15 Tips To Reinvent Yourself After Retirement


Retirement is closing a significant chapter of your life and stepping into unfamiliar territories. And that feels exciting or scary or every emotion in between. As your retirement is coming closer or you just got retired, you might ask yourself, how do I reinvent myself after retirement?

Well, there’s no need to look further because I’ve listed XX tips to help you out. So continue reading.

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1) Accept Yourself

Reinventing yourself means changing (parts) of yourself. And the first step to reinvention is acceptance. With acceptance, you become aware of your current situation and acknowledge that this is your current reality. Perhaps you’re struggling and don’t like this reality, but to transform this situation into something positive, you need to accept the struggle. And that can be uncomfortable.

It is like a solid foundation that needs to be set up first before you can start building. And also a great paradox. The most effective adjustments of change occur by accepting what already is. And then you can move from what you don’t want to things you do want. To help you out, below are eight ways to accept yourself, according to Psych Central.

How To Accept Yourself

  1. Forgive yourself
  2. Practice self-compassion
  3. Use present-moment awareness and mindfulness
  4. Acknowledge and love your abilities
  5. Ignore your inner critic
  6. Connect with loved ones who appreciate you
  7. Move on from disappointments
  8. Gain perspective on your limitations

Read more: 24 Tips On How To Stay Positive In Retirement

2) Embrace Change

Your retirement is coming, or it’s already started. You can’t change anything about that fact. And instead of fighting this event, you can also embrace this change in your life. This means you make peace and embrace your genuine self; only then can you invite change, be inspired, and get excited about all the possibilities in your future.

Remember, everything is always changing. It is a universal law. Change is inevitable. Fighting makes the mountain a lot taller to climb or the weight a lot heavier to carry. You will notice when you let go of the fight and invite the change. Everything will feel lighter, and energy will start to flow.

Here are some tips that will help you embrace the change: acknowledge the changes you are experiencing by naming them, claim the things in your sphere of control, stick to daily self-care routines and rituals and celebrate all (tiny) steps of your growth.

Read more: How To Mentally Prepare For Retirement: 21 Tips

3) Relax And Unwind Thoroughly

Although having something to retire to helps you transition into retirement more smoothly. Many people fill up their agenda with appointments, activities, and obligations as if there are working full-time. And that is mostly because they fear not being productive or being seen as lazy in retirement. And that is not surprising because people have been conditioned to deliver, be productive and work efficiently for decades in their careers.

Once the retirement date has passed, it is common for people to stick to that same fast-paced lifestyle. But being busy, just to be busy, doesn’t lead to a fulfilling life of pursuing passions and dreams.

You need to get to a zero point first. Once you reach that level, you can start feeling your way toward the life you want from a heart’s perspective instead of a mind’s.

And to get to zero point, you need to take relaxing and unwinding seriously. In the first couple of weeks or months, you can schedule nothing so you can really unwind from your work and let it all sink in. And get used to a non-stressful kind of lifestyle.

Therefore it can be a good idea to say ‘No’ to everything that others ask from you in the beginning because you’ll notice that many people will ask you for different favors. But how can you figure out what you want when you’re too busy to listen to your heart?

Only in a relaxed state of being can you listen to your intuition more clearly. The mind/ ego is often screaming while the heart/ soul whispers. And to distinguish which one is your intuition, you need to calm the mind by doing relaxing activities such as meditation, reading books, walks in nature, painting, watching the sunset/ stars, etc. And because you’re used to a fast-paced life, it can take a while before you’ve really winded down, released all the work-related stress, and don’t feel the constant pressure to be productive in retirement.

Creating space by relaxation is not what the ego wants, but you want to transcend the ego to go to your heart, where the real answer lies in how to reinvent yourself after retirement.

Enjoy a nice relaxing holiday, book spa days, spend as much time at the beach or pool, or read a good book many hours in the day until you feel relaxed and unwinded from the job you just retired from.

4) Let Go Of Your Old Identity

It is very common for people to attach their identity to their job position. In western society, what you do is more important or gives you more status than who you are. And working for 30+ years or more within a specific field or job position gives you an identity. Your job likely has become a big part of you, and you feel a sense of loss of your identity once you retire.

And that is where people feel stuck or are struggling. They have to rediscover themselves all over again, aside from their job. That is probably a big reason why you’re reading this article right now. You have to focus on who you are instead of what you are. And letting go of your old life and your role within that life is key. Healthline listed a couple of tips for letting go.

Tips: How To Let Go

  1. Create a positive mantra to counter the painful thoughts
  2. Create physical distance
  3. Focus on yourself
  4. Practice mindfulness
  5. Be gentle with yourself
  6. Allow the negative emotions to flow
  7. Engage in self-care.
  8. Surround yourself with people who fill you up
  9. Forgive yourself
  10. Seek professional help if needed

5) Know The Retirement Process

Retiring is a mental process. And to be mindful of this process and the stages of retirement helps you on the track of reinventing yourself. Going from 40+hours of working life to having all the time and freedom in the world is a transition that doesn’t go overnight. It takes time to adjust and be comfortable again. How long that will take is different for everyone. But there are five common phases to the retirement transition process, which gives you landmarks to help judge where you are and what lies ahead of you.

You can read more about these stages in my article: Complete Guide Through The Five Stages Of Retirement

6) Get Out Of Your Comfortzone

You only retire once in life, so getting retired is already stepping out of your comfort zone. That is a good thing because in that space lies big growth opportunities.

This is also where fear takes over in people’s minds because of uncertainty and the unknown. Having no control and being afraid of beliefs clashing with new or unknown beliefs puts people in uneasy situations.

Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to have new experiences and engage in activities you haven’t done before while opening you up to meet new people. This opens the doors to all sorts of possibilities you may not have thought possible. These opportunities will make you stronger and more creative, gain self-confidence and personal growth, and live exciting new experiences.

7) Explore All Sorts Of Activities

Now that we’ve established a good base, you can start to explore and get to know yourself in a whole new way by trying out all sorts of activities. Because the best to learn more about yourself is to try out new things. Only then do you know if you like or dislike something, and you can discover a different side of yourself. Perhaps talents and qualities you didn’t know you had.

Reinventing yourself means rediscovering yourself and the most hands-on way is to explore all sorts of activities. For example, you can try out an old hobby from childhood, join a friend or family member in their favorite hobby or follow different classes. These experiences will give you tangible answers.

Many retirees love to follow classes, and it is an excellent way to experiment and explore. And a great platform for that is Masterclass, where you can follow 100+ different classes from the World’s Best Teachers in their field.

Watch thousands of lessons from the best as they share their stories, skills, shortcuts, failures, and successes. Just to drop a few names that offer a class on Masterclass: Gordon Ramsey, 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. New classes are added every month!

8) Get a Daily Dose Of Nature

To reinvent yourself, you need to get away from analytic thinking. And an easy and accessible way to do that is to get into nature. You must have experienced it before that you feel refreshed and your mind is cleared up after a walk in the park, a hike in the forest, or a dive in the lake or ocean.

Nature gets us into a balanced state when we’re unbalanced. So whenever you feel out of balance and overwhelmed, just get into nature. After that, you have a clearer mind and perhaps gain a new perspective on how to reinvent yourself and which step to take first. Even the simple act of walking barefoot on the grass, sand, and rocks helps you harmonize your body and energy field.

9) Become Aware Of Your Energy, Thoughts, And Words

I mentioned the Universal laws a bit earlier. And I can highly recommend learning more about these laws and how to apply them because they will help you create the life you want on a more conscious level.

Everything in the universe is energy; at a microscopic level, everything is in constant motion, vibrating at a specific frequency. There are low-vibrating energies, such as matter, and high-vibrating energies that we don’t see with our bare eyes. The frequency you send out (on an unconscious level) is what you receive. Your energy attracts a similar energy vibrating at the same level of frequency.

Energy forms a thought, which forms a word and feelings, and then leads to physical action. This means your thoughts themselves have the power to manifest your physical reality. But the intent and energy behind it are more important because you can say all the right words; if your energy isn’t aligned with these words and sends out fear, unworthiness, anger, or other low-vibing energy based on old beliefs on an unconscious level, that is what you will manifest in your reality. Therefore it is important to become aware of your energy, thoughts, and words and consciously change them toward the reality you want. And keep them aligned with the reality you want.

What you experience in this now moment is what you’ll attract in the future. If you’re at peace now, you’ll create peace in the future and attract similar experiences. You cannot manifest peace in the future when you send out chaotic energy in the now moment.

10) Starve Your Ego

After decades of gaining knowledge and experience in a certain field, you have become an expert in your field. And because the corporate world and most other jobs are ego-driven, you have created a persona (ego) that was great at their job. When you start reinventing yourself after retirement, you discover that you’re not that persona anymore. You start trying out new things and learning new things, which means you have to start from the bottom. And that is what the ego doesn’t like.

If you want to follow your intuition, you have to starve the ego. Here is what the difference looks like.

11) Examine Your Fears

Take a look at your fears and discover if fear is holding you back from the things you really want in life. Becoming conscious of negative patterns and conditions in your mind helps you to discover more things about yourself. And is essential if you want to reinvent yourself after retirement.

It means that you have to be very conscious of your thoughts and dive deeper when you notice when fear hits. This is exhausting but very crucial if you want to break out of the loop of the ego.

12) Exercise Regularly

Exercising is an incredible mood booster, and it keeps your body healthy as well.

When you exercise, the brain produces endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline. These are chemicals that are natural painkillers and mood boosters. And they not only make you feel better, but they also make you feel more confident and help you to concentrate better. You’ll have a sharper mind after exercising. And feeling less anxiety and stress.

When you need guidance and support to exercise more, I recommend using the app Aaptiv. It is an audio personal trainer app with thousands of workouts and classes with the guidance of a trainer who helps you to achieve your goals. It’s suitable for anyone. And the best part is you can do a workout whenever and wherever you want. Because being in charge of your own agenda is the best part about being retired.

13) Excitement Is Your Compass

Your heart/ soul gives you clues by the way you feel. And excitement is your guide and compass to figuring out what you want to do after retirement. Therefore ask yourself, what excites me the most? And let that be your compass.

Or notice when excitement kicks in when you’re thinking about something or doing something new. And know that this is your clue. And try not to overanalyze it or use your brain when this feeling comes up. just feel through it and give it space, and let your imagination from the heart take over.

14) Connect With Others

An important key to a successful and happy retirement is staying social.

Once you retire, you lose many daily social interactions that come with the job that you need to replace with other social interactions with (new) friends, family members, grandkids, etc. Besides spending time with them, you can also ask them to help you to reinvent yourself after retirement.

For example, you can ask friends what your best qualities are or get tips from them about which hobbies are a great match. Stay connected and seek new ways to be social, and you’ll create endless opportunities to reinvent yourself.

15) Expect Trail And Error

Have you ever seen a baby that learns how to walk but never falls? As with everything in life, you will fall and rise again. So it works with retirement. You’re entering new territory, so you can expect trial and error. It is not a home run on the first try. Keep moving forward and keep trying. And don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t work out as you might have wished or expected. You’ll get closer to your real and true self every step of the way. And as cheesy as it sounds. Enjoy the journey, and don’t focus too much on the destination. And keep everything open. In these moments, you’ll find bliss and joy.

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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