No more working hours of 9 am to-5 pm means a whole new approach to life. How to adapt to retirement, along with some valuable health habits, can turn your golden years into a high-quality period in your life.
When you first started your career, you may have dreamed of a day when you would drop your employee ID card, get rid of your alarm clock, and turn off your mobile phone. The dreams you had when sipping pine cola on the beach, aged 25, maybe are more like “what are you…” at 65 years old. When the transition to retirement happens, it can seem daunting to many workers.
Like any major transition in your life, retirement is a time of shifting priorities. Many people worry about a lot of things from finance and health to where they will live during retirement. Some of these things can be taken care of quite easily. For instance, AMI Insurance
can cover your home and contents insurance worries, while some healthy eating habits and medical care can help your health over the long term. What many people find difficult to handle is the change in lifestyle. It is important to prepare for this because how you spend your new-found leisure time can make a huge difference in your health and quality of life. Here are four ways that you can prepare your mind for retirement.
Picture the Life You Want
Close your eyes and imagine the life you want. Imagine the happiest, most fulfilling retirement. What do you hope to do on a Tuesday? How will you make the most of your post-work years? Can you imagine spending your time with your grandchildren, trying new sports, seeing the dentist, coaching colleagues at your old job, or playing golf with friends? Where will you find the best quality of life? Spending some time thinking about what brings you meaning and purpose in your life will give you a good idea of where you will find the most happiness.
Find a Routine
Health, freedom, and flexibility all sound great, but for some people, unrestricted flexibility can be a minus rather than a plus. If that’s you, develop a routine or pattern. It doesn’t have to mean being packed into a schedule. Just do a few routine things that fit in with the way you would like to spend your time. It could be picking up your grandchildren from school, weekly on Tuesday afternoons. Even if you don’t have a job that you report for every day, getting up at the same time each day and hour is a healthy regimen to follow. Sleep is the foundation of a resilient life. Life without an alarm clock may be one of your retirement dreams, but you can still keep some restrictions with your sleep habits.
Loneliness can be a part of aging. If your work is your main social outlet, retirement can come as a shock to your social life. Think about the social connections you want to maintain and the new ones you wanted to develop before you retire. Invite your neighbour over for a meal, sign up to volunteer in your community, and reinvest in your relationship with close friends, especially your spouse if possible. Faith-based communities can also be a source of social connection.
Keep on Learning
Research has shown that new ways of influencing your brain can help you continue thinking sharp. While you’re working, there’s often an opportunity to get to know new people and learn new skills. When you retire, you may need to be more proactive. You can and should continue to discover new things in your retirement life. There are many ways to do this. Sudoku and crossword puzzles are a few ways. The more you do, the better your chances of success. Take an adult education course at a community college, walk outside, or bike to the nearest park. Travel to new places with a group or solo. Whatever you choose, be sure to go offline. More screen time is associated with poor mental health in retired people, while more physical activity produces the opposite effect.
Retirement can be an exciting time in your life, with new opportunities for challenging tasks and new experiences. Find the motivation to get out there and make the most of your retirement years.