Mental Health After Retirement & How To Deal With It?
Retirement is an exciting time for most of us and why shouldn’t it be? You finally get enough time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. It’s a time we all look forward to in our younger years.
Nonetheless, retirement can also be quite daunting for some men. Sometimes new retirees fear that their days will feel boring, purposeless, or lose the social connections they once had with their clients or co-workers.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep yourself mentally strong after retirement. Read on as we’ll uncover some pointers for improving mental health during retirement.
Mental Health of Senior Men
Anyone can develop mental health problems at some point in their life, particularly when a big life change occurs such as starting retirement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), about 20 percent of adults over 55 experience some type of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, cognitive issues, and bipolar disorder.1
Among these problems, depression is quite common among older adults and is often the least recognized. Moreover, it can have various effects on their health, including social and physical aspects.
If you have medical conditions, depression may even make it worse, according to the CDC. According to the Institute of Economic Affairs, retirement can increase your risk for clinical depression by approximately 40% and there’s a 60% likeliness that you’ll be diagnosed with at least one physical condition.2
The Good News Is…
The secret to enjoying your retirement is to find different ways to attain the rewards you used to get from work. And, the good news is that there are plenty of resources and activities that can help in improving your mental health and prevent the retirement woes from haunting you.
In fact, Simply staying connected and building a strong, meaningful bond with friends and family can go a long way in preventing mental health problems3 as you age.
How Do I Keep My Mental Health In Check?
In this section, we’ll talk about a few pointers that can help improve your mental and physical health after retirement.
Connecting with others, whether it's your family, colleagues, community, or even pets, is an important aspect of human experience. Building healthy relationships can help not only help in reducing levels of depression and anxiety but also boost your self-esteem.4
Finding ways to build healthy connections with people beyond work is a great way for promoting your mental health. In fact, research suggests that retirees who are socially active enjoy greater happiness. It’s also known to help improve longevity and your overall health in your later years.5
Be Physically Active
As you age, being physically active will not just be beneficial for your physical wellness but also your mental health. The benefits of exercising regularly after retirement are far-reaching. Exercising regularly will help in improving your mental health by minimizing depression, anxiety, and negative mood, all of which can help boost your cognitive function and self-esteem.6
Moreover, exercising has been known to help boost your testosterone. This is good news as your testosterone levels tend to decline when you turn 40. Consequently, it can also help reduce your risk of experiencing depression due to low testosterone levels.
Develop A Routine
While you were working, you didn’t really have the option to decide when to wake up or the activities you’ll be doing. In retirement, however, it’s the total opposite. Though this sounds like a tremendous benefit, it also makes it easy for you to spend your days idle.
But here’s the thing, as a retiree, you’ll do much better if you have some sort of plan to spend the day, including when to wake up and what to accomplish. By sticking to a schedule can help in maintaining your sense of purpose.7 Moreover, it’ll make you feel like you are getting something done and not just fritting your days away.
Explore Your Purpose
Having a purpose is quite essential for your mental health. It’ll give you a sense of meaning to your life after retirement, which is great, especially since retirement can make you feel purposeless.8 Moreover, you have plenty of options at your disposal to make you feel purposeful again. Just because you don’t have your regular job anymore doesn’t mean you can no longer have any purpose in life.
One way to feel a sense of purpose in your life is by taking part in activities that allow you to give back to the world. If you aren’t sure where or how to start, cultivating a new hobby can be a great way. It can be writing, dancing, painting, or drawing, anything that makes you feel happy. Or perhaps, you can try tutoring children or volunteering to help others.
While some retirees embrace retirement with open arms, some feel directionless. Continuing to work even after retirement, but on a minimum schedule can help. According to research from the University of Florida, retirees who chose to continue working part-time experienced better physical and emotional health as compared to those who decided to retire completely.9
Volunteering your skills for a worthy cause can offer you a sense of fulfillment and purpose.10 With no shortage when it comes to the number of causes and organizations that need support, there are several opportunities for you to take part and feel needed and valued.
Volunteering for an organization or cause can be a gratifying experience at any age. And, as a retiree, if you’re looking to invest your time into something worthy, volunteering can offer numerous benefits that will enhance your emotional, physical, and mental health.
As you can see retirement doesn’t have to be a daunting process for you. You can turn your retirement into a phase where you finally get to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. We understand that it might be difficult to adjust to your new routine at first, however, it doesn’t have to be that way.
By staying active, being social, and indulging in activities that give you joy, you can experience greater happiness and better mental health even after your retirement.