If you’ve just retired or have pencil-in your last day of work, congratulations! You are about to embark on a new chapter of life that is often filled with happiness, joy, and freedom. Retirement is truly a “you time,” and there’s nothing like it.
Still, the idea of saying goodbye to your job, coworkers daily routine, and, of course, your paycheck, might give you a case of the nerves. If so, you’re not alone. Being anxious about retirement is not uncommon, and it is especially likely to happen during the first year.
Retirement stress takes many forms and has a slew of triggers. Turn on the news any time day or night and no doubt you’ll hear a story that makes you feel you haven’t saved enough for your Golden Years. Here’s a spoiler – these numbers are generally inflated, and I mean really inflated.
So, you could be worried you don’t have enough saved. You could be fretting that the stock market will crash. You could be stressed because you’d like to take your Social Security benefits early, at age 62, but everything you hear tells you this is a bad idea. And similarly, concerns about your health can lead to worry because Medicare doesn’t kick in until age 65.
On the personal and family side of things, you may have doubts about whether you and your spouse are on the same page about money. You could be afraid that your spouse wants to downsize while you want to remain in your current home. Others may fear becoming lonely during retirement or falling into hours of negative reflection on their lives.
I want to settle your nerves here – all of these concerns are normal and, no, stepping into retirement isn’t a cakewalk. There are challenges intrinsic to going from a full-time employee to a full-time retiree. It’s a life change, and like any other major change, it can create stress.
But there are solutions for feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and many of them are right under your nose.
Think about the things that you would do for yourself to boost your mood – nowadays it’s called self-care. These exact same practices can help you get from worried to serene in no time.
Here are my top-three favorite calm-inducing activities when retirement has you on the emotional ropes:
- Lavender Aromatherapy
Now, many of you may think these things are no match for your particular level of retirement stress, but give at least one of them a try. And make your mantra, “My feelings are normal,” when you’re not saying “Namaste.”
Eventually, you’ll get there. You’ll find your groove in retirement and set up a schedule that feels right to you. Remember, there’ no one-size-fits-all approach to this new chapter, so be careful not to judge yourself against your peers. Get out there and find your post-career bliss, whatever that looks like to you. Roll with the worry along the way, instead of letting it rule you.