By : Matt Rhoney
While retirement is an exciting stage of life that seems to be full of endless opportunities from house projects, traveling, taking up new hobbies, and well-deserved R & R, it can also be a stressful transition for many individuals. According to the American Institute of Stress, retirement ranks number 10 on the list of life’s 43 most stressful events. Stress is not as welcoming as retirement. Stress can cause a myriad of health problems from mental health issues to major physical conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, aging retirees are at greater risk certain health issues due to the natural progression of age. Before you get stressed about the possibility of feeling stressed, take a deep breath and consider the ways you can enjoy retirement without compromising your health and happiness.
Get a Checkup
After spending years working 40 hours a week in a fast paced environment, maybe your health took a backseat. Sadly, many adults won’t take the time to visit a doctor unless they are ill or are prompted by someone else and the excuses are always the same, “I simply don’t have time.” Now that you’re in retirement, there are no excuses. Make an appointment with a doctor and get a general wellness checkup. Use your results as motivation during your retirement. For instance, if your doctor urges you to lose some weight or lower your blood pressure, make health improvement part of your new daily routine.
Stick With Healthy Routines
If your morning routine, for the last 40 years has been getting up at 5 am and taking the dog for a walk, stick with that. It may be tempting to ditch the alarm once and for all, but having an inconsistent sleep schedule can increase health issues for retirees such as heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, if you are used to taking the dog for a morning walk or an early evening trip to the gym, try to stick with that healthy routine. If you do switch up your schedule (such as picking an earlier time of day), make sure you make it a habit.
Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to be frugal, but you shouldn’t spend too much either. Whether a disability forced you into early retirement and receiving SSD benefits or you’re receiving regular retirement benefits, it’s important to understand your benefits and how much you’ll receive each month. “Social Security Disability is an “insurance” program,” says Bieske&Alfonsi, “it works like the Social Security retirement income program; you satisfy part of the requirement through your taxes.” Both types of benefits are crucial for daily living, just make sure you spend it wisely.
Be Young, Have Fun, Stay Stress Free
Retirement has the unfair reputation of being a last stage of life, but in reality, there are millions of retirees who feel like retirement is the life they’ve been waiting to live. Choose activities that will make you feel young and good about yourself such as taking up hobbies you’ve always wanted to try. Don’t be afraid of technology and stay connected to old friends and making new friends with social media. To keep your health in check, create or join groups that focus around healthy eating or fitness such as a “Foodie” group or a walking club. A lot of great things can be discovered while taking care of your health, particularly with the help and company of a few fellow retirees.