“Self-care” is swirling around in my head and “retirement” is swirling around along with it. (Not mine!))
My brain makes connections easily; once you hear the connection I made, I hope it’ll make sense and be useful for you.
Self-care and retirement. What’s the connection?
Short answer: Creating a life of meaning.
Why swirling now?
When I work with people “rightsizing” their treasures and things for a move to a retirement community, I hear people in their 70’s and sometimes 80’s sharing stories and memories of amazing lives already lived. (And I am always surprised when someone says he/she is in her 80’s!) These are people planning ahead, moving into the independent side of a retirement community, looking forward to yet another fulfilling chapter in life.
Curiosity and excitement, along with bittersweet memories. Talents and skills turned into fascinating hobbies or useful careers or generous volunteerism. They tell stories about the emotions that each treasure has had in one’s life and the most important rise to the top through our discussions. This is an important part of the process of moving on.
I also have several business clients who tell me they are in their early 70’s, and have recently started a business. (And I am always surprised when someone says he/she is in her 70’s,too!)
They all share this insightful, powerful perspective of looking back on life as also they look forward.
From these people, I rarely hear “Someday, I will,” when there is that tone of resignation, the person thinking that he/she probably really never will … The tone of voice and emotion being key.
And that is where self-care comes in.
So then, you need to know: What is your self-care about? What gives you energy?
And at the same time, what is it all for? Why does it matter? What is it that you need time for, so you are not waiting for “someday.”
It is what Tony Robbins suggests: What gives your life meaning?
“They are clear on their values. Each is a sage at this point in life.
He/she knows what life has really been about. They are interested now in a life of meaning.”
What’s the answer?
Maybe it’s the growth mindset. (Carol Dweck interview at that link.) Maybe optimism and positivity. Resilience, appreciation, gratitude, movement.
We no longer work until 65 and then completely retire. Two clients told me this week that when the retirement age was set at 65, our life expectancy was only 66 1/2 ! (Pause to think.) Instead, we have an opportunity to mix in some of those “retirement” wishes with our everyday life.
If you want to be more productive, have more energy, move better, slow down your fast mind, then small self-care steps do make a difference and they do add up.
Self-care is like a muscle to exercise. It helps you with “life balance.” It helps you with living a life of meaning, as you do some things for yourself and create time for what is important to you and the people you love.
Some specific ideas are below in the HuffPost article, and some of my ideas will be in a next blog post.
Find ways to spend as much time creating your life as you spend on work, even if you love what you do.
“The expectations of what we can get done, and how well we can do it, are beyond human scale.” ~ Brene Brown, quoted here.
“I’ve also had to humbly remind myself of the obvious — that the art of taking a break starts with remembering to take one. One strategy I’ve found helpful in this not-always-so-easy remembering is to identify activities that feel restorative and rejuvenating before the moment when I’m hoping to act on them.” from HuffPost article here.