Think you’re ready for a stress-free retirement?

While many older adults are looking forward to retirement, it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. This is a major lifestyle change from going to work every day to having a fairly light schedule. Aside from having enough money saved to stretch your funds through your golden years, it’s important to consider the many other things that can cause stress.

Some of these stressors may even surprise you, and depending on you or a loved one’s situation, it may even be time to consider an assisted living community, but here are 3 of the most valuable tips on how to relax in retirement.

older couple adjusting to retirement

3 Valuable Tips for Adjusting to Retirement

Quality Sleep

Issues with both the quality and duration of sleep can be a common source of tension for many seniors. Sleep issues impact seniors by keeping them awake at night and increasing their risk for chronic health issues, U.S.News notes, but there are some steps you can take to prevent sleep problems from reducing your quality of life.

For example, if you love to have a glass of red wine with dinner you may want to cut that treat out. While wine can have a relaxing effect that helps you drift off to sleep, you are also more likely to wake during the night. Other nighttime habits that can ruin your sleep in retirement include watching TV or checking social media before bed, so it’s best to keep screens out of your nightly relaxation routines.

happy senior woman sleeping in when adjusting to retirement

Choosing a quality mattress can also help you get the sleep you need to feel refreshed and recharged, which is especially important for seniors who suffer from low back pain. Consider replacing your mattress if it’s time, and look for a model that will provide enough support to keep you comfortable. If chronic back pain is indeed a concern, look to brands that are designed to relieve discomfort. Helix mattresses, for instance, can work well for side sleepers, while Casper Wave mattresses can provide relief for sleepers of all types. When shopping around, opt for a brand that has both a decent trial period and return policy. 

Social Connections

Getting older can mean feeling less connected to other people. While this may seem like a benefit to introverted seniors, the American Psychological Association explains that the impacts of social isolation can be extremely harmful to both physical health and mental well-being.

elderly group sitting around laughing, playing cards; adjusting to retirement

Social isolation can lead to more than feeling disconnected, as it can also lead to disease, depression, and early death. Because of this, it’s important to stay socially connected. Try to maintain ties to your friends and find ways to grow those relationships, or use social media to reconnect with old friends you haven’t seen in a while.

Some other ways that seniors can stay social include enrolling in local clubs, signing up for interesting classes, or even finding a part-time job. You might even pick up an exercise class or connect with a neighbor for walks. Consider what sounds fun for you and who you would enjoy spending time with.

elderly woman playing cards at a table by herself; adjusting to retirement

Stress-Relieving Hobbies  

Since stress can have such damaging effects on your health and your happiness during retirement, it only makes sense to have some effective ways to relieve that tension. While most people think of hobbies as simply a way to kill some time, Thrive Global points out that hobbies can also be a practical way to reduce and relieve stress.

Hobbies offer a break from the stress and monotony of your normal routine, and can also provide an outlet for any creativity you would like to express. Keeping a journal, cooking healthy foods, or coloring books can all be simple ways for adults to relieve stress, but seniors can benefit from other hobbies as well.

For example, seniors who garden tend to feel less stressed but they also tend to be in better physical shape. Plus, gardening allows you to grow tasty foods that can make it easier to stick to a healthier diet. Veggies, greens, herbs, and fruits are all easy for seniors to grow at home, and these wholesome foods can provide the nutrition needed for healthy aging.

Senior couple adjusting to retirement over coffee

Making the Most Out of Retirement

If you want to stay healthy and happy in retirement, you have to plan for more than just financial security. While having enough money in retirement can certainly save you some stress, you have to be prepared to cope with other common sources of stress too. Make sure you get enough sleep, keep up a social life, and have plenty of enjoyable pastime so you stay happy and healthy.