Leonard: Key To Finding Happiness In Retirement

By LAURA LEONARD
Doctor of Chiropractic
Los Alamos

When we think about retirement our focus tends to center on financial fitness and checking off the bucket list.

This is the honeymoon phase and once it ends there needs to be a plan for what comes next.

What roadblocks will there be? Several months back, I wrote an article on life purpose and mentioned a widely viewed TED Talk that I came across in my research, ‘The Four Phases of Retirement’ by Dr. Riley Moynes.

Fortunately for me, my article found its way through the information highway to Dr. Moynes and I received a signed copy of his book, The Four Phases of Retirement. This book is short, easy to read and an excellent gift for the upcoming or current retiree.

Optimistic people and people with purpose live longer and are happier overall.

According to Dr. Moynes, once the newfound freedom of retirement gets old it is crucial to find meaning in purpose.

Purpose in something bigger than us is a guidepost ensuring that we don’t get lost along the way. It comes down to balance, relaxation is balanced by work and struggle is balanced by ease.

We can’t know one without the other. After a period of fun, rest, no set schedule and spontaneous travel, there is a shift into phase two of retirement and feeling lost.

This is one of the reasons some people don’t retire in the first place. Their career gives them a sense of self and purpose that they are not willing to give up.

According to a Harvard study conducted with more than 15,000 retirees over 20 years, the most unhappy of the retirees were the ones who had not done anything outside of pleasing themselves. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy newfound freedom and checking the bucket list boxes.

It comes down to how long we want to do that for before we either burnout or can’t due to life changes. Preparing in advance for this inevitability is a fantastic idea.

Dr. Moynes identifies three key areas to find your purpose:

  • What is your passion;
  • What are your gifts; and
  • How much desire do you have?

This book is a valuable resource to those who are retiring soon or already retired. It brings awareness to retirement’s unique set of struggles and guides readers toward proactive solutions to reduce struggle. Retirement is an exciting transition that is stereotyped as a time to play and rest.

Not enough people are talking about what struggles exist after retirement, what to expect and how to rediscover purpose.

Dr. Leonard’s practice focuses on posture and performance using a combination of soft tissue release, adjustments and exercise recommendations. She also coaches patients on nutrition, self-care and body awareness so they can manage themselves in between visits. Los Alamos Chiropractic Center is in the Mary Deal Building on Trinity Drive.

LOS ALAMOS

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