This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Retired? Homebound? Bored? Things for Adults to Do to Stay Active

Looking for something to do now that you're retired, homebound, or just plain bored? 
Here's some ideas.

Board games don’t have to be boring. From games played with others - Bingo, Scrabble, card games (Cards Against Humanity, strip poker?), Jenga, Apples to Apples, billiards/ pool, bowling... to games that can be done alone - like solitaire, Mahjong, crosswords, Sudoku, online computer games, and jigsaw puzzles... 

Some games can actually improve your memory (for example, seeing several pairs of cards for ten seconds and matching them up again). Improving your memory can also improve your concentration as it helps your mind to become more alert.

Games are also a great way to keep from resorting to hours of mindless TV-watching

You can exercise by yourself or in a group. Playing systems like the Wii, work out videos, bicycling, or just going for a walk on a regular basis (you can walk at a local mall if it's too hot outside or the weather is bad), all can be a wonderful way to stay physically active without having to join a gym. 

If you have access to a gym or club, you might have even more options - water aerobics, tennis, volleyball, weight lifting, golf, Zumba classes... Join a sport rec league. 

Think you could never run a marathon? This year 88 people over the age of 75 ran the New York City Marathon - Here's how they did.

Not only does physical activity help you feel better physically and emotionally, it can also help keep your brain active too!

Do something creative or learn something new. Crafts and hobbies can all be done at home, in a class, or with a group of like-minded individuals. They can be for your own enjoyment, to sell (check out, or donate to charity. You can take classes or even teach others how to do a craft or hobby that you enjoy.
  • Crafts - knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, embroidery, scrap booking, making cards, pottery, tapestry, sewing, dress making, collages.  (Ex. Some ideas for Crocheting and Knitting for Charity (  ) Project Linus - gives homemade blankets to children in need (
  • Artistic - Drawing, painting, calligraphy, coloring in adult coloring books, working with modeling clay, woodworking/ carving, jewelry making, glass staining.
  • Creative writing – This can involve writing in a journal, creating poetry, or writing a book/ stories. If you want to have a wider platform for your writing, you can publish it online in a blog. Some authors have been “discovered” through their blogs. Or you can self-publish a book, which is becoming more and more popular these days - Self-Publishing a Book, 25 Things You Need to Know
  • Cooking and Food Appreciation - Try new recipes. You can learn or teach others how to cook and enjoy different types of food: Basic beginning, gourmet, gluten free, vegan, multi-cultural, dessert/ pastries... Become a wine connoisseur or just learn the art of wine tasting. Make your own cook book with pictures and everything.
  • Research your family / Make a family tree. Check out
  • Gardening - Gardening can be enjoyable and a great way to stay physically and mentally active, whether your garden is a cactus on your desk, a few potted plants on your balcony, a small garden in your backyard (herbs, flowers, and/or vegetables), or a large garden with excess produce to sell. To learn more about how to start a garden, you can research online. (Ex. Basics of Gardening
  • Other Hobbies - This can be whatever you're interested in or interested in learning about - weather watching, ham radios, bird watching, small appliance repair, photography, furniture refinishing, interior decorating, 

Whether it’s making follow-up calls or providing advice to businesses or tutoring students, many jobs can be done from home these days. Learn more in this article from AARP: Work from Home Jobs for Retirees

It's usually pretty easy to find volunteer work, you can check out some local non-profits in your area and contact them to see if they need any help. Guidestar - Directory of Charities and Non-Profits

Look for work in an area you enjoy: 
  • Children - babysit, respite, foster care, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster children (volunteer position that does not require any particular experience), run a home daycare, sitting with newborns in ICU, read story books at the library or book store, tutoring...
  • Animals - Dog walking, pet sitting, volunteer in an animal shelter. Check out places that offer services involving animals, like equine therapy, to see if they have volunteer positions. Train animals as service dogs or therapy pets.
  • Elderly/ Disabled - Caregiver or just spend some time with a senior citizen. You can volunteer at places like hospice providers, nursing homes, drive elderly and disabled people to church services...
  • Office work - reach out to local non-profits and see if they need any help with filing, answering phones, writing thank you notes... 
  • Tech/ Design/ Media - If you have skills in these areas, many non-profits and other agencies are always looking for talented designers. Ex. PeaceGeeks - build the technological, communications and management capacities of grassroots organizations who work to promote peace, accountability and human rights.  
  • Food - work at a food pantry, cook for a soup kitchen, 

Get a pet! Pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity, help you learn, and can reduce depression and lessen loneliness. 

Learning about animal care and training can be fun and rewarding. Going to dog parks and meeting others, can keep both you and your pet entertained and active.


Keeping the mind active can improve your memory, improve your health, ward off dementia... To help your mind stay young and flexible, continuing education or informal classes (learning something new just for fun), can help the mind stay active. 

You can check out your local community college - there are online courses for just about everything and a lot of them are free. it might take a little research to find some good ones, but good news! There's often someone that has already reviewed the type of courses you're looking for and posts the best options. 

Change can be fun. Redecorate, decorate for the seasons, change out pictures. rearrange the furniture, DIY some fun projects, sell some clutter on sites like Craigslist (, (, or ebay ( 


Any place, anywhere, any time. Books are awesome! Start or attend a book club, book stores, libraries, book carts, start a little free library (, the possibilities are as endless as the worlds that books can take you to.

For low cost concerts and plays, check out a local high school for live entertainment. Check out senior day care facilities for special activities or just visit once in a while. 

This could be listening to music, learning a new instrument, and/ or joining a choir. Go dancing! Take a Dance Class! Attend a concert.
concerts and plays at your local high school for low-cost/low-stress live entertainment

Laughing doesn't just make you feel better, it can make you physically better. Laughter has been clinically proven to strengthen your immune system, activate and relieve your stress response and stimulate many organs.
Watch old TV shows on DVD like "I Love Lucy" or the "Marx Brothers" for a laugh.
Play! - 40 ideas to experience childlike playfulness as adults 
The Importance Of Laughter In Long Term Care Facilities

Have a spa day, even if just in your room. Invite some friends over and do each other's nails. Manis, pedis, facials, experiment with makeup and hair styles, skin treatments, impromptu fashion shows. Check out an online makeup or hair tutorial online, and try something new. Host or attend a makeup, jewelry, or fashion party - you don't actually have to buy anything. 


Attend worship, travel, outings, and shopping trips (this can be window shopping!). Go for a walk or a drive. Visit a museum, place of interest, go antiquing. Travel to faraway lands (even if just in your imagination). Explore new cultures and learn new a new language. You'd be amazed at how much you can learn from the internet nowadays. 

Clubs are a great way to meet and keep in contact with others. Check out computer clubs, sewing clubs, golf clubs (Sorry! just had to throw that in there). Lunch groups and social groups, singles groups. Hang out an activity center, YMCA, senior center... Join a support group online or in real life.  Plan a dinner party, trivia night, movie or other event party.

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