9 Tips on How to Adjust to Retirement

Why is retirement stressful? After looking forward to retirement for so long, many people find it strange when they find themselves stressed or sad when it finally arrives. 

Feeling stress or sadness after retiring is completely normal. Big life transitions stir up a lot of emotion. When you retire, suddenly so much of your life is different. If you want to feel free, excited, and relaxed, but find yourself tense, aimless, and bored, you are not alone. 

While it can take time to settle into the benefits of retirement, there are ways you can help yourself adjust. Read on for nine tips on how to adjust to retirement. 

1. Move Through Emotional Challenges

For most emotional issues, it does no good to try to force your emotions away. You might notice yourself feeling shame and guilt around the fact that you are not overjoyed about being retired. 

These emotional challenges are completely normal, and are more likely to pass quickly if you acknowledge them. It may even help to reach out to other retired people to share how you are feeling—you will probably find out they have experienced the same thing!

Joining a retirement living community can be a great way to surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through. 

2. Adjust Your Budget

Many people find themselves financially stressed with their new income. One way to gain a sense of control and normalcy is by adjusting your budget accordingly. 

While it may be tough to adjust to new spending and saving habits, over time, it will be comforting to have a firm handle on your finances. 

3. Fill Your Extra Time

Now that you’re retired, what do you do with the forty or more hours per week you used to dedicate to working? 

The answer is entirely up to you—which can be a benefit and a challenge. Many retirees choose to do volunteer work, start new hobbies, or travel. What have you been looking forward to? Take some time to allow yourself to dream big, then see what you can make come true.

4. Re-establish Your Identity

If you have been working in your field for a long time, your job may have become part of your identity. It may have provided fulfillment, a social network, and a sense of achievement. 

Even if you didn’t like your job, or found the schedule or demands to be too stressful, it can still be difficult to adjust to this shift. 

While it may be difficult, retirement is an excellent time to discover new parts of yourself, or rediscover old ones. You can fill the identity gap created by retiring with new identities by exploring your interests. 

5. Seek Connection

Missing the conversations you used to have in passing at work? Now that social interaction isn’t built into your everyday life, it can lead to a certain level of loneliness. 

If you look for it, you will find there are ways for retired people to connect with each other, like clubs, activities, and classes. You could also consider volunteering, which connects you with other volunteers as well as the community you are helping.

6. Set Goals

Retirement often comes with a sense of aimlessness. What kinds of non-work goals can you set in your everyday life? 

For example, would you like to read a certain number of books per month? Or learn to cook a new type of cuisine? What small steps can you take to achieve those goals? 

It can be fulfilling to apply the same dedication you used to bring to work to your personal goals. 

7. Create A New Schedule

If you are missing the routine work used to bring, you might consider making your own schedule. 

Sticking to a realistic, flexible schedule can help you make the most of your retirement while also promoting mental health through predictability and routine.

8. Stay Healthy

A break from our old routines can sometimes lead to healthy behaviors slipping. For example, if you are used to exercising before work, no longer working might lead to no longer working out. 

Maintaining your health is one way to invest in a happy retirement. There are many ways you can stay healthy during retirement. 

  • Turn social time into exercise by going for walks with friends and family
  • Use your new free time to try making healthy recipes 
  • Explore a new fitness hobby, like yoga, hiking, or swimming

If you get creative with your health goals, you can boost your mental and physical health without it feeling like a chore. Incorporating healthy habits during retirement can be fulfilling—and it’s worth it to stay healthy as you age. 

9. Give Yourself Time!

Every change comes with a sense of loss, even if we are happy about the change. Retirement presents plenty of challenges as you shift into your new life outside of work. It takes time to process this change, so give yourself grace and patience as you adjust.

Joining retirement living communities like Copeland Oaks can help ease the growing pains as you shift into your retirement lifestyle by surrounding you with other adults in a similar stage of life. Discover new interests, meet new friends, and make the most of your retirement. 

For more information about retirement at Copeland Oaks, click here.