Thinking of Retiring? You Need a Routine!

retire in the sun70 Million Baby Boomers will be retiring in the next 10 years, are you one of them? Do you know what guarantees you a “healthy” retirement? Most of the articles on “what to think of when you think of retirement” cover financial aspects – which is important of course, but dig deeper and you will see the need for mental currency is just as important as that of financial currency!

So how do you start to think about and plan for your psychological portfolio as well as your financial portfolio? There are many transitions that will need to be made and largely these depend on what your work/life balance was while you were engaged in your career, your relationship with your family as well as the reason for and timing of the retirement, and lastly, but probably most importantly, what expectations you have for retirement based on your health and financial security.

Transitions take time. Harvard experts say retirement can be an excuse to take it easy for a while and devote yourself to gardening or golfing, but don’t take it too easy. Your health and well-being depends on staying engaged with your interests and using your skills, as well as keeping in touch with family and friends you enjoy. Doing too little, or withdrawing, can lead to anxiety and depression.

Psychologist Nancy Schlossberg identified groups of people according to how they approach retirement. Which profile fits you?:

     ~  Continuers: continued using existing skills and following their interests;

     ~  Adventurers: looking to start entirely new endeavors;

     ~  Searchers: those who explore new options through trial and error;

     ~  Gliders: enjoy unscheduled time letting each day unfold;

     ~  Involved Spectators: care about the world around them, but engage in less active ways; and

     ~  Retreaters: those who take time out from or disengage from life.

What happens when the work or position that defines you disappears? A study presented at the American Psychological Association found that retirement affects husbands and wives differently, especially if they do not retire at the exact same time. Women who recently retired were more depressed if their husbands remained employed. Men who recently retired experienced more marital conflict especially if they had employed wives. Spouses on both sides have adjustments to make, and when one or both retire, they have to realize their relationship need to be redefined.

The people most happy in retirement are those that enjoy a variety of activities ranging from volunteer work, continuing education, travel, learning a new hobby or sport, etc. Just as your previous working life was structured for success, your retirement life needs routine to reap reward. Social engagement has been proven to be as important to your mental wellbeing as exercise and a healthy diet. New activities that challenge, engage and stretch your mind will keep you sharp!

We shared this article because May is Mental Health Awareness Month. More information on how retirement can affect mental health can be found at the American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/research/action/retire.aspx. You may also want to read this related Regal article: Mapping the Way to Mental Health and Wellness in May.

Contact Us: Mental health is important at every age. Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable. And recovery is possible. Regal psychiatric nurses and care managers can work with a love one’s mental health professionals so they can be treated comfortably and cost-effectively in the less restrictive environment of the home while receiving appropriate and adequate follow-up and referral. For a consultation, please contact Ferial Andre, RN, CCM, CDP, at 561-499-8382 or ferialandre@regalcares.com.

This article is not intended as medical advice

 



Tuesday, May 17, 2016 @ 05:05 PM