Retirement—what a big milestone! Maybe it is something you have been thinking about and planning for a long time. You may not have considered the psychological impact it might have. Retirement can mean a loss of structure and a shift in identity, both of which can cause upheaval in what you thought would be a long-awaited change. In addition, other things might be changing. Maybe your role in the family is different; maybe unanticipated health conditions are making this part of your life look different than you had expected. This can generate lots of feelings and, for some, result in mental health issues along the way.
Here are a few tips to help you cope as you navigate unchartered territory:
Expect unexpected emotions—and allow yourself to feel them fully
Find and implement new sources of structure
Invest time in hobbies and relationships
Explore new sources of meaning, which may include projects, volunteer work, hobbies, setting different goals
Give yourself grace, time, and flexibility to figure it out
This transition may be more difficult than anticipated. All transitions, even the most positive, can come with stress. Whether it is redefining your life, helping institute structure, dealing with loss and grief, or finding new meaning, we are here to help you through this exciting journey. Please reach out to one of our experienced counselors and therapists.