If you’re suffering from depression after retirement, you’re not on your own. Many people feel lost, confused or even just bored after they retire. Luckily, there are many tools and techniques you can use to change your current perspective on life. Treating depression after retirement requires you to take an active role in your treatment, which means being open to trying new things.
For people feeling a little gloomy, here are seven ways of dealing with depression after retirement:
1. Commit to an exercise routine
If you are suffering from depression after retirement, exercise can help. Exercise has both mental and physiological benefits that help to combat depression. Working out on a regular basis is an excellent way to enhance your confidence and build your mental strength. When you exercise, your brain generates endorphins that help you feel good. Exercising helps keep your hormones balanced which is especially important the older you get.
Exercising regularly also allows you to see your progression in real time. Meeting the small exercise challenges you set for yourself is great for improving your confidence and your ability to self-motivate. Exercising is also a healthy way that you can cope with stressful feelings and difficult times.
2. Dedicate yourself to something you want to accomplish
One of the beautiful things about retirement is that you can write your own ticket. No matter how silly or ridiculous a dream of yours may seem, now is the time to pursue it. You can write a book, start a business or find ways to make a difference towards causes that mean a lot to you on a personal level.
Find something that gets you fired up inside and chase after it. Carving out your own path is a great way to stay busy and keep your mind from dwelling on things you can’t control.
3. Don’t give in to peer pressure
Once you’re retired, it’s easy to give in to the invisible peer pressure from the people around us. You may see other retired people and feel your life should be more similar to theirs. It’s also common to feel like you don’t have a big enough home, car or enough stuff to show for the many years of work that you put in.
It’s essential not to compare your life to the lives of others, or it can feed into your depression after retirement. Focusing on tasks that keep you internally motivated helps you avoid worrying about what other people have going on. It’s also important to remember that retirement still possesses challenges just like any other stage of your life.
4. Share your thoughts and feelings
One way to relive the pressure of depression after retirement is to share your thoughts and feelings with other people. You don’t need to have deep conversations with everyone, but it’s helpful to talk about what’s bothering you before it gets out of control. Using your friends and family as your support system is an excellent way to avoid feeling alone or lost during your retirement years.
It’s also worth joining groups dedicated to your interests so that you keep the social part of your life active.
5. Avoid alcohol
There’s a strong link between alcohol and cases of depression. Alcohol is a depressant drunk which enhances the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter in your brain. With this increased activity, you’ll feel relaxed and eutrophic for a bit, but depressants also cause symptoms such as drowsiness and decreased inhibition.
Depressants also inhibit function in your central nervous system which can pull you into a deep battle with depression. Try and stay away from using alcohol or other depressant drugs on a regular basis if you’re combating depression after retirement.
6. Find ways to relieve stress
Finding healthy ways to relieve stress is a great way you can invest in your mental health. Find a place in your home where you can create a space specifically for relaxing. You can use essential oils or scented candles to help create a calming environment. Lavender, orange, and bergamot are among the best scents for decreasing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Taking the time to write your feelings down is another way you can invest in your mental health. Writing things down helps you keep a healthy perspective without getting overwhelmed with everything that’s going on in your life. Taking a few extra minutes to write about your day before you go to sleep is an excellent way to manage your stress instead of keeping everything inside.
7. Be open to trying to new things
If you’re suffering from depression after retirement, there’s a good chance that you can benefit from trying new things. You may find some of these suggestions odd or uncomfortable, but that’s the perfect recipe for creating change in your life.
If you confide about your depression after retirement to your friends and family, it’s worth giving their suggestions a try, even if they sound a little weird. Trying new activities, developing new habits and being open to suggestions are all great ways you can change your current perspective.