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New Year’s Resolution: Maintaining a Positive Attitude in Retirement and Beyond

What does the word “retirement” mean to you? Does it mean finally having the time to do all the traveling and adventuring you’ve been dreaming about? Relaxing and spending your days however you like? Starting a new chapter or career? These days, “retirement” can be defined however you want.

“Retirement no longer means sitting back and watching the world go by,” says Jake Quigley, Executive Director of Waterstone at the Circle, a luxury independent living community in the heart of Boston at the crossroads of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue. “These days, it’s all about personal growth, evolution and freedom. For many seniors, retirement isn’t an end – it’s a beginning.”

Research has shown that retirees who continue to have an active life and keep a positive attitude in their senior years live longer, are more motivated and happier than their counterparts and are more able to overcome the challenges of growing older. This year, as you begin thinking about what you want 2019 to mean to you, consider making a resolution to maintain a positive attitude in retirement and beyond to boost your health, improve your life and help you begin a new chapter. Here are some tips to help you achieve those goals:

1. Have a clear vision for your future.

One thing you’ve learned over the years is that nothing happens by itself – in order to succeed, you’re going to have to plan. You’ve already planned for your retirement financially, but what have you done on a personal level? Many seniors assume that the financial “planning” is all that’s really required and that the “life” part of retirement will simply work itself out. Instead of letting retirement happen to you, make plans for how you want this next phase of your life to be. What are your goals? What changes do you expect to happen (physically, emotionally, mentally) and how will you prepare for them? What do you really want to do with your time, now that you have it in abundance? By focusing on how to make the most out of every single day, you’ll be more likely to maintain a positive outlook on life.

2. Practice gratitude.

Getting older isn’t all fun and games, and it’s easy to get grouchy and grumpy if your joints are hurting or you’re not able to do as much as you once did. However, there’s still so much in your life to be thankful for, and by slowing down, focusing on the now and the good, you’ll give yourself a whole new perspective on life.

Practicing gratitude can be as simple as sitting with a cup of coffee and thinking about three things you're thankful for. Some people choose to keep gratitude journals that they can go back and review when they’re feeling down or less-than-positive. Others choose to meditate, either on their own or in guided groups. The important thing is to find what calms you and allows you to bring your focus inward so you can reflect on the joy in your life. By practicing gratitude every day, it will quickly become a habit. Some ways to do this are:

  • Actively express gratitude, whether it’s the cashier at the coffee shop or writing a note to a dear friend.
  • Notice the beauty of nature.
  • Do one act of kindness each day.
  • Volunteer for a cause you believe in.
  • Avoid negative media.
  • Spend an entire day without complaining.

3. Make your health a priority

It’s a lot easier to be positive when you feel good. That’s why health and wellness is such an important part of the aging process. By taking care of your whole self – physically, mentally and emotionally – you’ll be able to feel your best, which has a huge boost on your attitude. Here are some healthy habits to adapt or continue in 2019 to give you a happier and more fulfilling retirement lifestyle:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet with vegetables, healthy fats, lean proteins and avoid overindulging in sugar, alcohol and fried foods
  • Exercise regularly. Experts recommend seniors get a good mix of aerobic and strength training, as well as balance and flexibility exercises. Even something as simple as taking the dog on a walk can improve your cardiovascular health, boost your mood and decrease your risk for diseases like Type II diabetes.
  • Visit your doctor regularly and make sure your medications are appropriate for your needs. Being proactive can help you address health issues before they become more serious.

4. Nurture and develop relationships.

Humans are social creatures, and by creating and maintaining ties to people who mean the most to us, we’ll have a richer life, a happier outlook and can potentially live longer. Although friends and family may have moved away, there are many ways to form bonds and maintain the ones we have. Some suggestions include:

  • Join a club or group that revolves around activities you enjoy.
  • Volunteer for a cause that’s near and dear to your heart.
  • Make an effort to stay in regular touch with friends and family – even a weekly phone call can do wonders for our mood.
  • Be proactive about scheduling lunch or coffee dates with friends.
  • Check out your community’s parks and recreation department to see what programs and events are being offered.
  • Use technology to make and keep connections. Video calls are great for faraway family, and social media is a good way to connect with friends in your area you haven’t seen for a while.

5. Remember that “getting older” doesn’t have to mean “slowing down.”

Retirement can be a big transition for people who’ve been in the workforce. While we all need some time off, staying active and pursuing goals are keys to helping us remain energetic and positive. The most successful retirees look at retirement as an exciting chance to pursue new interests and passions instead of slowing down and sitting back. While you may not be able to party all night like you did as a young’un, by keeping your possibilities open, you may find yourself busier than ever before. Here are some ideas for finding new interests and taking advantage of everything this stage of life has to offer:

  • Learn a new skill or take a continuing education class.
  • Travel – whether near or far away – to a place you’ve never been.
  • Pick up a hobby you’ve let slide or try something you’ve always wanted to do.
  • Make a list of all the books you’ve been wanting to read but just haven’t had the time for.

While retirement and getting older means change, it can still be a wonderful time of life. By focusing on what’s meaningful to you and making plans for the future, you’ll be able to maintain a positive attitude that will help you stay motivated, feel happy and be excited about this new chapter in life.

For more information about maintaining a positive attitude in retirement and beyond, contact the staff at Waterstone at the Circle.

Luxury Senior Living in Boston

Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and a vibrant lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.

Elegant Independent Living Apartments

Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals. 

Senior Living Supportive Services

As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.

The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.

Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring . . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our vibrant Boston independent living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!