The retirement party was so much fun! Now you can go for the vacation of a lifetime; you have opportunities to do whatever you want without the burden of a daily job. What’s next? Surprisingly, the lack of alarm clocks in the morning can be pretty depressing and beginning a new life after 60 is difficult. According to the latest research conducted by the UK’s Institute of Economic Affairs, almost 40% of retirees suffer from clinical depression. Also, every second person reports a decline in health after retirement.
Psychologists say that jobs provide mental health benefits. People feel satisfaction from learning new things, solving problems and interacting with others. More than that, a daily job establishes a routine that is so important for us since it helps overcome procrastination, sleep better and create the structure in our lives. The loss of a job can be a traumatic experience. No wonder, so many retirees lack motivation and feel depressed.
The statistics show that life expectancy has increased in the UK in recent decades. The average person has roughly 20 years of life remaining after the retirement party.
It’s enough time to write twenty books, mentor hundreds of youth, travel the globe and build another house. Do you still want to spend the next twenty years watching television?
These people know how to retire responsibly, stay motivated and enjoy life:
Oliver Miller, 78, worked as a school teacher for 45 years. He truly loved his job, but he couldn’t stay at school any longer. At first, Oliver felt like he lost the purpose of life. Later he decided to find a new meaning.
‘I don’t believe I have only one role in my life. I had a lot of hobbies in the past, so it time to start something new. I felt lost, but then I started journaling, and it really helped me.’
Keeping a journal helps to get clarity and boost your creativity. Once you write down your thoughts and stories from the past and present, you will be able to figure out what to do next. You can start writing about your childhood. Recall what could make you happy when you were a kid and describe it in details. List your plans and dreams, even if it is something small like eating ice cream cone in the park. Sit down and force yourself to write down something you want to do today, tomorrow and within next month. Only a good plan can keep you motivated and help wake up every morning.
You can make a computer diary and learn more about new technologies. From another hand, writing in pen every day can improve your coordination skills and keep your brain sharp.
If you don’t know where to start, describe your favorite moments or recurring dreams, list things that make you laugh. Let’s not forget that keeping a journal is also a way to write down yourself in history. Maybe one day your grandchildren will find your diary, so try to complain less!
Find your calling
Martha Brown is 69 years old. She worked in the bank for a long time. The first question Martha asked herself after retirement was ‘So, what should I do with my life now?’. The last time Martha asked this question she was in her 20s.
She believes that it is never too late – she is pretty busy with yoga, Spanish and art classes now. Martha believes it is possible to find your calling after retirement. She plans to go to Spain and launch her first online store to sell her paintings. If you want to get motivated, find something that you will enjoy.
Steve Williams, 71, worked in the sales department. He liked meeting new people and spending time with his colleagues. After retirement, he stopped taking care of himself and felt lonely. One day he had a little chat with his neighbor. It was nothing special, but it helped him to understand why he felt depressed. Steve missed the social interaction with former colleagues.
He became a volunteer teacher in Costa Rica. He says that being in service to others keeps him motivated and makes him happy. Social interaction also has a lot of health benefits that include lower blood pressure, lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and reduced risk for cardiovascular problems.
Sara Glasser, 75, had a job at university. She managed to keep herself busy even after retirement. Sara liked spending time with her family and attending computer classes. She planned her time, but something was still missing. At some point, she realized that there was nothing to wait for in her routine. That’s why she offered help with organizing the wedding for her granddaughter and decided to go to the senior dance club.
Anticipation is a powerful tool that can help you stay motivated. Scientific experiments show that anticipating positive events triggers the release of dopamine also known as ‘happy hormone’.
Besides establishing a daily routine, add to your calendar events that can make you excited — for example, meeting with an old friend, going to a concert or buying a new jacket.