Retirement can be one of the most exhilarating and empowering moments of our lives. As we finish our long (and hopefully fruitful!) careers, we prepare ourselves for the freedom and joy of no longer having to clock in at a 9-5 or run a business. But although this transition may seem on the surface to be easy, it reality it can be a real challenge to transition out of a life-long routine.
At Senior Steps, many of our clients are already in retirement or close to it. One of the biggest challenges to living a long, healthy and fulfilling elderhood is maintaining a productive and happy quality of life. We all know the term “cabin fever,” and many of us have absolutely suffered from it during the long periods of quarantine and social distancing that arose from the Pandemic. Imagine if that long period with “nothing to do and nowhere to go” was not only for a brief, government-mandated period, but was instead for the rest of the foreseeable future. The stress of not having a job to go to can be much more intense than most people realize.
It’s true, retirement can counterintuitively cause an uncomfortable level of stress especially for people who are used to a solid and long-running routine. Something as simple as where you get your coffee in the morning may be a catalyst for feelings of loneliness, uselessness, and even depression. It’s important for everyone, but especially elders and retirees, to have some sort of routine that keeps them busy and functional and productive.
Many of our most successful clients have maintained an active daily routine from their retirement into their elderhood. It could be something as simple as going to the same coffee shop every morning for a coffee and a bagel (or a doughnut!), or taking the dog for a walk, or even running outside errands. Any variety of activities and things-to-do can absolutely help stave of the stress of isolation and retirement.
At Senior Steps, our geriatric care managers look at each one of our clients life and lifestyle, especially related to health and long-term happiness. For clients that stay productive and active, they consistently fare better in both health and stability. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Staying active and productive from retirement into our elder years is a very strong indicator of long-term health and happiness. So stay busy!