Attend a free online retirement planning workshop. Register
Retirement is an ideal time to design and implement or update your self-care system—it’s a time in life when your ultimate goal can be to take care of yourself.
Roles change after retirement. You might take on a second career that’s less stressful; you may find you have relatively fewer responsibilities with more time flexibility and possibly financial freedom.
Plus, many people retiring from education and other careers go through an emotional transition when they retire, and introspection and planning at this point in life can be very rewarding and helpful in the future.
Self-care is taking care of yourself! It’s taking ownership of your wellness and doing what you can to maintain and optimize your health and well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, self-care is the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.
It means different things to different people, and there’s no single right way to do self-care.
Your self-care activities have a cumulative impact. As you develop and sustain a self-care practice, you will start to notice changes in how you feel. You will be more resilient and better able to cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs. You may have more energy, generally feel more positive and engaged in life, and you may feel motivated to try different things. And your self-care activities can also impact your physical health.
What do you think of when you think of self-care? Perhaps it’s expensive, you don’t have time, or it’s self-indulgent? These are some of the myths.
Self-care doesn’t have to cost a lot – there are many ways to care for yourself that are free. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time either. Don’t think of it as a major one-off activity, like a vacation or spa day, but rather the daily accumulation of small efforts to take care of yourself – from getting quality sleep to eating well, moving, being mindful, and maintaining positive relationships.
And self-care is far from self-indulgent – deep down, you know that. You’ve heard the phrase you can’t pour from an empty cup, right? And plenty of research also shows that taking breaks makes us more productive.
There are various reasons people don’t engage in self-care activities. These are some of the common ones.
Some of the reasons you’re not engaging in self-care may also be indications to help you realize you’d benefit from focusing more on yourself.
Watch for these red flags to help you decide whether you’d benefit from more self-care in your life:
If any of these are resonating, know you’re worthy and deserving of feeling well and enjoying life, and you can start today to make changes that will redirect the trajectory you’re currently on.
Once you recognize your need for self-care, you can begin to take steps to add it to your life. There’s no single way to do self-care, and your approach can be based on your unique interests and goals. Here are some tips to help:
Share – tell others, and your experience becomes richer. Sharing the activities you enjoy can help inspire others and form a community.
Whether you’re preparing to retire or already retired, it’s never too late to craft a lifestyle that brings you joy. Your life by design ebook can help. Download your copy.
This post is based on a presentation to RTOERO members by Alka Chopra, a registered dietitian and self-care advocate. Access to presentations with expert speakers is one of the benefits of RTOERO membership.
Do you work in any role in the education sector in Canada? You’re eligible for membership, and it’s free until you retire. Sign up today.