Article written by Jacqui Manning, Psychologist with a specialty in managing stress and anxiety
Having a big picture view on the WHY will help you when you hit some inevitable moments of discomfort around the changes. Think about your financial goals (and get some professional advice if needed) and importantly, your lifestyle goals.
What is important to you in this move? More social contacts? Better health care? Activities and amenities at hand? How do your friends and family fit? If any anxiety arises about retiring or downsizing – and that is completely normal when you are making big changes – remembering the ‘why’ will help you keep focused on making the best decisions for you.
Rightly or wrongly we can often link our sense of self with what we do, so retirement can make you question who you are now that you are no longer in the workforce. This time of transition can be like a roller coaster and bring up many emotions. At first it can feel like freedom as you experience free time, and then as the novelty wears off you can feel lost.
Allow yourself to experience any emotions that arise and be honest with yourself and those around you without suppressing them. Look for healthy ways of staying emotionally healthy – you can try new things such as walking daily, reading regularly, writing (in a journal can be helpful), talking to others (loved ones, and if necessary, a professional) or do yoga.
Routines and rhythms help us to feel clear-minded, effective and secure.
Establishing a new routine – albeit different to what yours has previously been – will help create a sense of normalcy and ownership over your days.
Allow some leisure time to linger over coffee and a crossword but include exercise, social activities, family meals and any other new opportunities (new skills and hobbies you may pick up!) into regular time-slots.
Downsizing myths, such as the task being insurmountable, can sometimes make it difficult to accept or start the change. Debunking these myths with friends and loved ones upfront will help ensure you don’t trivialise these perceptions and feel more in control.
Click here for a summary of myths by Belinda Woolrych, Downsizing Expert and Property Makeover specialist.
People can often report feeling isolated when they retire, losing that daily contact with friends through work and seeing them every day, so it’s important to plan regular contact with those loved ones around you.
Perhaps you can organise a weekly tennis game with one friend, a movie with another every week or fortnight, a weekly walk with another and so on. Booking outings into your diary will help that new routine we discussed earlier emerge and give you much-needed consistent contact with others.
Finding ways to connect with others should be a priority whether it’s through your social circles, sporting interests, volunteering work, church or spiritual groups, or your favourite hobby.
Stockland commissioned the Author to compose this article for publication by Stockland for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the topic, and not to provide specific advice for your specific circumstances. Stockland recommends you seek independent legal and financial advice before making any decision. The views, information, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the Author, and are not necessarily held by Stockland.
Stockland has not contributed any of the information in the article and passes it on without endorsing or adopting its content. Stockland does not warrant or represent that the information in this article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use. Subject to any terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, Stockland accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense (whether direct or indirect) incurred by you as a result of any error, omission or misrepresentation in information. Published June, 2020.