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Retiring is a huge transition for many who work in the law. It is common if you are approaching a certain age to focus on your retirement to get you through the long days and heavy workload – thinking it will all be worth it in the end – but the reality is that a few weeks after retirement many people can struggle with the loss of purpose and social connection. As with any big life change it is important to make plans first, and whilst many will have prepared financially for retirement, often little thought is given to preparing emotionally.
Tips for retiring
Consider retiring in stages. It may be easier to slowly reduce your working hours rather than giving up work all in one go to give yourself time to get used to the transition.
Plan in advance what you will do with the free time. Think about a hobby or interest you would like to do, a goal you would like to achieve, a trip you’ve always wanted to make, a course you’ve always wanted to do. This all keeps your mind active.
Have a routine. Humans thrive on a routine so make sure you have some small anchors in your day to keep you ticking over, whether that’s a Thursday coffee with a friend or a daily walk to get the paper. Do remember to leave space though to try new things, we can become too wedded to our routines!
Make new friends. Your friendship group can often get smaller when you leave work, so try and make friends in your local area through classes, book groups, clubs, or even spend time getting to know your neighbours more.
Keep well. Make sure the basics are taken of – get some exercise, drink in moderation, eat healthily, prioritise sleep.
Expect to feel emotional. There will be days when you feel a bit down, you may feel bored, or like you’ve lost your identity and you will have time on your hands to overthink. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge these feelings, and if you notice them become frequent talk to someone about how you are feeling or make an appointment with your GP.
Look into volunteering or a secondary career. As one door closes another opens; it may be that there is a new part-time career out there in a completely different field for you. Volunteering is also a great way to give you purpose and make you feel valued.
Let go of your working life. You’re entering a new chapter, so try to let go of the years you spent at work rather than dwell on old experiences.
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