How to Manage Life Change and Cope With it Well

How to Manage Life Change and Cope With it Well

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Expert Author Susan Leigh
Redundancy, whether it be voluntary or compulsory, brings its own issues and stresses. As does retirement. Often my clients are concerned about the financial implications, even if there has been a lump sum payment from work. Many people are concerned about what the future may hold in terms of their future role, personal relevance and value. This pressure can seriously impact on self esteem and confidence.
Many people define themselves through their job. Ask someone to 'tell me about yourself' and often their job is a key part of the reply. Work is often the biggest part of our life, the hours and commitment required to do a good job often take precedence over other things, like family and social life, or even health concerns.
Aging gracefully has to play a part in decisions over future goals and decisions. Youth brings its own energy and enthusiasm, but often other pressures factor in, like stress, finances, career, family. As we age often a calmness and easier sense of balance can come about. There is often less intensity, less extremes of emotions. The sophistication of life experience can bring with it a less urgent sense of perspective to life events.
So, how do we find a good balance in life as retirement approaches ?
- Personal relationships need to be nurtured and invested in so that when the children start to leave home, or the daily work routine begins to change, partners and friends are still there and are an important part of our ongoing life and support team.
- It's important to find a balance between the energy required in working to maintain ones own standards, whilst appreciating that one is not a teenager anymore.
- Listen to ones body, for fatigue, health warnings, sleep needs, dietary changes, recuperation times. Learn to notice the 'amber light' , like with traffic lights, that flash to alert a need to slow or maybe stop for a little while. This is important to maintain good health and manage any stress levels.
- Read magazines, take advice from salons, beauty counters, tasteful friends, fashion consultants. Whilst appreciating what suits, it's also important not to be stuck with the same look for years. Keeping stylish and smart is a huge factor in energy levels and personal confidence and self esteem.
- Exercise is important. Many leisure centres and gyms have cheaper memberships or daily rates for the over 50's and often run special sessions. Golf clubs and bowling clubs often encourage the over 50's in daytime memberships.
- Maybe think of taking up a skill or hobby. Many local colleges do recreational courses in languages, arts and crafts, interests that people have but where there is no need to take an exam at the end. So that the course can be enjoyed, without the pressure or stress of having a test. The University of the Third Age has a lot to offer in this area.
- Voluntary work can be very satisfying. Many organisations rely heavily on skilled, talented, energetic people who are no longer employed in regular jobs. Charity organisations, the League of Friends, the National Trust are just three examples.
Think of retirement as an opportunity to do the things that you have wanted to do, maybe travel, see the grandchildren more, take up that hobby or interest, whilst at the same time, being able to do it on your own terms. A new phase of life to be enjoyed and appreciated.