How Can I Relax In Retirement? | A Practical Guide & 6 Tips

You might be wondering, How can I relax in retirement? It is a question many retirees ask themselves. So let me help you out by sharing practical tips in this article. 

1) Allow Yourself To Relax In Retirement

Retirement can be overwhelming, both when your retirement is upcoming or when you are already retired. Many people struggle at first to get the most out of their retirement and thus finding it harder to relax. 

It is probably one of the most important things you can do. Say to yourself, ‘It is okay to relax, I deserved it.’

Saying a simple sentence like that or something similar, helps you to relax more. If you struggle with this, you can easily say it out loud or when looking in the mirror. It might sound funny, but it helps! 

We talk to ourselves all the time when we’re awake, so why not make this a positive message? According to this article on Healthline, self-talk is a powerful tool for increasing self-confidence. 

So when you say to yourself that you’re allowed to relax, or that it is okay to chill and do nothing or read a book, the changes that you allow yourself to relax increase. And thus you can relax better during your retirement. 

However, there may be things that you first need to take care of before you can relax. For example, when you still have a long list of chores that need to be done, or when you aren’t prepared for retirement in the right way. 

Learn How To Meditate

Meditation is a perfect activity that helps to relax and keep a clear mind. There are many forms of meditation, but it all comes down to this; during meditation, you’re processing (old) emotions and daily events. 

You can compare meditation with defragmenting your computer. Defragmentation is the process of maintaining your storage drive on your computer. Meditation is the same thing, but then with your brain. 

Meditation can be very straightforward, I always use the headspace smartphone app, which I find very relaxing. But there are many other ways you can easily start with meditation. Get a meditation set and a useful book to read when you first begin with meditation is; 

2) Stay Active In Retirement

Most people retire around the age of 65. When we’re getting older, a lot of us experience age-related health issues. There are some things you just can’t do anything about, but according to the CDC, staying active helps with age-related issues. 

There are basically three categories when we talk about activities, physically, mentally, and socially activities. 

Stay Physically Active

The CDC shares this helpful guide on why elderly people need to stay physically active. Their advice is that when you’re around 65 and generally fit, you need to have at least 150 minutes of physical activity (like aerobics) a week and two times a week muscle-strengthening training. 

Their slogan is, move more and sit less. There are many things you can do to stay active in your retirement. But sometimes it can also be challenging to find an activity that fits you the most. It might be helpful to read my article How To Stay Active In Retirementwhere I share 30 inspirational ideas. 

Stay Mentally Active

Staying mentally active helps you to keep your brain ‘sharp.’ Activities like solving puzzles, reading books, are perfect for staying mentally active. Many people are scared that they stop challenging their brains after they stop working, but there’s a lot you can do to replace your work activities. You can read more about it in my article How Do I Keep My Brain Active After I Retire?

One of the coolest ways to stay mentally active in retirement is to get yourself an annual membership to Masterclass. A streaming platform that makes it possible for anyone to watch or listen to hundreds of video lessons taught by the world’s greatest: Aaron Franklin, Martin Scorsese, Dr. Jane Goodall, Christina Aguilera, Usher, Hans Zimmer, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Curry, Carlos Santana, Ron Finley, Jimmy Chin, Serena Williams, Dan Brown, and many more.

Learn Anytime, Anywhere, and At Your Own Pace

Being in charge of your own schedule is the greatest pleasure of being retired. And Masterclass fits right into that because you can attend a class whenever and wherever you feel like it.

Stay Socially Active

Social engagement is one of the most important things in life, and it stays this way during your retirement. Maybe it is even more important to be aware of your social interactions during your retirement. Because people often tend to have fewer interactions when they’re getting older. 

According to Harvard Health Publishing, is having a lot of different social interactions related to healthy aging. Luckily most physical activities are done in groups with other people, which also benefits your social interactions. 

If you find it challenging to keep up with social interactions during your retirement, I recommend reading my article How To Stay Social In Retirement

3) Find Your Purpose In Retirement

You can be prepared for your retirement all you want, but if you don’t have a purpose, you probably never find time to relax. Without a purpose, you’ll stay restless, having a feeling that something is missing, and you don’t really know what to do. 

It can be scary to find your purpose, especially when you worked for years in the same job. Many people lost interest in the things they really love to do, during the rat race of their careers. And now, with retirement on the way, it is hard to replace work with new activities. 

But if you found your purpose, it is easier to allow yourself to relax. You’ll have a lot more fun filling in your days in retirement. 

Your purpose doesn’t have to be one specific thing. It can be, sure, but it also can be several things you like to do. 

Maybe your purpose is revisiting old friends and family. Or perhaps you want to travel around the world. Or maybe you just want to enjoy your home and work in the garden. I just mentioned a few things to show that everything is possible. 

The most important thing is that you stay true to yourself. How To Find Your Passion In Retirementis a helpful article, where I share 14 useful tips in finding your passion or purpose in retirement. 

One of the most important things you can do when you’re finding your purpose if to question yourself. You can ask yourself questions like ‘what are things I never get bored of’ or ‘what were the things I loved to do when I was a child.‘ It helps to get close to your through-self and thus finding your purpose. 

4) Be Prepared For Retirement

When you’re not prepared for retirement, you probably never find the time to relax in retirement. It is important to both financially and mentally prepare for your retirement. 

Knowing your financial situation helps you not worry about the essential things like paying the bills, if there’s enough money for groceries, etc. 

Also, when you have insights into your financial situation, it is easier to plan the things you want to do in retirement. 

There are many ways in how to prepare financially for your retirement. In my article What Do I Need To Know Before Retirement?‘ I share some helpful tips en recommended sources for financial preparation. 

When you’re mentally preparing for retirement, you’re basically finding out how to get ready for retirement. I always call it ‘have something to retire to.’

Many see their retirement as the day they stop working, but they forget to make plans for life after retirement. And once they’re retired, they experience a restless feeling, not knowing how to fill in their days. 

If you have something to retire to, like a hobby or travel plans, you probably won’t have that feeling.

Know The Five Stages Of Retirement

Retirement is a life-changing event. Many people worked for 30 years or even longer, and once they reach the retirement age, they stop working. Often from one day to the other. 

For everyone, it’s different how to experience their retirement, but there are basically five (emotional or lifestyle) stages every retiree gets through during their retirement. 

When you know more about these stages, it is easier to understand the things you experience in retirement. It is thus easier to relax and have a great time. 

The five stages in retirement are; 

  1. Pre-retirement: The stage before retirement.
  2. Honeymoon: You’re fresh in retirement, as newlyweds!
  3. Disenchantment: Reality sinks in. Is this it?
  4. Reorientation: You’re re-inventing yourself; you find your purpose.
  5. Stability: You have found your new identity as a retiree and living your comfortable retirement life.

I wrote an in-depth article What Are The Five Stages Of Retirement, which is an interesting read if you want to learn more about the stages one goes through in their retirement. 

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5) Structure Your Retirement Days

You might think many of the previous things are about activities instead of relaxing. That’s right, but these activities help you to relax. 

If you’re prepared in the right way, know what you want to do, and are generally fit, you probably more at ease. It is much easier for you to relax. However, with all the different things you can do in retirement, you might have to find a new way to structure your retirement days. 

If you find it challenging to structure your retirement days, I recommend reading my article How To Structure Your Retirement Day

The tips I share in that article are efficient, like replacing your work routine with a new daily routine. Create a schedule that works for you. And most important, plan time to relax. 

Having daily routines helps you to stay energized, and doing the things you like to do. 

6) Do What You Feel Like

The beauty of retirement is that you can do whatever you like to do. Of course, you need to think of your retirement budget and make sure that you stay on the same wave with your spouse. But in general, retirement is your time to shine. 

So, if you get up on a day and feel like doing nothing. Just do nothing. Or maybe you want to go to a wellness center and give yourself a beauty treatment. It is all possible. 

Retirement is your time, you decide what to do. As long as you keep that in mind, and allow yourself to relax, you probably have the best time of your life in retirement. 

And to get inspired on all the awesome things you can do in retirement you might want to read the following articles:

Recommended Articles 

For almost everyone, a retirement is a life-changing event. And preparing for this new phase in life can be challenging. As an early-retiree myself, I love to write about retirement and share the tips and tricks I learned by observing other retirees and doing extensive research. 

It is my goal to help you in the best way possible so that you can get the most out of your retirement. Some other articles that might be helpful are: 

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 200+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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