The Impact of Retirement On Mental Health

For some people, retirement is nothing more than a period of frustration marked by increased limitations and declining health. For others, however, retirement is the reward they were working for the past couple of decades, a time to have fun, relax, explore forgotten passions and look for new ones to fill out the day.

While there are some negative aspects to retirement, most of them can be drastically reduced by engaging in various physical activities, maintaining social and family bonds and finding something to keep yourself occupied now that you’re no longer under the burden of work. Here are some of the most prominent examples of how retirement can have a positive impact on your mental health.

1. Lower stress levels

The average work environment is oftentimes more stressful than we could imagine. Work-related strain results in elevated blood pressure, voluntary and mandatory overtimes are associated with increased fatigue and sleeping disorders, while the lack of control over large decisions coupled with increasingly higher work demands increases the risk of developing heart disease. Those who’ve had a tiring, unrewarding and rather a stressful job could find retirement to be an enormous stress relief. For them, not working may actually be associated with improved health conditions and can provide them with a more stable daily routine.

Lower stress levels – Photo by PublicDomainPictures

2. Improved family bonds

Being retired means that you finally have more time to spend with those you care about. Most retirees report feeling useful, appreciated and fulfilled, as they now have the time to help their children pursue their professional careers by providing them with help around the house, aiding them financially when necessary and enjoying the opportunity to create fond and loving memories with their grandchildren. That said, maintaining daily contact with colleagues and friends is equally important and should not be ignored.

3. Freedom to pursue your passions

Ambition in the workplace is imperative for those seeking personal and professional improvement. A better job title results in a better pay, but it also increases the amount of time you need to pour into your work and we often carry our work home in order to squeeze in just a couple more emails and clear up the schedule for tomorrow. This work-oriented lifestyle means that most men and women simply don’t have the necessary time or the energy to follow their passions, but now that you’re retired, you have all the time in the world to go back to doing the things you love or explore new and exciting hobbies.

Freedom to pursue your passions – Photo by Quintin Gellar

4. New living opportunities

One of the most positive influences on mental health is the feeling of security associated with living in your very own house. While the majority of retired individuals already have a home of their own, they often end up passing it onto their children and grandchildren in order to help them accommodate a growing family. If you’re one of these individuals who is getting ready to find their own place under the sun and enjoy their newfound freedom and independence, you might want to consider surrounding yourself with people your own age who understand and relate to what you’re going through. This means taking into consideration some of the best retirement house plans and finding something that will suit your individual needs.

Retirement is often a stressful experience for most. You have to let go of the professional identity you’ve spent so long on improving and maintaining over time and step into the unknown world that may or may not appreciate all the different traits and experiences you have to offer. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Retirement can be thought of as the first step towards a new you that is no longer obligated by work and burdened by the stress associated with it. A new you that is free to explore the world, seek out new passions and catch up on all the things you never had the time or the opportunity to enjoy.

Claire is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at Feel free to reach her on Facebook and Twitter!

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