Throughout our working years, retirement has always felt like a distant goal. We picture ourselves reaping the rewards of our hard work by finally retiring and engaging in the things we have always wanted to do – visiting family, traveling, and picking up hobbies we never had the time for until now. However, did you know that transitioning into post-retirement life can also have a psychological impact that brings about a sense of anxiety? Here are 4 strategies that aid in emotionally adjusting to retirement:
Accept the Change
Much like a marriage or divorce, moving into post-retirement brings about a huge change in your life. This can take a while to adjust to, and you should give yourself time to adapt to your new life. Instead of viewing retirement as a destination, treat it as a one-stop in an overall journey. Adjust your attitude towards change to see it as something that brings about new opportunities instead of focusing on what you have lost.
You should also acknowledge all the emotions you are feeling toward retirement with an open mind. If you are feeling upset, lost, saddened or any mix of negative emotions, it is important not to suppress them. Know that they will eventually pass, and you will grow into your new life soon enough.
Taking Care of your Health
At the retirement age, you will likely feel anxious about the onset of age-related illnesses. Therefore it is important to factor in both physical and mental health after retirement.
It is a good idea to remain physically active even without the demands of being in the workforce. Keep up with daily exercises according to what your body is capable of managing. Paired with a healthy diet, staying active reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and can even be a mood booster as well.
By taking care of yourself, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges that you may face post-retirement.
Rely on your Social Support
Retirement does not have to be a lonely affair. In fact, maintaining a social network not only gives you something to do but has also been found to alleviate stress and depression. Consider staying in touch with colleagues even after you retire, so that you are not cutting off ties to a large portion of your social contacts the moment you retire.
You can also seek new friends with the free time you now have. Pick up a hobby or attend an event that lets you meet new people, or try a retirement transition program that can help to guide you and other new retirees on the transition from work to retirement life.
Search for a New Purpose
Many new retirees struggle with a loss of purpose and identity with the cessation of their careers. Jobs help us feel productive and useful and provide goals to work towards. After retirement, you may need to look for a new source of meaning in life. This can come in the form of new hobbies or from giving your time to a good cause. For example, volunteering can be a fulfilling activity for many. If you are not ready to give up working, you can apply for a part-time job after retirement which gives you some pocket money and keeps you busy.