How to Adjust Mentally to Retirement
Some may dream of retirement expecting leisurely days free from the demands of the daily grind, but for others the idea of no longer having a specific purpose may seem daunting and anxiety inducing. As such, it’s important that you mentally arm yourself for retirement as this major milestone may induce a complex range of emotions which fall somewhere between apprehension and anticipation.
The Possible Emotional Consequences of Retirement
- “Who am I?” Many people identify themselves as what they do for a living and this ‘loss’ of identity can be extremely jarring for many people.
- Loss of routine: people get used to going to work and seeing work colleagues and the leaving of this environment can lead to a sense of loss in both social network and organization.
- Shift in relationships: just as getting married or having children can exacerbate any trouble in a relationship, so can retiring. Working creates a natural division of personal space, but being around each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week can be highly disruptive.
- A sense of mortality: the act of retirement reminds many people that they are closer to the end of their life and even if this end is realistically 20 years away, many find this realisation to be overwhelming.
Making the Transition
- Allow Yourself Time
Allow yourself time to understand that this is a process and that your mental transition into retirement won’t happen instantly. Your emotions may change from day to day, so it’s important to be patient to prevent feelings of frustration.
- Carefully Assess Your Resources
If enjoying online slots Canada isn’t enough, consider the resources used during other periods of transition in your life and ask yourself three questions: Can I change what’s challenging me? If not, can I change the way I approach it? Am I willing to work to reduce my stress levels through meditation, exercise, and medication if necessary?
- Strengthen Your Psychological Portfolio
When faced with retirement, we readily assess our financial portfolios but often don’t consider our psychological portfolios – our identity, relationships, friendships, and what we need for a sense of self.
- The Importance of Friendship
Numerous studies have shown that friendship reduces stress and it’s therefore important to regularly connect with friends, or take classes in activities that you’re interested in which could lead to new friendships. Men will find this particularly helpful as they tend to form friendships based on shared interests rather than personality.
- Get Active
Exercise is an incredibly important part of retirement as getting active will not only improve your health, but it also has a profound effect on your mental wellbeing in that it increases mood-boosting, stress-relieving chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins.
- Discover Your Path
Just as in the beginning of your working life, you carefully considered what you would like to spend much of your life doing, so should you consider this once you reach retirement age. Consider whether you want to spend your free time doing something similar to your job or try something completely different.
- No Shame in Seeking Help
According to experts, it’s important that you get involved upon retirement as feeling inactive and lethargic are signs that you may be depressed. If you’re having feelings of hopelessness, there is no shame in seeking the help of a mental health professional to help with the transition.