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Taking Care of Your Emotional Well-Being in Retirement

Taking Care of Your Emotional Well-Being in Retirement

July 05, 2022
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In a previous blog, Want a Fulfilling Retirement? Your Physical Wellbeing Makes All the Difference, we discussed the importance of staying physically healthy so you can have the retirement you’ve envisioned. Now, we’ll get into the importance of your mental health.

Emotional well-being conveys your ability to cope effectively with stress and understand your feelings. You can achieve this by paying attention to your personal needs—your own self-care.


Know when you need to relax and answer this call. Reduce stress in your life. You are retired now; you don’t have to jump up for the needs of everyone else anymore. You must work on developing your own inner resources that will help you control unneeded stress and take care of you.

Life has a way of throwing more and more things at people who don’t push back. You may have been this way throughout your professional career or even with your family’s demands. Work to control this now and pay attention to the calls of your body when it says, “I am stressed, I need to relax.”

Do it. Relax. Go for a walk. Breathe.


Try meditation, it is a wonderful way of quieting the chatter in your brain. Learning to meditate will take a little time, but it is worth it and once you learn to meditate, you will rely on that special time just for you every day. Meditation is part of mindfulness, which means to be here now—don’t be anywhere else. Practice meditation as part of your daily time just for you.

Remember to treat your emotional injuries when they occur. Some people pray often and believe that prayer is a substitute for meditation. This belief is actually not true; make sure to incorporate meditation before and after prayer. This practice will make both praying and meditating more meaningful.

Practice Self-Compassion

When your emotional well-being is not doing well, you may find that you are more vulnerable to things like failure, rejection, anxiety, and stress. Try not to self-criticize and protect your self-esteem when it is low by practicing self-compassion.

Allow your self-esteem to recover and your entire mental health will get a boost. Focus on things that are in your control to balance out any defeatist thoughts, and you will avoid feelings of failure. Do what is necessary to improve your chances of success.

Brooding thoughts can get the best of almost anyone if allowed to steep. Stewing over upsetting events can only make you feel worse than you probably do already. As soon as you begin to focus on a negative thought, distract yourself immediately. Take a walk or go for a run and wait for your mood to recover.

Reflect on this quote: “The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind free from worry, live simply, expect little, give much.” Irishman, Barney O’Lavin, who founded the Flint Group.

Get Social

Social well-being will help you create a support network by performing social roles effectively and comfortably. You will be able to develop encouraging relationships with peers who may be new in your life. I

If you relocate after retirement, social well-being will be very important in helping you to establish new forms of socializing and new friendships. Try not to limit your social life to your lifetime partner and a circle of close friends. Get out there—meet new people and get involved in social events. There are always conferences, exhibitions, and movie premiers taking place somewhere. Remain dynamic and socially active. Avoid social isolation.

Online Options

Social media such as Facebook can be a healthy way of reconnecting with family and old friends. Use it wisely and avoid getting overly opinionated with your posts, as this might offend some people who might otherwise be good friends. Remember that no one agrees with opinions of others 100 percent of the time.

A client of mine reported that she was able to reconnect with extended family members after fifty years. She used to spend time with them when she was a child but had lost all contact. She and her family now share old family photos. This same woman was also able to reconnect with some of her close friends from high school resulting in the group meeting every six months for lunch and a mini high- school reunion.

Connect Spiritually

Spiritual well-being is something that you may seek in your own way. Being spiritually well means knowing what resources you can use to cope with issues that come up in everyday life.

Spiritual wellness allows you to develop a set of values that help you seek meaning and purpose in human existence. Formation of your own faith and hope are part of spiritual well-being, which is a very important part of total well-being.

If you do not adhere to a specific religion, now is a great time to visit various congregations to find one you like. Talk with your friends about their respective churches. If you are seeking a new church, let your friends know up front that you are visiting numerous churches so that you do not offend anyone when you don’t pick their church. T

here is more to spiritual well-being than just attending church once a week. Make a weekly goal to incorporate at least one thing you learn at church that week into your daily life. If your church isn’t giving you ideas, perhaps you might want to visit others.

Now that we’ve discussed physical and mental well-being, let’s get into keeping yourself actively intellectually in the next blog!


This excerpt is from Ryan S. Kidd’s book The Art of Retiring Whole. Ryan is a Senior Partner with Validus Financial Associates and specializes in the financial aspects of retirement. Additionally Ryan has a master’s degree in counseling that helps him better understand the non-financial issues that retirees face.