Many people look toward the retirement years as a time when they can slow down a bit. Children they may have had in the home are usually grown and out on their own, and retired individuals don't have to worry about the schedules and hustle associated with a career. But it is possible for seniors in retirement to say yes to so many things and fill their schedules with activities, creating stress and exhaustion at the end of each day.
Find out below what the Bible says about busyness, and then get some tips for living a vibrant and active life without committing to a stressful schedule.
The Bible definitely has words about busyness and the potential negative impact it can have on us. There's even a specific New Testament story about two sisters and how one chooses busyness over being with Jesus! Here are some verses you might consider if you find yourself wondering where all your time is going every day or if you're tired and stressed about your schedule.
"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."
This verse is a reminder that the things of the world aren't always the things of the Lord. It's important to make decisions with discernment and through the Spirit, and that includes whether or not an activity is something to add to your schedule.
When you're faced with an invitation, appointment or activity option, don't be afraid to ask God to help you decide if this is something you should add to your day or week. Many people balk at asking him about seemingly small things, but he loves to hear from you and is always willing to offer guidance.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
And when you do add something to your schedule and engage in a task or activity, do it to the glory of God. This doesn't mean that everything you do is active evangelism. It simply means that you choose to give over to God all the things throughout your day and approach each one with a godly attitude that points to Jesus.
When you give everything to God, you may be surprised at the way he's able to stretch and mold your schedule and day so that you enjoy an active, plentiful lifestyle without falling into busyness and exhaustion.
"Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
This story about Jesus and two sisters reminds us that setting aside a busy schedule and those worldly things that seem to need doing to be with him is a good choice. You may feel that you need to return that one phone call, straighten up your assisted living apartment or attend that community activity you had planned on participating in. But if you're also feeling a draw to your Bible, prayer or simple quiet time with Jesus, it's often more valuable to say no to the activities of the world to participate in the activities of the divine.
A balanced schedule can be ideal for many seniors. Sitting in rest and repose all the time isn't good for most people either, so here are some tips for reducing busyness while remaining active.
• Don't be afraid to say yes to activities and invites, but do consider them carefully. You don't need to say yes to everything, and you may want to ask God to help you decide on some criteria for choosing which things you participate in. He may guide you, for example, to choose things that bring you joy, improve your physical and mental health and draw you closer to him.
• Set realistic boundaries for yourself. You may want to limit the times you're doing things after dinner to once or twice a week if you know you get very tired at night or struggle with getting to sleep after being too active. Or, you might want to ensure you're able to return to your home to rest between each activity. Find what works for you and don't be shy about letting others know what those boundaries are.
• Consider moving into an assisted living community. The Park Regency community in Thornton, CO, offers plenty of amenities and activities to support active lifestyles for seniors. But staff is also on hand to care for many needs, including meals and housekeeping, to reduce the busyness in seniors' lives and free them for more enjoyable activities.