In my office it is pretty well known that no conversation is out of bounds for me to mine for ideas to use here, there and everywhere. It is even part of a running joke along the lines of, “wonder when that will show up in the blog?!” It is all good, however. The other day I had one of those situations where I was hanging out, randomly waiting, and could hear snippets of a conversation happening behind me. The basic storyline? “I don’t have any idea what to do with myself and I’ve been retired for over a year!” Yikes!
We don’t have all the time in the world so a year is a long time! Short time for some things ~ think compounding interest ~ but surely a year is a long time when you feel as if your life lacks structure and purpose.
You don’t need a fancy plan, you don’t need a plan that is 100% figured out but having a plan makes all the difference in the world. As a therapist, I have seen my fair share of older clients who come in depressed and anxious because they are at loose ends. Mental health is a tricky thing; under good and stable conditions, it is often possible to maintain good emotional habits but under stress that can become even more difficult than you might recognize. Depression and anxiety aren’t pretty or funny and if they strike it is easy to feel as if your life has been turned upside down. As a coach I want you to position yourself for the best possible outcome.
A plan will consist of a few things including how you want to spend your time, what activities will reflect what is important to you and what will leave you feeling nourished, taken care of. I don’t mean that others have to take care of you literally but it is nice to have people around you with whom you feel comfortable around; “the guys” or “my tribe.” People you can let you hair down with.
If you haven’t already done so, right now is a good time to start getting involved in your community, church, temple, volunteer organization or whatever else is going to both provide some structure but also be a line of attachment to others. Maybe that’s a bike club or an animal shelter. Someplace, by the way, that is a real place. Online communities are great but there is no substitute for face to face contact with people you can touch, if you feel so moved. Touching is not required although I could go on for some time about how skin to skin contact is good for you…I’ll leave that for another day!
For now, please start to consider your plan. Care to share what you’re thinking? You know I’d love to hear from you!
Wishing you all the best for your week!