A retirement so you don’t have to work more for the rest of your life and have money every month, it seems like anyone’s dream , right? In reality, you have been working your whole life for and for that, but when the time comes … it is likely that you feel a certain inner emptiness that you do not know how to fill in the appropriate way.
In reality, retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of so many years of hard work, but you can also feel a certain sadness and even depression that you do not know how to face, in retirement there are changes in your life and it is necessary to have the adequate strategies to be able to face it with integrity, but above all, to enjoy this new stage.
Reasons for depression after retirement
For many people, work brings a sense of usefulness and purpose. There is a lifelong desire to be a good provider for the family, an achiever, and a useful part of society. The person’s sense of self is closely related to what they do for a living; And, with retirement, a sense of loss can ensue, leaving a person struggling to understand who they are now and what their worth is. You may even suffer a certain identity crisis .
It can also happen that the dynamics of the home change. Where before the person and / or the couple were dedicated to working outside the home and spent a lot of time away from home, now they will spend more time at home. Roles may change and a greater need to make decisions together may occur. Until a new balance is achieved, there may be internal conflicts until you adjust to the new situation.
Another reason that can make retirement feel difficult for a person is that it is a reminder that they are aging and if they have fears of death, illness or disability, it can be a cause of great anxiety for those who retire, although you get a good pension at the end of the month.
Coping with retirement
To be able to face retirement with integrity, you need to consider some things that you can do. First, it is essential that you change your perspective on life and that you see it as something positive because in reality it is. With these tips you will have a much easier transition in this new stage of your life.
- Stay active . Do things to keep your body and mind active. Take yoga classes, play sports, walk up and down stairs, volunteer to help others, enjoy gardening, ride a bike … your body and mind need to be moving! The last thing you need is to sit around all day watching TV.
- Strengthen social and family ties. Visit your children as often as you can, offer to babysit your grandchildren. Enjoy activities with your friends. Help others or meet new friends on senior trips. You are in a beautiful stage of your life and you also have the right to enjoy it.
- Find a purpose. Perhaps you want to do a volunteer job or work in a particular way in something that has always motivated you but that due to your work circumstances you have never been able to dedicate before. If you really feel good and strong, why not give it a try? Finding a new way to make sense of your life will restore the sense of purpose that you once found at work.
- Fulfill your dreams. If you have always wanted to learn to play the piano or have wanted to travel but have never been able to … now is the perfect time to do so. You have the freedom and you are still young enough to enjoy it. Go for it!
- Set a schedule. When you’re used to planning all day around your work, it can be quite disconcerting to have a totally unstructured day. Instead, set a schedule for yourself, creating set times when you will be working around the house, exercising, or volunteering.
What if I can’t cope?
You may be realizing that no matter how hard you try, you are not able to get better and that retirement is costing you more than necessary. If you find that your depression is not going away or is beginning to interfere with your life, then you may want to seek professional help to be evaluated for any type of depressive disorder . The symptoms that can help you know if you are really going through a disorder can be the following:
- Feeling sad, depressed, or just plain empty.
- Losing interest in the things you used to enjoy doing.
- Feeling irritable or restless.
- Having trouble falling asleep or getting up in the morning.
- Have changes in appetite or weight.
- Having trouble thinking, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling worthless or excessively guilty
- Feeling helpless or hopeless.
- Thinking about death or suicide .
If you have realized after reading this short list that this is really how you feel, or you feel identified with most of these symptoms, then you will need to consult your doctor for a more thorough evaluation. They will ask you some questions and determine if your symptoms may be depression or if they could be due to some other cause, such as a medical condition or a medication you are taking. If there is no other underlying cause that is causing you sadness after retirement, you may be suffering from depression.
If you really have depression, there are effective treatments, medications and psychotherapy that will make you feel better and enjoy life. You will be able to realize that you are actually a lucky person and that what matters is to be good with yourself and with the life you have. Your doctor can prescribe medication or recommend a mental health professional to help you much more efficiently. In general, the best treatment for depression will be a combination of medication, therapy, or counseling, but your doctor will work with you to determine what is best for you.