Seniors in retirement communities, and those who have retired from work in general, often feel sad, uncertain or confused about what's next. You've been working for decades, and now that you aren't, you have no idea what to do with your time. It's a huge adjustment to make. Plus, those seniors that choose to move into assisted living have that major life transition to cope with on top of it. So how do you stay motivated and keep your spirits high during this time? You have to change your frame of mind and get involved.
As author Joseph Campbell once said, "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
In other words, to start feeling better, it's first essential to change your mindset about retirement. If you feel disappointed in where you are, remember you have a whole new phase of your life ahead of you. Instead of thinking about the life you once had, or the retirement you imagined for yourself, start viewing this next phase of life as an opportunity to break from routine and try new things.
Once you change your mindset, you can begin to change your actions. A lack of structure can make people feel like they're simply drifting, so create a daily routine for yourself. Set an alarm rather than letting yourself sleep in. Schedule hours for exercise, errands and whatever else you need to do.
Consider sitting down and making a list of hobbies or activities you've always wanted to do that you now have time for. Learn to play golf, start volunteering or study digital photography, for instance. For those in active retirement communities, take part in activities and make new friends.
Remember, this phase of life can be scary, but in the end, your retirement lifestyle is what you make of it.
Kelley D. Hamilton