HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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The holidays can be a difficult time but they don’t have to be. A little planning can go a long way. Communicate with your partner and let him or her know your desires during the holidays and how you prefer to spend them. Prioritize what you both want and create a wonderful holiday season together.

The holidays are finally here – and so is the holiday stress. The holidays are a special time to celebrate with family and friends, food and traditions. They are a time to spend with loved ones and make memories. The holidays should be a wonderful, joyous time of year, but with so many different things going on and meeting different demands, they can also present their own woes.


During the holidays, it is essential to have a plan. You should know where you will be spending the holidays or if you are hosting. Try to continue traditions that are already in place, but be open to forming new ones. Also, have a plan for the cooking, gift giving and other events that take place during the holiday season. Here are a few simple guidelines to help make decisions about where to spend the holidays.


Set Priorities. Know what your family means to you and whether being together for the holidays is important to them. Find out your partner’s key holiday moments and the holiday festivities that are most important to attend. If Thanksgiving is not important to your partner’s family, plan to spend Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your partner’s family. Work together to make sure you are both spending precious holiday moments with your families.  

AVOIDING HOLIDAY HASSLES

Don’t Commit. It is common for family members and parents to call to ask you where you are spending the holidays. Do not commit to the first person that calls. Set a deadline for you and your partner to decide where you will spend the holidays and with whom. This will allow you both to make a good decision based on the offers made.


Talk to Family. If you do have to divide the holidays, explain to the family your plan. If you plan to rotate which set of parents you spend Christmas with, explain that so everyone understands and has something to look forward to. Reassure the family you want to spend time with each side. You may even bring up the idea of hosting a joint Christmas so both sides of the families can be together.


Be Flexible. The wonderful thing about holidays is that they come around every year. Where you decided to spend the holidays last year does not have to be the same place you decide to spend the holidays this year. Be open to creating new holiday traditions based. Be ready to make quick changes in plans due to weather. Being flexible is one of the best qualities to have during the holiday season.

TANIQUA WARD, M.S

TaNiqua Ward is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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