Retiring from your 9-5 grind gives you unlimited opportunities to finally accomplish your bucket list. While it means freedom to wake up late and luxury to have extended vacations, retirement can be a drastic change. When you are not used to taking things easy, transitioning to a life of leisure can be a tough challenge. Retirement is considered the golden years of life.
Surprisingly, some retirees struggle with anxiety, symptoms of depression, and debilitating feelings of loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that suicide rates are highest among men retirees. Here are some ways to combat post-retirement depression:
- Engage in cultural activities
Watching a movie at the cinema, visiting a museum, and spending a day ina historic theater in Minnesotaare fun ways to keep you busy during retirement. However, these activities are not only effective time fillers but excellent brain boosters. A new study reveals that frequent cultural engagement can lower the risk of developing old-age depression. This is because attending an opera, exploring art galleries, and similar activities encourage social interaction, mental stimulation, and creativity among retirees.
- Know the reason behind your blues
Several things cause post-retirement depression. You might have a life-long desire to be a provider, and not having a job means losing your sense of purpose. Or you might just be missing your routine and social connections. Understanding the cause of your depression will help you find solutions and perform effective interventions.
- Stay engaged
Retirement gives you more time, and you have to find out what to do with it. Discover the things that spark your passion and keep your mind alive. If you are an animal lover, you can volunteer at an animal rescue organization or a local dog shelter. If you feel losing direction without a job, it’s a good idea to do volunteer work that is connected to your previous career.
For example, you can continue practicing your expertise by conducting small private classes or tutoring kids at a school in your community. You can give your kids weekly visits and volunteer to babysit your grandchildren. Keep yourself occupied by joining group outings and meeting with friends for lunch. Doing the things that make you happy will give you a sense of fulfillment and boost your mental well-being.
- Get professional help
When your blues are getting worse despite efforts to shake it off, it’s time to visit a mental health professional. Look out for these alarming depressive symptoms:
- Unfounded feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and sadness
- Intense feelings of guilt
- Losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed
- Irritability and restlessness
- Feeling sluggish and worthless
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disruptions and
- Suicidal thoughts
Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and design a treatment plan. Depending on the severity of your condition, your treatment can include psychotherapy, counseling, anti-depressant medication, or a combination of these treatment methods.
Retirement gives you a fair amount of time to spend with your friends and family, enjoy your hobbies, explore places, and experiment with several opportunities. You’ve spent about 30 years of your life in the workplace. Now is the time to enjoy the sweetness of your long-awaited freedom.