will get fresh air, be in touch with the nature or different environment and surroundings which helps keep her sensory touches active and keep her mentally sharp as well.  For outdoor activities, I have included walking in the park and around the neighbourhood and hiking in the list.  I will get her a pair of new hiking shoes so that she can walk comfortably in the park and get her close to nature.  By immersing herself in nature, admiring the trees and flowers invokes pleasant feelings, which in turn help her reduce stress and anger.  This in turn helps improve her physical well-being as her blood pressure and muscle tension is reduced.

Hobbies and Interests

Hobbies and interest are not important just for elderly.  They are important for everyone as they add the fun element in people’s life and remove them from life’s monotony.  They are important for elderly as they make their life active and productive, especially making their mind active and hence reduces the risk of dementia.

Based on my mum’s likes, there are many hobbies and interests that she can undertake.  She loves cooking, hence I have shortlisted a few cooking classes that she can enrol.  She can also make a few new friends at the cooking classes, hence keeping her social life active after retirement which  ensure that her social well-being is met.

I have shared the above list with my mum and we have made it a point to revisit and revise this list on a weekly basis.  I am excited to be part of her retirement journey.