Retirement. Some of us have arrived, others are almost there and some aren’t even thinking about it. Recently I’ve written on the subject of Retirement. In particular, I asked the question ‘What does your version of Retirement look like?’ and also asked Are you Suffering from Retirement Regret?
In my post How to Create your Signature Self-Care Cocktail I discussed the idea that as individuals we all need to find what works best for us. There is so much information around self care and sometimes it is difficult to decide what works and what doesn’t.
Retirement is exactly the same I know from the comments that Retirement means different things and ‘one-size definitely does not fit all’.
My next guest in the Ageing Well, Living Well Series is friend and mentor, Peta Gillian, CEO of Strong Healthy Women. Peta has been a guest before and always provides practical information for living a healthy lifestyle not just in our 50s but way beyond. In this post, Peta shares some practical steps to make the Retirement phase of life your best step forward. A Signature Retirement that is unique to you.
Can retiring be the best or worse step you take?
For many of us who are still working, we might dream of the day of not waking to an alarm or spending a leisurely day of nothingness. Whilst sleeping late and doing nothing might work for a little while, it’s appeal could be very short lived.
Retirement is full of excitement, liberation, fear and anxiety. It has the full range of feelings so it’s important to work through your emotions and find a way to release and not supress them.
At first, you might feel that your free at last and on holidays that will go on forever. The novelty of being on holidays will wear off and you’ll settle into a slower lifestyle. Beware, your slower lifestyle might impact your health.
Look for healthy ways to deal with those feelings.
You might find walking, reading, writing, talking to others or even yoga and meditation. The choices are endless.
You might be planning trips overseas or travelling our beautiful country, painting or reading and the lists goes on. But this is about you and you’ve got the time to figure it out.
The joy of retirement is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment.
It’s up to you to design the type of day—and kind of life—that you want to live.
This is about you, not your significant other but you – your dreams and how you want to live your life.
You’ve had years of routine and then suddenly that routine is gone. Once the dust settles…
The structure that keeps your daily life in check and on track from a health aspect is gone. Or maybe this is your opportunity to have more time to spend on your health – preparing meals and exercising. This is when you get to design your new routine, the one that works for your health and life.
Your day might have gone something like this – alarm goes off, shower, breakfast, pack a lunch, head out the door. Then, there was probably a similar routine at the end of your day that began when you walked back into your home.
It’s time to establish a retirement routine that helps you plan your days. Experiment with various activities and what works for you. You might want to read the newspaper over a cup of tea, exercise, see friends and volunteer. Your choices are endless and it’s about you.
One the biggest impacts on health is the wake and sleep times, so develop a consistent routine for waking up and going to bed.
Your work colleagues are no longer a constant in your life. That social connection we all crave, and need, is not there. Maybe your friends have already retired so you are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them and you’ve got the social connection covered.
This is the time when isolation can really impact your life. After years of meeting friends through work and seeing them every day, it might not be as easy to find new friends.
Develop your routine and catch up with a retired friend each week, go walking in the neighbourhood (you never know who you might meet).
If you have a significant other in your life and you have friends together you might invite them over for a meal or play cards. If you don’t feel like you have enough people to keep you socially active take advantage of the extra time in your life to make new friends.
This is not the time to narrow your friendships but the time to grow them.
You might find friends at the local church or community centre, at golf, craft, tennis, exercise classes or bowls. This is the time to expand your horizons. Remember don’t limit yourself, there are groups on-line too.
If you’re one of the lucky ones you have it all figured out what you’ll do, who you’ll spend it with and what your purpose is, I applaud you. Many of us define ourselves by what we do and retiring will send us into an absolute tailspin. It’s time to think about the opportunities available to you.
Remember you don’t have to stick with what you know and what you’ve done all your life. You might find a “Passion Job”, something you’ve been interested in for years and start another chapter in your life.
You might not want to work and that’s understandable, but you might enjoy the benefits of volunteering and giving back to others.
One of the greatest benefits of working, whether paid or unpaid, is the increase in your social connections. Not only that, it’s great for the mind and body and will give you a great sense of achievement.
You’ve spent your working life, meeting deadlines, finishing projects or going for a promotion. Guess what? You still get to set goals and intentions during retirement. You just need to look at them differently.
Working on goals and intentions can give you a sense of purpose. And accomplishing new things can give you a sense of achievement.
Think about what milestones you might want to meet in a month, 90 days, or a year. Remember to write them down.
You are 42% more likely to achieve those goals when you write them down. You might want to get healthier, lose weight, be fitter? Travel Overseas? Read a book a month? Goals in retirement can be heaps of fun. Get out there and enjoy your retirement.
If you love this article and want more, join my mailing list and get Peta’s Well-Being Foundation News. subscribe HERE
Peta Gillian is a qualified fitness and lifestyle professional with 15 years’ experience working with women. Featured in Prevention Magazine, a regular on the Fit N Fifty Plus Podcast Show and a Finalist in the Australian Fitness Industry Awards, Peta is passionate about helping women 50+ be active, healthy and #1 in their lives.
Peta is the creator of FITFlex (a fitness and flexibility program for women 50+), Fuelled Up and the founder of Ageless Confidence which helps women no matter what stage of life to “believe they can”.
She started her own well-being journey after watching the effects of preventable disease on the women in her family. She faced a health issue of her own in her 40’s. And then menopause hit her like a tonne of bricks, which started the process of research and finding her way through strategies that completely transformed her health and has since taught these same strategies to thousands of other women.
Peta loves skiing, hiking, travelling, self-care time, staying active and loves reading to learn and grow.