Retirement is known for being a blissful time of freedom, but for many adults, it is a difficult life transition. Days that were once filled with work now feel empty and confusing. If you are approaching retirement or have struggled during the transition, know that there is help available for you. Here are some tips for dealing with depression after retirement, courtesy of Urban Balance therapist offices.
Causes of Depression after Retirement
In any depression treatment program, it’s important to understand the cause of the depression. In this case, we want to focus on the specific reason why you may feel depressed after retirement. Common sources of depression in retired adults include:
- Not knowing your purpose
- Feeling bored throughout the day
- Stress from a limited or fixed income
- Not feeling useful or wanted
- Changes in the household dynamic (more time at home may cause more conflicts in a relationship)
- Fear of aging or death
Some of these feelings start off strong and fade away over time. Some continue to affect a person’s life until they seek depression treatment. If your depression after retirement has lasted more than two weeks, consider talking to a counselor about your concerns. We will explain more below.
How to Get through the Transition
Here are some tips to help you transition into your next life chapter:
- Understand your financial means. Your income now may be different than it was when you worked. Before you make extravagant plans after retirement, you need to know what your budget is. Assess your monthly income and your monthly expenses so you can plan accordingly.
- Focus on your physical and mental health. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to be inactive. Go jogging in the morning. Join a local gym. Do the things that make you feel happy, refreshed and motivated.
- Find activities you enjoy. These may be hobbies you did not have time for before, or they may be new passions that develop over time. Try something new, and find ways to participate in your favorite past times.
- Define your purpose in life. Many adults feel that work brings them purpose, but that is not the case. You determine what brings purpose to your life. This may be volunteering, spending time with your family, or helping others find success in their lives. You have so much more to give the world. Don’t be afraid to give it.
- Create a new schedule for yourself. Your schedule before revolved around work. What do you want it to be now? Are you a morning person who loves being up before sunrise? Or do you prefer staying up late and sleeping ’til noon? You can choose whatever schedule you want now, so pick the one that best suits you.
- Spend time with family and friends. Being retired can feel lonely at times, but having your loved ones around is a great reminder of your legacy. If you do not have family close by, make friends at a church, community center, or local club. You could join an organization that aligns with your passions and find other people to connect with. The possibilities are endless.
When to Seek Professional Depression Counseling
Sadness may go away on its own, but depression is a little tougher to conquer. That’s the beauty of depression counseling. A specialized therapist can help you find coping strategies specific to your personality and past experiences. If you are having trouble getting out of the ‘funk,’ it may be time to talk to a professional. The process is completely confidential, and you will be amazed by how quickly your symptoms improved.
Urban Balance offers affordable, insurance-friendly depression counseling at multiple therapy offices throughout the country. We work with aging adults, children, teens, couples, families, and a diverse population of clients. For more information about depression counseling or to schedule an appointment with a depression therapist near you, call (888) 726-7170.