March 1st! Not just the first day of the month, but a special day designed to all retired peeps as a day to celebrate living their lives to the fullest.

Retirement is a time in everyone’s lives where it needs to be embraced positively rather than feeling redundant or just arriving on the pathway to death.  It needs to be a new you where new plans are made and a new beginning commences – the most fabulous thing is you finally have time to do the things that were put aside years ago of course health and budget depending. It is living within your means and keeping as healthy as you can!

However, there is no denying experts agree that what you do and how you spend your time in retirement can actually improve your overall wellbeing. We all know that diet and exercise is important but certain habits and hobbies can improve your health, reduce boredom, loneliness and increase your life expectancy!

So now is the time to check out all those things you can do – the list is endless, here are just a few ideas to wet your appetite and get you making the most out of your time and look after your wellbeing and mental health.  If you don’t plan how you will spend your time you run the risk of ending up bored and lonely!  Routine is important - we all like and thrive from structure no matter what age we are; 

  • Exercise
  • Eat well
  • Volunteer
  • Continue to work/Start a business.
  • Get some hobbies – fun things to do.
  • Yoga/Pilates/Photography/Learn a New Language/Painting & Drawing/Dance/Go Fishing/Go Foraging/Take up Golf/Become a Beekeeper.
  • Gardening/Get an Allotment- grow vegetable, get a greenhouse.
  • Sing/Join a choir
  • Make & Bake = Pottery/Cooking/Knitting
  • Write – creative writing/blog/diary.  
  • Read - Catch up on all those novels, autobiographies
  • Go Forest Bathing
  • Get a pet
  • Finances – manage your money.
  • Make friends.
  • Travel
  • Be savvy about your entitlements.
  • Move house – downsize and release some cash – prewarn your offspring there is little or no inheritance on its way
  • Enter competitions.
  • Take a course 
  • Attend an event - find out whats on in your area 
  • Enjoy the outdoors and nature 

Find out more;



The ‘Forest Bath,’ or the Japanese medicine of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, can be an exercise in mindfulness and contribute to your well-being.

The “bathing” refers to a therapeutic immersion into a natural environment. It is rising in popularity as people are realising how disconnected they have become from the natural world and wanting to rectify that. Over time, we have become more and more urbanised and intertwined with technology.

So where are the best places in the UK to go and be able to do it?

You can essentially go forest bathing in any forest or wooded area, but there are also organised trips to be able to go on and join.

Forest Holidays have team members who have undergone extensive training with The Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and organise forest bathing at Blackwood Forest in Hampshire & Thorpe Forest in Thetford.  The experience lasts for three hours and includes a guided walk through the forest, with invitations to open your senses to the world around you.

So, what are the benefits to your health from having a good old Forest Bathe?

It will reduce your stress – a leisurely forest walks yield a 12.4% decrease in the stress hormone, cortisol, compared with urban walks. Participants have also reported better moods and lower anxiety.

It will improve your mood - connecting to nature can be linked to both your happiness and mental wellbeing. Spending time in nature releases hormones that relate to the pursuit of joy, connecting to calm and avoiding threats.

It frees up your creativity – there is a massive improvement in creative problem solving after a short time immersed in nature with all access to modern technology removed.

It boosts your immune system - Trees and plants emit ‘phytoncides’ which we breathe in when we spend time in the forest. These have been proven to enhance the activity of specific cells that help our bodies to fight disease.

It reduces high blood pressure- a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy heart.

It accelerates your recovery from illness- Nature can be a powerful catalyst in the recovery process; even a natural view from a window reduced convalescence time by a day, compared to an urban view.


Fancy becoming a novice apiarist? Wanna bee a beekeeper?

So, what do you need to know about beekeeping to keep buzzy?

Not only is it a great hobby and pastime to take up, but it is also an incredibly positive thing to do given the massive question mark over the future of bees as their colonies worldwide continue to struggle and decline.

British bees have actually gone extinct in the 1920s. The extreme cold weather wiped out British bees, so nowadays we actually have bees from Italy. Most beekeepers in this country keep the bees for the sake of keeping bee numbers up rather than just for gathering honey.

The basic equipment is a hive, protective clothing, hive-related tools, and a source of bees – most can be sourced through the British Beekeeping Association and you can get second hand to keep the cost down. You can also get your bees from lots of places; a beekeeper; from a swarm; from your local association and by post. Bee breeders and some equipment suppliers who advertise in the bee press are able to post you what is called a “package” of bees in a travelling box or a nucleus hive.

As it is a seasonal hobby, the seasons will dictate the time you will spend as in the middle of winter, there is not a lot to do, except to occasionally check to make sure all is well.

The busiest time is early summer when each hive should be checked weekly to stop swarming and add supers. This does not take no longer than a few minutes when you get the hang of it.

You do not need a licence to keep bees, but it is good to belong to a local association to keep you in touch with local expertise, local problems, and conditions. You will also find that these groups will often run training programmes, regular meetings and send out newsletters to keep you up to date and informed.  In the UK, most associations with the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) gives you third party and honey insurance.

There are lots of workshops on how to become a beekeeper held at colleges, garden centres and there are over 270 area associations and branches who serve their local community with support and education.  The majority offer beekeeping experiences and training courses, support local events and sell through the British Beekeepers Association.

You might find you cant help pollen in love with it!