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retired and depressed pensive older womanRetired AND depressed? How can that be? Retirement sounds so wonderful… when you’re in the middle of a grinding, hectic workday.   Those long-held expectations of taking it easy and relaxing on a beach can sometimes come to a grinding halt once you’ve actually retired. Why is that?

You may find that you’re not as happy as you had expected. That your life has actually become kind of boring. You may feel lost, sad,… even depressed.

You almost dread the alarm going off in the morning just to rouse you for yet another long, bland day. Surely there’s something you can do about it?

Of course, there is!

7 Things You Can Do to Lift Yourself Up if You Are Retired and Depressed

The are two main keys to beating depression when you’re retired. First, continue to enjoy and expand on the things that have already been fruitful parts of your life. Second, start new adventures! Do things you haven’t done before.

Here’s how:

1. Keep routines

A sudden loss of structure can be unsettling. So, continue to keep a daily routine to feel a sense of accomplishment. Get up at the same time, do housework, run errands, have regular mealtimes, and enjoy social and recreational activities.

2. Maintain friendships

Connect regularly. Social support keeps you mentally healthy. You can visit old friends and reminisce or play games. Invite a friend to lunch or the coffee shop regularly. Or explore new possibilities to socialize with old friends. Try sports, travel, cooking, or seminars. Your local senior center may offer activities, such as luncheons, day trips, book clubs, or senior dances.

3. Stay physically active

Sitting around the house can create a decline in your health. Therefore, even if you have problems with mobility, exercise to stay fit and less sedentary. Consider looking up information about exercises specifically designed for senior citizens. Find out if your local gym has a fitness instructor trained to work with seniors.

4. Volunteer

Volunteering not only keeps you engaged and moving – physically and mentally – but it will give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. There are a lot of opportunities and organizations that need your help. Make sure you seek out the best fit for your interests and state of health. Consider asking to get involved in animal shelters, local schools and libraries, museums, charities, and the like.

5. Reinvent yourself

You used to have a work identity – a job title. Why not think about what you would put on a new “retirement business card”. Gardener? Artist? Tutor? World Traveler? Instead of just imitating somebody else’s ideas, consider and carefully craft what matters most to you. Find your own path! Then, make a plan, set goals, and work to achieve them. It will be your own personal adventure.

6. Learn new skills or start a hobby

Continue learning. It keeps your mind active and sharp. Perhaps you’ve had a lifelong passion that you could start pursuing. Think about taking classes to learn ballroom dancing, speak a new language, play an instrument, navigate the internet, make jewelry, knit, cook, scrapbook, woodwork, write your memoirs, and more. Or simply start a hobby of collecting specific items that are meaningful to you. There are endless possibilities.

7. Share your know-how

This could be something that earns you money or something you simply do for the joy of helping others. Technical schools and colleges often seek out people with a lot of real-world work experience that they’re willing to share with students. Also, some companies use career coaches or guest speakers to impart industry-specific knowledge.

Furthermore, you could volunteer with an organization that mentors small business owners and helps hold workshops, provide counseling, or write informative articles.

Retired and depressed no more!

Remember, retirement involves transition, just like any other change. You can avoid the retired and depressed trap. Even if it’s challenging at times to make adjustments, maintain your relationships and keep a positive attitude about what tomorrow will bring!

To read more about depression counseling and treatment or dealing with life transitions please, click here. If you have additional questions or are interested in setting up a complimentary 30-minute consultation or appointment, do call my office at (941) 306 1235 or send me an email at [email protected]