Most of us assume that our stress levels will decrease once we retire. Now that you’ve reached that milestone, you might indeed have noticed less stress in your life. At least, you don’t suffer from work-related anxiety anymore. But many people discover that they still experience some stress in retirement, just for different reasons. That’s because retirement brings new life changes and associated fears.
Since stress can be detrimental to your health, it’s always important to monitor and reduce it when you can. Try these five methods of stress management to create a healthier and happier retirement.
Get out of the house. Sometimes stress can be alleviated by a simple change in scenery. Go for a walk, head to the mall for some window-shopping, or engage in some people watching at the park. Physical activity and sunshine are proven stress relievers.
Nourish your mind and heart. Reading can provide an easy, meditative experience that you can do just about anywhere. Choose inspirational biographies, classic literature, poetry, or spiritual materials if you’re religious.
Get a pet. Cats, dogs, and other pets are known to relieve anxiety. In fact, holding a purring cat on your lap has even been proven to reduce blood pressure. Visit a local shelter and ask the staff to help guide you toward a pet that is low-maintenance, well behaved, and known to be gentle. If you can’t have a pet where you live, you can still visit the shelter often. Some volunteer organizations will even bring service animals to visit at senior centers.
Engage in social activities. Loneliness can be stressful for anyone. Join a book club, play cards with friends, or sign up for an exercise class.
Identify potential solutions. Many people deal with stress by ignoring it, and distracting themselves with something else. But until you confront the source of the stress, it will lurk beneath the surface and continue to bother you. Brainstorm potential solutions for the problem you’re facing, either alone, or by talking to a friend or therapist.