how to prepare well to avoid the blues?

Retirement marks the end of professional activity, but not personal. This period, apprehended by some, is nevertheless intended to take time for oneself and to rest from a busy active life.

This is an opportunity, for example, to indulge in activities that fascinate us, but you still have to know which ones…

A difficult transition between working life and retirement

Retirement represents a change of life and a change of pace: it is going from busy and dynamic days to a much calmer and emptier time. “The retirement cycle is stressful because it breaks with work habits. You have to mourn it and let go of your emotional ties, like your colleagues”underlines Elisabeth Couzon, clinical psychologist and co-author to be a happy retiree (2012).

Depending on the person, this period of mourning can be more or less long and depends in particular on their ability to go through its stages: “The better the previous bereavements such as deaths, separations or changes of company have gone, the better we bounce back”adds the clinical psychologist.

A more or less long adaptation phase

For Elisabeth Couzon, going through the retirement box also means going through 5 phases, which can be more or less long for each retiree:

  1. Denial : the retiree will initially refuse to see reality in the face. This is particularly the case for early retirement or for layoffs at the end of their career, because the person did not expect to see their professional activity stopped so soon.
  2. Anger : that of being sidelined, but also a financial anger in view of the loss of income in retirement compared to the period of activity.
  3. The fear : that of not being able to cope with financial difficulties and to adapt to its new budget.
  4. Sadness : period during which the new retiree measures what he loses (colleagues, familiar surroundings, comfort, higher salary, etc.). It is this phase in particular that can last longer for people who have difficulty coping with bereavement or for those who have not anticipated their retirement.
  5. Renewalreinvestment, acceptance: accepting one’s retired status and reinvesting in something else

Anticipating your retirement life

To apprehend this period of renewal, it is important to prepare your retirement well several months in advance. The idea is to know how to occupy your days once the work is done: “Preparing for retirement means working on your life projects: rediscovering childhood desires, thinking about what you’ve always wanted to do but never did. Project and plan projects in 1, 3, 5 years »says Elisabeth Couzon.

The specialist in the third age gives advice for retirees who are a little hesitant. She advises them to “go around the houses of associations and get involved in something they like”: for example, volunteering, gardening, artistic activities, playing sports or going to the movies.

Don’t stay alone

As far as possible, a retreat should be lived as little alone as possible: “Looking for other retirees and friends to do activities together. Not being alone is not good for morale or health.” argues the psychologist.

It is possible, for example, to visit family or friends, but also to stay in touch with former colleagues in order to still keep a small link with the bygone world of work.

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