I regularly treat people who have retired and then develop anxiety, fear and depression. I’m always horrified when they assume that this, and a whole host of other physical symptoms, is just a natural part of ageing.
It is not!
It is lifestyle induced and can be improved by making a few simple lifestyle changes.
Don’t buy into defeatist ideas like ageing means declining. Ageing is an opportunity for life to get better and more rewarding every day.
Depression and anxiety in later life is the result of a combination of no movement, nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, late rising and lack of purpose.
The “Chi Cycle Lifestyle” offers the perfect solution for ensuring a productive, healthy and happy retirement.
If you are retired, you can change all of this because you can now devote your time fully to the most important job there is, which is building your own health and happiness.
You have to actively plan to make this happen. One of the secrets to health and happiness is to always feel as if you are moving towards worthy goals and ideals, regardless of age.
So behave as if you are still getting up and going to work every day. Just change your job description. You may have retired from your day job but replace it with other meaningful activities. Don’t stop working and don’t stop moving.
Ten things you can do to avoid depression when you retire
- Get a healthy and productive life plan in place (see my book The Perfect Day Plan for more info).
- Try to do an hour of movement before breakfast, even walking is going to benefit you.
- Invest in your health. Buy fitness equipment such as some light weights or a cross-trainer to strengthen muscles. Set up a dedicated room or space for some daily exercise. Book a session with a personal trainer to get an age-appropriate exercise routine to follow.
- Take high quality nutritional supplements and kidney tonics. In Chinese medicine, age is regulated by your kidneys. If kidney function declines, confidence becomes fear, teeth weaken, bones break, joints get stiff and it takes forever to recover from injuries. Kidney tonics keep the kidney function strong, accelerate healing and make you less prone to injury.
- Learn how to do tai-chi or yoga, this makes your chi or energy move. Chi is the secret to everything from a happy life to a happy death. It gets all your organs working well and it counters anxiety (you can’t feel anxious if chi flows).
- Set short and long term goals to progress towards. Learn a language, a craft, an instrument, learn to sing or knit or carve. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it engages you and delivers the feeling of ‘moving towards’ something.
- Use the morning to be active and productive in achieving these goals. Use the afternoons to learn about things that fascinate you. This creates a sense of purpose and direction in life. And it keeps your mind exercised as well as your body.
- Don’t do entertaining things like reading the newspaper or novels, or watching TV during the day. Daytime TV is a major contributor to unhappiness and depression. You must have a productive day, then look for entertaining or relaxing activities later in the day.
- Feel purposeful by developing empathy and applying it. Find a cause or charity you believe in and contribute your time or skills.
- Investigate meditation or some sort of spiritual pursuit. This is the time of life to be working hard on your spiritual health and increasing your spiritual satisfaction.
The great thing here is that you do not need to wait to retire before you start living the Chi Cycle Lifestyle, you can start it today. As I always say every day is a new change to start over.
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