Since I was sick yesterday I obviously spent some time thinking about my health in general. I don’t do too bad looking after myself, but I know I have a way to go on a few things. This becomes much more serious as you enter your retirement years since the damage you do to your body now may be with you for the rest of your life.
So here are some of the things you should be doing to keep your health now and in the future:
- Sleep. Perhaps the most overlooked thing for most people is making sure we get enough sleep. After all without that it becomes hard to function and by cutting your sleep short you also cut short your body’s natural regenerative process. It’s also a bit of a personal thing. I don’t function well on less than 8 hours, others can pull off with 6 hours of sleep. The point here is to not cheap out on your bed, pillow and bedding. You want to be as comfortable as possible while sleeping, so spend the money on it (after all I spend more time sleeping than working in a year).
- A Balanced Diet. I think everyone has those weeks where you feel like it is too much effort to eat right, but we still have to try. So keep your house full of fruit and veggies and keep out the pop and chips. It’s easier to eat better when you don’t have much choice in the matter. Another good idea is taking a multi vitamin daily, which just helps cover you for those odd items you don’t seem to get in your diet.
- Get some Exercise. Exercise does get a bad reputation for some reason. People just assume you have to go to a gym for it. That’s not true at all. You should be able to get exercise around your house or yard with some chores and perhaps going for a walk once in a while. The point is to get off your butt and do something.
- Relax. Stress can literally be a killer for many people, so it is important to deal with it in a healthy fashion. Each person has their own means to deal with it, but for me personally I find I need some time to myself each day. Other common methods include meditation, yoga or other exercise, a bath or playing with your kids.
- Have regular appointments with your doctors. Half the battle on most things is early detection, so when you think something is wrong please go see your doctor. Do not just ignore it. You could be losing years of your life by avoiding a doctor.
Well that’s my list. If you think I’ve missed something please leave a comment.
This is my final post about your relationships in retirement series. In part I we talked about our spouse, while in part II we talked about the kids. Now we are going to explore your friendships.
I find it almost strange that it doesn’t occur to people that their relationships are likely going to change significantly in retirement. After all think about how much of your working life centers on your job. If you take that away you are going to lose a significant amount of your common ground with some of your friends.
For example, if you retire a few years before everyone else there is bound to be some feelings of jealousy from others who are still working. Additionally, most men have a lot of their identity tied up with their jobs. We don’t say, “I work at X” we say, “I’m a X” so when that goes away the often feel a drift as they try to sort out their new identity. Then to add insult to injury most men discover you can’t golf every day and call that a retirement. It doesn’t provide enough variety to keep us engaged in our lives.
Women tend to adjust easier to retirement, because they don’t equate their job with their identity as closely as men do. So they tend to have a wider circle of friends with a range of common interests that don’t necessarily have anything to do with work.
Then there is an additional problem for both sexes. Adjusting to having 2000 extra hours a year to fill up. We can’t reasonably expect our friends to fill most of that time. We have to expand our interests and build new relationships with other people. By creating a wider net of relationships we enjoy many people’s company without becoming a burden to anyone.
So irony of your working career is your people skills are going to be more important in your retirement than they were in your working life. By meeting new people and expanding your interests you can ensure you will have a happy and joyful retirement.
With retirement we achieve a freedom we really haven’t felt since childhood. We can do what ever we want and when ever we want (within reason and your budget). So with all this new found freedom comes a few issues around our relationships that we just didn’t see coming.
So in order to address these I’m starting a small series of posts about your relationships in retirement. First off I’m going to deal with the most important relationship: your spouse.
Let’s face prior to retirement we are often so busy we just don’t even feel we have time to argue that much. Between the kids, jobs, the house and your hobbies it feels like some weeks you can just mange to find some time for sex and the odd conversation with just the two of you. Now suddenly in retirement every little thing they did that set your teeth on edge is happening five times a day because your spending so much more time with them.
Regardless if you are retired or not, a good relationship is based on communication. In retirement, there is an added pressure because you are in a state where you can chase your dreams so it might be a good idea to confirm you both still have the same dream. Additionally in retirement, both of you are redefining your lives and it can often bring up some surprising emotions (similar to what happened after high school, but now you actually have money and time really mess things up). So here’s a little quiz to ask yourself about your spouse.
- The most important thing in my spouse’s life is?
- In retirement where does your spouse want to travel to?
- Does your spouse want to retire in your current location or move somewhere else? If somewhere else, where?
- Do you honestly think your spouse wants to spend most of their day with you in retirement? Or perhaps just half the day?
- What is your spouse’s most important goal or dream about retirement?
If you can’t answer those questions regardless if you are retired or not it might be a good idea to have you both try the quiz and then compare answers. You might surprise your spouse and yourself with the conversation that follows.
Tomorrow we are going to look at your relationship with your kids when you get to retirement.