Life Transitions: Effective Strategies for a Positive Retirement

Jan 09, 2024
Life Transitions: Effective Strategies for a Positive Retirement
You’ve dreamed about retirement for ages, but are you ready for it? It’s one of life’s most significant transitions, and it’s normal to feel stress, worry, loss, and excitement about this transition. Learn tips on how to navigate it.

Some events in life cause seismic shifts. For example, becoming a mom or dad or grieving the loss of someone you love. 

Another significant change is retirement. After a lifetime of working, suddenly you’re finished. But even something that has been an eagerly anticipated transition can leave you feeling adrift because of how drastically different your life is post-retirement. 

Dr. Amy Carnall and Cristina Sertway, APN, PMHNP-BC, have experience helping people cope with monumental life transitions and thrive as they navigate them. At Clarity Psychiatric Care, located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we provide you with strategies to make life’s biggest changes easier. 

Change: The one constant

We adjust to changes daily, from canceled plans with a friend to a deadline change at work. But what about when the change is significant, like with retirement? How do you forge a new sense of purpose?

Even changes we look forward to can cause stress, and ending our professional working lives is one of them — ask any retiree.

Tips for a better retirement transition

You can take steps to make your transition to retiree positive and less stressful.

1. Do you have a focus or a dream?

Crafting a plan about what life might look like after retirement is important. That may be more challenging if you were intensely career-oriented. 

You might want to travel, volunteer for a meaningful cause, or tackle home renovation projects. Whatever it is, it helps to think about how you’ll fill your hours so you don’t end up feeling confused or aimless.

2. Engagement = health

Remaining engaged after you retire is pivotal to your health and well-being. But what does this mean? 

It’s critical to get out of your house, stay physically active, and socially connected. Seeing friends and family regularly is good for your mental and physical health. Going to the YMCA with a neighbor a few times a week, making or accepting dinner invitations, and serving the community in a meaningful way are ways you can remain involved and energized.

3. Learn something new

A key to healthy retirement is retaining your curiosity. Think about taking a continuing education class, getting involved in a new hobby, or intensifying your relationship with a hobby you already love, like gardening. There’s always more to learn, and doing so keeps your mind sharp and your mood up.

4. Never say never

Often, retirement doesn’t completely mean the end of work. Many retirees work part-time doing something different from their previous careers or may mentor professionals in their previous fields. 

It’s important to acknowledge that your decades of experience and stored knowledge are valuable assets.

Retirement planning isn’t just financial planning. It’s creating a snapshot of how you imagine life after you retire. But sometimes that can feel overwhelming. That is why we encourage you to make an appointment and check in with us — and yourself — about where you want to be in this stage of life.

We offer counseling that allows you to take the time to examine your feelings about retirement, your hopes and goals, and more. It’s also an opportunity to voice uncertainties or fears about your new identity and to acknowledge feelings of loss. 

Your relationships will change too — with your friends, many of whom you may have made through work, your spouse, and your children. We can help you navigate the ups and downs that often affect interpersonal relationships after a transition as significant as retirement. 

As your partner in care, we help you arrive at the best solutions for you.

Call our Cherry Hill office at 856-428-1260 to start your retirement transition journey. You can also make an appointment using our online booking tool