If you are retired or getting ready to retire, you recognize the importance of staying healthy. If you are asked about what is most important to live a long, healthy life, your main answer would probably include proper nutrition, exercise, and preventative care. While these are significant, you also need to stay active by keeping your mind busy and socializing.

As a retiree, volunteering can help you to stay alert and socialize. You can also embrace your creative side through artistic endeavors. To do this, you don’t necessarily need to be artistically inclined. You can learn or enjoy art in many forms and at any experience level. And while participating in an art class might seem like an insignificant activity, it can positively impact your health and create a sense of purpose for you.

While you expect your lifestyle and priorities to change during retirement, finding a hobby and participating in creative activities can provide the enrichment and sense of purpose you are looking for to fill in your time. Here are some ideas:

  • Join a book club. Reading can help stimulate your mind. Some of the local libraries, such as the Porter Memorial Library in Covington, have book clubs or you can start your own. Select books to read and then get friends together for a discussion. If you are interested in fine art, the Madison Museum of Fine Art has a book club that is specific books on art history, art museums, and galleries around the world.
  • Go see local shows. There are performances in theatre, music, fine arts, and comedy that the Conyers/Rockdale Council for the Arts offers at the local black box theater in Olde Town throughout the year. There are also regularly scheduled performances through the Arts Association in Newton County.
  • Learn a new craft. Senior centers offer a variety of activities that can help you learn new crafts while socializing with other seniors. There are many different crafts you can do to make items of use. The Olivia Haydel Senior Center, Turner Lake Recreation Center, Centerville Senior Center, Loganville Senior Center and Morgan County Senior Centers are just a few in the East Atlanta Metro area.
  • Take a drawing or painting class. Besides socializing with others, you can have fun and learn in a creative environment. Art studios such as The Sketching Pad in Conyers and The Heartscapes Art Gallery in the Covington Square offer classes.
  • Join a Toastmasters club. You can develop your storytelling techniques or practice your humor. There are people of all levels and ages, including a Toastmasters club at the Lou Walker Senior Center in Lithonia, two clubs in Conyers, and a club in Covington.
  • Build a birdhouse. There are do-it-yourself kits for many different crafts available, not just for birdhouses. Assemble the kit and then bring out your creative side when you paint and decorate your project. You might even want to include your grandkids when you work on some projects.

With so many places in East Metro Atlanta offering activities in the arts, it may be more difficult to choose which ones will best fill your time. Besides participating in the activities, many of our local organizations have volunteer opportunities to further help you stay active. And now that you have more time to do what you want as a retiree, you might choose a few activities to bring out your creativity.