Stress in Retirement Is Normal

Stress in Retirement Is Normal: 5 Causes and How to Deal

Learn five reasons some retirees have a difficult time adjusting to retirement, as well as tips to improve mental health during retirement.

Most people talk about retirement as a shiny, sunny chapter of your life in which you no longer have to clock into work, answer to a boss, or spend 40 hours a week working for The Man. For many retirees, however, retirement turns out to be less pleasant than they expected.

It turns out, stress and depression during retirement are pretty normal. It’s a major life transition, which is unsettling in itself for people who struggle with change, and it brings with it many challenges that some may not be ready to deal with.

Most people enjoy their retirement—eventually, at least—but here are some common reasons your mental health may take a hit during retirement.

1. A perceived loss of purpose.

While some people just go to work to get a paycheck, others find or even build their identity around their careers. If you relate to the latter, it’s natural to feel a little lost or unfulfilled without your job.

Some options to overcome this feeling are to seek out hobbies and volunteer opportunities that utilize your expertise. Additionally, if you find yourself feeling “worthless” without your career, it might be a good idea to check in with a mental health professional to help you navigate these feelings.

2. Financial stress.

Everyone’s financial situation during retirement is different. If your situation is less than ideal, you might obviously feel a little uneasy with the sudden change in cash flow.

There are many programs and professionals who can help with your financial planning during this period. Recalculating your budget may help recharge your confidence going forward.

3. Loneliness.

You probably took it for granted at the time, but work helps keep you at least moderately social five days a week. Sure, there are some social butterflies out there who stay engaged with their buddies during retirement, but it’s easy to slide into a habit of spending your retired days alone on the couch.

Make it a point to get out of the house regularly to reap the health benefits of socialization. Join clubs, exercise groups, and community gardens. Retirement is also a great time to adopt a dog or cat: Pets come with many health perks, including fighting off loneliness.

4. Lack of routine.

avoid stress in retirement

People who like structure can feel wayward without their 9 to 5. If you’re a planner who loves the predictability of a typical work day, you don’t have to give up structure in retirement.

Find a new routine to soothe your methodical mind. Continue to wake up and go to bed at similar times, even if you no longer have to worry about beating rush hour traffic in the morning. Set up weekly coffee dates and lunch hours with your pals. Schedule in hobbies, clubs, exercise, and other regular activities to give you the structure you crave.

5. Health issues.

If you have them, health problems that arise as you age can hinder your quality of life, limit your mobility, and add to your financial stress. That can obviously make retirement less easy and enjoyable.

One of the best things you can do is remain actively engaged in maintaining your good health: Stick to a healthy lifestyle, keep in touch with your doctor, and make sure you get your vaccines as needed.

Taking it easy might not be so easy at first, but most retirees adjust with time. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional to help you adjust and find your groove in retirement.

Keeping your mind occupied and your spirits high is a great way to reduce stress. Read this next to find out how: 10 Indoor Activities to Keep us Engaged as we Age

By David Lasman – “Ask Medicare Dave” | President – Senior Healthcare Team | 866-333-7340

Selecting the right healthcare plan through Medicare can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Senior Healthcare Team is a nationwide resource that provides guidance and support about Medicare to seniors at no cost to them and helps them to choose the most suitable insurance plan tailored to their specific needs and budget.  Our goal is to educate and empower our clients to make the best decisions regarding their healthcare and clear up the confusion of Medicare.  At Senior Healthcare Team, we aren’t partial to any one insurance company.  Our loyalty is to our clients and our mission is to provide them with the best healthcare options at the very lowest cost.