Keeping your physical and mental wellbeing in retirement

Key takeaways

  • Retirement can cause a range of emotions so it’s important to not only prepare yourself financially but also emotionally

  • Regular exercise has many health benefits including reducing the risk of chronic diseases. It’s also one of the best remedies for improving mental health 

  • Regularly engaging in intellectual activities can help improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration.

While most of us dream about retiring during our working years, it is a significant life event that can be challenging to adjust to.

Many people experience a loss of identity and purpose which can trigger stress, anxiety and depression.

In this article, we discuss how to remain physically and mentally well in retirement to ensure you have the best quality of life possible.

Preparing yourself for retirement

Retirement can cause a range of emotions so it’s important to prepare yourself emotionally as well as financially. 

Here’s some tips to go about this:

  • Give yourself time: coping with major life changes is never easy. Allow yourself the time you need to figure everything out

  • Add structure to your days: while you may not miss your morning commute to work, you may miss the daily routine of eating lunch at a certain time or chatting with colleagues during a coffee break. Try to establish a loose daily schedule to create a sense of comfort

  • Stay active: engaging in activities that you enjoy and find fulfilling can help you maintain a sense of purpose. Consider volunteering, taking up a new hobby, or exploring new interests to keep yourself engaged and motivated

  • Remain connected: maintaining social connections with friends and family can provide support. Consider joining social groups or clubs in your community

  • Set new goals: you may have achieved many of your professional goals, but it’s important to keep setting new goals to strive towards. This can energise you and provide a sense of purpose while helping to redefine your identity

  • Seek help: a therapist or counsellor can provide professional support if you need it.

Remaining physically active in retirement

Regular exercise has many health benefits including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

In addition to the physical benefits, exercise is one of the best remedies for improving mental health – it stimulates endorphins which helps to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Here’s some tips on how to remain physically active.

  • Make it a habit: consider setting a goal to exercise for a certain amount of time each day or week and gradually increase it over time

  • Find a workout friend: a partner to exercise with can make it more enjoyable

  • Choose activities you enjoy: consider trying different activities, such as swimming, golf, yoga, gardening or dancing to find what works best for you

  • Stay active: consider taking regular breaks from sitting to stretch, walk, or do light exercises to stay active throughout the day.

Remaining mentally active in retirement

Staying mentally active is just as important as being physically active in retirement. 

Regularly engaging in intellectual activities can help improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. It can also help reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

More importantly, it provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose. By engaging in new experiences, you can accomplish new challenges and continue to grow as a person. 

Here’s some tips on how to remain mentally active in retirement.

  • Engage in intellectual activities: challenging your brain with intellectually stimulating activities, such as reading, puzzles, or learning a new language, can help keep your mind sharp and active

  • Try something new: learning a new skill or hobby keeps your brain engaged. Consider taking up painting, writing, or playing an instrument to challenge your mind in new ways

  • Travel and explore: new places can provide different experiences. Visiting museums, historical sites, and cultural events can also provide mental stimulation and learning opportunities

  • Volunteer: volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and help you stay engaged in your community. It’s also an opportunity to meet new people..

Bottom line: retirement can be an exciting and fulfilling phase of life if you plan and prepare well. Taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing can help you find a new sense of purpose.

This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. NULIS is part of the group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (‘Insignia Financial Group’). The information in this article is current as at June 2023 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. The case study examples (if any) provided in this article have been included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.

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