Are you thinking ahead to your golden years of retirement? Are you brainstorming all the ways you’ll embrace your newfound freedom? While retirement may seem like one of the most fulfilling parts of your life to look forward to, you might experience some unexpected challenges. It’s important to be aware of them so you can better prepare yourself and live your retired years to the fullest.
Many people experience mental health issues post-retirement, such as depression or anxiety. With such a massive shift in your way of life, you may feel a sense of loss or longing for your old life. While this is completely normal, there are ways you can combat these unpleasant feelings. Here are three ways you can stay happy and mentally healthy after you retire.
1. Find Your Purpose
Many people find a deep sense of purpose in their work. Having to be somewhere every day and having other people rely on them creates a sense of responsibility and accountability. However, when you retire these professional obligations cease to exist. This can be troubling for some retirees, and many struggle to redirect their energy and attention into something else.
Finding your purpose in retirement can be easier than you think, and can help you live a happier, healthier life. By establishing a new purpose, you’ll have a higher sense of motivation, joy and fulfillment. To discover your purpose in retirement, ask yourself some important questions. What have you always dreamed of achieving? Are there causes you’re passionate about that you want to contribute to? What makes you feel excited? The answers to these questions will help you find a new direction, whether it’s volunteering, writing a novel or traveling the world.
2. Lean On Your Support Network
It may not always feel like it, but support is all around you. To mitigate mental health issues – or prevent them altogether – in retirement, it’s vital to lean on your support network. If you kids and grandkids live nearby, pay them a visit. If you live in a senior living community, chat with some of the other community members to find solidarity.
You can even find creative ways of tapping into your support network when you can’t actually be with them. You can use tokens like a retirement memory book, which holds letters, photos and treasured memories with colleagues and friends. By having this book to look at, you’ll remember just how valued you are when you need that reassurance most. Click here to find out more about retirement books.
3. Stay Active
Whether it’s going for a walk every day or doing some aerobic stretches from the comfort of your living room, exercising regularly will help keep you happy and healthy throughout retirement. Staying active boosts your mental wellness in a number of ways: it improves sleep quality, releases endorphins which better your mood, reduces stress and offers a sense of achievement.
Although retirement can come with its challenges, that doesn’t mean it can’t still be one of the most enjoyable times of your life. By following these three easy steps, you’ll prioritize your happiness and mental health, which will improve your retirement experience in ways you could have never imagined.