Have you ever been so bored from not having anything to do that you wanted to pull your hair out? Well, here are 7 things that you can do to help you stay balanced and rational.
1. Do a MOOC and get certified for it
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2001. MOOCs are online courses which are open to anyone who is interested in learning a particular subject. The strength of the MOOCs lies in their ability to harness the thoughts, opinions and co-operation of a community of students, teachers, researchers, etc. This is a platform that allows anyone to communicate and get ideas about a common topic since likeminded people would be in this online community.
Almost anyone can do a MOOC and some of these courses even offer a Certificate upon completion. Not all MOOCs are free and some do require a small payment. According to www.classcentral.com, there were 101 million enrolled students in more than 900 universities across the world studying more than 11,000 MOOCs in the year 2018.
The main advantage of doing a MOOC is that you can study anytime and anywhere. You don’t have to wake up at a certain time to go to class. Just switch on your computer and log-in and you can begin your studies. How’s that for attending classes in your pyjamas!
Spend some time learning about MOOCs and what courses are available online. If you are doing a free MOOC, this doesn’t require a financial investment on your part. Only your time and energy are required. And I can tell you from experience that the sense of fulfilment that you will feel when you complete the course is indescribable and priceless.
2. Travel vs Virtual Travel
Travelling is one of the best ways to pass the time, make more friends and improve your knowledge of other cultures. Even if you don’t like to step out of the house, you can still do Virtual Travel.
What do I mean? Well, let’s say you’ve always wanted to go to the Swiss Alps but the trip is too demanding on your health. Do you know that you can go there while still in the comfort and security of your home by using the Internet? You can access and watch millions of videos made by people who have actually travelled there and you can see what they see and hear what they hear. Although you won’t be able to breathe in the fresh Swiss air, this is as close as you can get. Furthermore, you’d save a bundle in travelling costs and insurance.
However, if you are one of those outdoorsy-type and would really like to go on a trip to a foreign place, please do so. After all, you only live once so make the best of it.
3. Volunteer Internationally
This is not about volunteering at the local Food Bank or other local places which could use your help. I’m referring to volunteering internationally. For example, have you heard about volunteering to care for elephants in elephant sanctuaries in Thailand?
Here are 3 respectable elephant sanctuaries in Thailand where you can volunteer to bathe and feed the gentle giants and also have plenty of time to interact with them.
(i) Elephant Nature Park
This rescue and rehabilitation center houses elephants which were rescued from inhumane living conditions. Click here to find out more on how you can volunteer to help these magnificent creatures.
(ii) Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary
This elephant reservation not only houses rescued elephants but also provides safe accommodation for retired elephants as well. Click here to learn more.
(iii) Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand
As the name suggests, this Foundation caters to all wildlife including elephants. Click here to see the scope of work that the Foundation does to help all animals big and small.
4. De-clutter your Home
How many times have you told yourself to clear out that mess that’s being lying around? Please sit down and think “Do we really need all this stuff?” One good thing about de-cluttering is that you can donate your unwanted stuff like old garments and furniture to charity.
De-cluttering also lightens your emotional baggage. By removing unwanted items, you are not only keeping your house clean but you are also clearing any undesirable and surplus psychological weight from your psyche.
5. Keep a Pet
If you’re someone who always wanted a pet but did not end up having one due to work and family commitments, well, now’s the time to get a pet.
For example, if you intend to get a dog, please do your research and find out what type of dog would suit your temperament and household. Also, who else would be sharing space in your home with the dog? Is everyone at home a senior too? Also, do consider adopting from the Pound as many puppies and dogs are always looking for their forever homes.
Being responsible for an animal creates a driving force in you that forces you to wake up every morning so that you can tend to this living thing which is dependent on you. It gives you a sense of responsibility and self-worth which is necessary for all of us to function.
6. Concentrate on Your Health
It is not unusual that many of us have ignored our health in the course of working and building a career. How many times have you wanted to go to the gym but was just too tired after work?
Well, the good news is now you have all the time in the world. For example, you can choose to lose weight by reducing that tummy of yours. Read and learn about exercises that target the stomach. There are numerous videos on YouTube which you can refer to for a start and they are all free. You can even borrow books on exercises from the local library.
You don’t have to join a gym, you can start at home. Exercise at your own pace and make sure you do it regularly. Don’t push yourself too hard as you wouldn’t want to burn yourself out before you’ve gained any momentum.
A low impact exercise which many seniors like to do is cycling. If you can afford it, do buy a Stationary Exercise Bike and place it at home. That way, you can still cycle come rain or shine. Keep a log book to record the time and distance you’ve covered as this would encourage you to cycle more. Look back how much your stamina has improved since the day you started. And you will stay motivated to exercise.
7. Connect with Family and Friends
Now that you have more time, do spend it with family and friends. Get to know what’s happening in their lives and be involved with what they do. Offer to run some errands for them like buying groceries if they are too busy to do it. Ask them how you can help and what you can do for them to make life a little easier.
Now with applications like WhatsApp and Skype, you can communicate easily with loved ones even though they are miles away and you don’t have to wait to see them only on special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas. All you have to do is to start a video call and you can see their faces immediately.
And if you happen to be travelling, you can also send them photos or videos on the spot showing them what you are doing now. Make technology work for you instead of keeping those photos and videos and showing them off only after you have come back from your trip.
Last word: You can still enjoy a wonderful and productive life after retirement. Please do not let boredom and aimlessness set in. Plan everyday as though it were your last and conquer everything that you set out to do.