We spend most of our lives working toward retirement. When it arrives, however, it can be a big change mentally and psychologically. Once ingrained in the day-to-day activities that come with working in an office, those newly retired can easily find themselves adrift, feeling loneliness begin to set in and resulting in decreased social connections.
Prepare Ahead of Time
If you know when you are going to retire, and it is not sudden, make a post-retirement plan at least six to twelve months before you set a date. Begin by making sure you have calculated all the financial aspects accurately and worked out the details for your monthly income, bills, etc. Think about how you will fill your days in the time after you leave the office. Planning ahead reduces stress and anxiety and gives you something to look forward to. Having a general idea of what post-retirement life will look like will make the transition easier.
Self-Esteem and Depression
While it is a milestone to reach retirement age, psychologically, it indicates a societal shift into becoming an official “senior citizen.” The lack of routine and sense of purpose that a job provided each day has disappeared, and without creating a new routine, it can be easy to become anxious or even slip into depression. This is even more likely if you have lost a spouse, live on your own, are worried about finances, or are facing health challenges. It can also be a big adjustment to be home with your spouse or significant other after many years of being outside the home.
It is wise to reestablish a new schedule after retirement, so each day has a purpose. According to US News, there are several ways that may surprise you after retirement. Finding new ways to feel fulfilled is important, as that day-to-day work schedule has been eliminated. After giving yourself some initial time to settle into the change, be sure to set a new routine. Get up at a specific time and have a plan for the day, whether it be playing golf or tennis, volunteering, visiting grandchildren, or having lunch with friends.
If you are still living with your spouse, you may find that relationships change too. While many couples have similar interests and are looking forward to traveling or perhaps relocating, others may have different passions and prefer to pursue each on their own.
Go Back to Move Forward
Many retirees are happy to have time to pursue passions they loved in the past. To reinvigorate their life, they turn to the activities and pursuits they enjoyed when they were younger. Your mind and brain need to continue to be stimulated as you age, and returning to painting, playing music, sewing, or another craft will support brain health. Keep playing golf and tennis and get together with a group of friends to play bridge. Participating in activities provides stimulation and, most importantly, connects with others which are necessary to ward off loneliness and minimize stress and anxiety.
Learning a new skill, like speaking a foreign language or how to play a musical instrument, can be equally fulfilling. Joining a local community or book club can open up the opportunity to meet new friends.
Our communities at Maplewood Senior Living provide a full calendar of daily activities, day trips, lectures, and movies. Our commitment to the Maplewood Elements provides the foundation for our residents to live vibrant, meaningful lives. Contact us today to schedule a tour of one of our communities.
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