Retirement is a big change for many people, and the transition can come with a huge range of emotions. You may feel excited, uncertain, hopeless, disenchanted. Before retiring, many people spend a lot of time and energy ensuring that they are prepared for retirement. Transitioning from a full-time job into retirement can be really stressful, overwhelming and disorientating. Whilst there are lots of pros to retirement such as more time to relax, lower stress levels, opportunities to travel or take up hobbies, it can also feel like a negative sometimes. It can feel as though an identity has been lost, as well as a regular income and a sense of purpose.

Many of us identify ourselves by our job title, whether that’s doctor, builder, teacher, manager, or something else entirely. That’s why it’s common for retirees to often experience feelings of depression and loss. In today’s ‘Wellness Wednesday’ blog post, we’re going to be sharing some advice on how you can make the transition into retirement a smoother and more enjoyable one.

  1. Give yourself time to adjust

Retirement is a huge transition, so don’t feel bad if you’re finding it difficult to get your bearings. If you’re feeling sad about loosing your ‘working self’, let yourself feel those emotions. Don’t bottle anything up as this could lead to mental health issues further down the line.

  1. Redefine your idea of productivity

At work, your idea of productivity may be finishing a presentation, gaining a new client, getting a raise. Lots of retirees struggling with the feeling that they aren’t being productive, and this is because they are measuring productivity in the same way they used to at work. Productivity can be anything – going for a walk every morning, finishing a book, painting the garden fence or cooking a meal you haven’t before.

  1. Find a hobby you enjoy

Have you always wanted to try something but never had the time before? Maybe you used to enjoy something when you were younger but didn’t have the time or energy to pursue it. Now is the perfect time to pick it back up, or try something new! Maybe you’ve always wanted to try your hand at painting, baking, golf – you name it! Why not see if there are any local clubs or classes you can join where you can really get stuck into your new hobby?

  1. Socialise

Retirement can come with a risk of isolated and loneliness. After working with colleagues for the last few decades, it can feel lonely. Schedule time with friends and family, or make an effort to make new friends. Your new hobby could be the perfect way to meet some like minded individuals!

  1. Speak to a professional

If you’re finding it difficult to adjust to this new way of living, reach out to a therapist or mental wellness specialist. They will help you to navigate this transition and make sure your retirement is a happy one.

Check out our post on life transitions and how they affect mental health HERE

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