Retirement can be a time of great joy and happiness, but it can also come with some significant risks to your mental health. One of the most common problems that retirees face is adjustment disorder, which is a condition that involves significant losses — of identity, purpose, structure and social contacts — that can trigger depression and other psychiatric illnesses.
If you are retiring soon, it’s important to be aware of these risks and know how to get help if you need it.
How to safeguard your mental health in retirement
There are a number of things you can do to help protect your mental health during retirement. First, be sure to take some time for yourself after retiring. Give yourself the opportunity to adjust to your new life and explore all the different things you can now do. Don’t try to do too much too soon.
Start with a plan
One of the most important things you can do to protect your mental health during retirement is to have a life plan and a financial plan. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do with your time, and be sure to have enough money saved up so you can enjoy your retirement without worrying about finances. If you need help creating a life plan or financial plan, consult a professional. There are many resources available to help retirees stay mentally healthy and enjoy their retirement years.
Human Connections are crucial for your mental health in retirement
Also, make sure to stay connected to your friends and family. Retirement can be a time when people lose their social networks, which can lead to depression and isolation. The fact that these two conditions are often comorbid with each other, as well as the very similar nature of their symptoms, makes matters worse. The symptoms of both depression and other mental health problems can differ in older individuals. Depressed seniors may feel numb or anxious rather than sadness, have difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
One of the ways to avoid depression and anxiety after retirement is to keep up with your old hobbies and activities, and make new ones too. You could try golfing, biking, hiking, fishing, and playing cards. These activities can help you stay busy and connected to other people.
If you do start feeling down or struggling with adjustment disorder, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are many resources available to retirees, including counseling, support groups and medication if needed. Don’t suffer in silence — there is no shame in seeking help when you need it.
For Further Reading
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- How to Overcome Your Fear of Flying: Tips to Make Traveling Safer and More Enjoyable
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- The Scourge of Toxic Positivity
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