Managing Retirement

Springtime, a time for change and maybe new beginnings. For some this may mean the end of worklife and career, with retirement looming, often at an earlier age than our predecessors.

FTR RetirementRetirement may bring up anxieties, many have to do with financial issues related to savings, pensions, investments and future health care concerns and costs.

The financial questions of retirement are certainly important, but there are also additional retirement issues that have to be faced. These include basic questions about being able to handle the psychological aspects of no longer being part of the work force.

We live in a society that places a great deal of value on ‘doing’ things. We’ve been taught to be busy, productive citizens and, for many of us, our lives revolve around that thing we ‘do’ for a living. We’re usually known to others as a nurse, teacher, accountant, or whatever career we’ve been working in.

Then, suddenly, one day we no longer hold that title but are simply “retired.” We’ve lost that identity of being a “doer” and, unfor- tunately, many of us judge people who are not “doing” things as being of less value. Now is the chance to reevaluate the amount of time we spend on the three main functions of life – Doing, Being and Thinking – all are equally valuable.

For someone approaching retirement, it’s necessary to accept that he or she is heading into a new life stage with different meanings and a new status. It requires understanding that there are many changes to be faced and many questions, a lot more important than, ‘What are you going to do?’ to be answered. If retirement is near or recent, take the time to really evaluate how it’s going to affect you, not just financially but in all as- pects of your life.

Lack of self esteem can be a sign of lack of purpose. Dynamics of home and social life change. With these changes come renewed challenges, for example, managing time at home, restructuring your day to create a sense of belonging and worthiness Volunteering is a great option to give back to society, see what is available locally.

Or maybe embark on new hobbies, something creative and artistic – there are a wealth of opportunities here, solo or in groups; learn a new language or try a new sport; maybe something outside your usual comfort zone.

But if retirement seems like an overwhelming black hole in your future, consider making an appointment with a professional counsellor who can help you with the issues you are facing. Psychotherapy is a journey of self discovery. Together we will learn how to acknowledge, identify, accept, and ultimately manage your feelings and emotions. This itself is work, with yourself as the main beneficiary.

If you are impacted by any of these issues, be encouraged to take the first step, be brave to ask for help, give me a call or send me an email. Together, we can discover if psychotherapy is for you. You are not alone.

(Feature: Counselling/Retirement)

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