Retirement is often seen as the pinnacle of one’s career. However, the emotional and mental side of this life enchanting, albeit often unnerving, change is often overlooked. After years of developing professional skills and social contacts, shifting gears can be challenging.

This life experience is similar to renovating a building with deconstruction and building it back up. It takes time. To aid with the transition, I have outlined four retirement lessons as you continue to thoughtfully and purposely plan for this next chapter.

4 Retirement Lessons

1. Grieve the Loss

With any major change comes loss of the old ways. Grieving this loss has several emotional stages that include denial, anger, sadness and finally, acceptance. We suggest you acknowledge them, tell yourself it is okay to feel this way, realize this feeling is not permanent and allow yourself the time to acknowledge and process the emotions.

As you walk through this stage, draw upon the grace and dignity you have perfected over the course of your career. Remember those times you were stretched, asked to adapt to a new way of doing things without a vote or had to work with that challenging client – you conquered all of that so you can certainly manage this change.

2. Be Gentle on Yourself

Starting a new path requires dealing with the emotional changes and reconstructing different routines and connections. As with any new project, progress can be slow. So, be gentle on yourself and allow yourself to rest – you deserve it!

Prior to your last day at work, have a plan in place that allows you to explore activities that align with your newfound time. Fuel your body and mind with a healthy serving of OATS when forging new paths.

3. Get Involved

Make new connections by becoming involved in activities with like-minded people. Many of our clients engaging in this transition tell us that one of the most helpful tactics they employed was enrolling in a group exercise program.

They found that these type of exercise programs were an excellent way to increase endorphins, connect and socialize with others and rest easier. You now have the time to really listen to your unique physical and emotionally energy level. Creating new routines and connections are good guides to help you stay balanced.

4. Embrace the New You!

This is the new you so embrace it as you create a vision focused on the desired outcome. Just like a work project, create a plan, follow the plan and trust the process behind the plan. By dreaming, planning and preparing for the next chapter, a new way of living after retirement will unveil itself in a way that allows you to soar in this next chapter of life.

“We delight in the beauty of a butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Maya Angelo

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About The Author

Danielle Dayries

Danielle Dayries is the CEO/owner of the locally-based outplacement firm, DMD & Associates, Inc. Her firm is engaged by companies worldwide to deliver outplacement programs that empower those affected by a reduction in force to get back to work quickly, while helping companies protect their brand and limit legal exposure. She is a board member of several Society of Human Resource Chapters, speaks throughout the United States about career transition topics and is published in multiple publications. Contact her through her website and LinkedIn.