A large chunk of the Indian population loses a sense of purpose after retirement. Especially who have retired from a powerful position are more prone to loneliness and depression as was seen in the case of Usha John, a fierce IAS officer who had hardly eaten in the months preceding her death. With no routine and missing out on the daily social interaction with colleagues, retirement is an emotional challenge for Indians given our co-dependent nature, and can take a huge toll on the elderly especially those that belong to the baby boomers generation.
How to prepare for retirement
Retirement is indeed a rapid transformation in your life, but what you need to realise that it is a continuum and you can certainly change it. In fact, you have been preparing for it your entire adult life – all you need to do is adjust to the new identity and find a new purpose to make the transition gracefully and to make it easier for yourself. Here are a few tips on preparing yourself for retirement:
Exercise and Stay Active: Exercising takes a lot of stress off you. It gives you a routine and keep you healthy active. Most of all it gives you a reason to get out of your house. Choose an exercise routine and find a partner if you think it's difficult to keep yourself motivated to follow the routine. You might as well consider getting a pet. It gives you something to take care of, feed and in turn it reduces your stress levels.
Give back to the society:If you have lived this long, there are several things you have learned through your beautiful journey. You might consider spending time at local schools, community centres or charitable trusts imparting your knowledge to others and leaving behind your legacy.
Follow your passion:In the busy 9-5 job, a lot of us miss out on things that we really wanted to do. The post-retirement period might be the right time to follow the hobby or passion and do the things you have always wanted to.
Socialise:Retirement doesn't mean that you have to stay isolated. Keep in touch with your friends and family. There are several clubs especially for retirees. You might consider joining one of them where you can meet new people and also learn something new.
The bottom line is you need to stop obsessing about retirement, live in the moment and design your own schedule. Embrace your freedom and make the most of it.
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