When most of us think about retirement, we think about how much money we have saved and invested over the years. Will we have enough income to live comfortably when we retire? We spend most of our lives saving as much extra money as we can, and being reminded by our banks and retirement agencies that we need to stay on track.
One thing that we do not seem to prepare for when retirement approaches, are the emotional and psychological aspects of retiring. You have spent your entire life working and having a career, to suddenly be out of that space can sometimes be a shock to your system and identity.
You were once busy all day long, and now you find yourself with endless amounts of time on your hands. People start to realize their lifetime goal of a happy retirement, has now become a reality filled with disappointment, loneliness, and often sadness.
This doesn’t happen to everyone of course, but for those who do experience this can feel the need to keep it quiet. They feel like they have done something wrong to feel disappointment instead of happiness in retirement. Everyone keeps telling them how wonderful it must be, when they are thinking how terrible it has been.
So how do you prepare for retirement emotionally and psychologically? According to the American Psychological Association and the article by By Jamie Chamberlin, there are a few things you can do to ease into this new lifestyle.
Finding part time work, or self employment is always a great idea. Having some sort of schedule, or side work can make someone feel like they are still participating in the work force but at a slower pace.
Taking up a hobby in retirement can be particularly rewarding, and can fill some time in your schedule. Have you always wanted to take up painting? Yoga? Cooking? Take a few classes, and see where it takes you!
Have you had a trip in mind that you always wanted to take but never had the chance? Start traveling.
The important thing is that as you prepare for retirement or are settling into retirement, you are aware that emotionally it might take some time to get used to. This is normal. It is okay to feel like you miss your “old life”. It is okay to feel angry, disappointed, and that you have nothing left. Retirement is emotionally like what your life was like before retirement, it is what you make of it. It is your mindset and your outlook on it. And that can always be changed!
Happy May everyone! We hope you are all having a wonderful Spring, and getting ready for those hot temperatures for Summer! Because at the end of May we will be honoring those who served in the military on Memorial Day, we will focus this month on various topics related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We will not only be talking about the Veterans we have in our lives, but the families and friends around them. We will also talk about other things that can cause PTSD, not just those who have returned from war and might be struggling.
There are many different traumatic experiences that can cause symptoms and prolonged PTSD. We want our blog to be beneficial and full of useful information for all people who may be in a situation where they are suffering. Even if you yourself have not experienced anything like this, or think you can’t relate, there might be someone in your life who is suffering. So this month we aim to talk about a plethora of information to help uplift ourselves and those around us!
What is PTSD and how do you know if you’re suffering from it? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the after affects of someone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. These events can range anywhere from a physical/emotional attack, serious accident, natural disaster, war, and much more. People who suffer from PTSD continue to have visions, thoughts, nightmares, and reactions long after the traumatic event has ended. The person who is suffering can often feel sad, depressed, anxious, and withdraw from friends, family, work, and social situations.
Here are a few of the topics we’ll be exploring for the month of May on our blog:
-What to do if you are struggling with PTSD?
-How to help someone who is going through symptoms of PTSD?
-Living a healthy and happy life after a traumatic event.
And much more!
Have you ever heard of therapy that is conducted in the great outdoors? We have a beautiful practice here in the Biltmore, but sometimes the temperatures here in Arizona are so scorching we are happy to be inside where it is cool.
However, there has been more and more practices and counselors who are taking their craft outdoors. There have been many studies on the affects of how getting outside and being outdoors can positively impact our lives. The mere fact of just being outdoors have shown to decrease stress levels, soothe mental illness, and increase physical activity. A lot of time spent in the outdoors is spent connecting with others, so the social interaction can be a positive thing in an individuals life as well.
There is a certain sense of calm when we are outside, especially when we are in a space that is green, clean, and quiet. This type of environment can really give us a platform to reconnect with ourselves, be in the moment, and appreciate what is around us that we often forget about when we are running through our busy lives.
There are therapy programs and groups that are held in outdoor environments, like camping in the woods, hiking groups, and even one on one counseling sessions done in a park. The results have shown that these types of activities can lower the stress hormone cortisol, which can be increasingly inflammatory and damaging to our health and our minds. Lowering cortisol can help improve symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and anxiety. Often people feel healthier, and stronger after they’ve done something outside. So it’s no wonder taking the calming feeling of just being outdoors, coupled with am individual counseling session or in a group can be successful.
There is an article over at American Psychological Association about how psychologists are using wilderness as a therapeutic tool. Check out that article here. There is also a wonderful article written by Frederick Reimers on Outside Online that explores the topic. We would love to know what you think?
Would you sign up for a therapy session done outside?
Does being outdoors make you happier?
What are your favorite outdoor activities?