Retirement Detox 

by Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

If you are just retiring, you need to detox all those years of employment and the hustle and bustle of everyday life!

It's time to relax. Yes, I realize you don't know quite HOW to do that. You might relax for a weekend, maybe even a weeks vacation - but for a month, or three months - how does that happen?

It happens slowly. 

You might be anxious at first, knowing you should be busy and productive - and yet, not quite finding the energy for momentum to do anything on your To Do List!

This is ok, give yourself a break. Detox your anxious thoughts - you are not a has-been, you are not near death, you are retired and starting a new phase of life. You've been here before, when you first went into the workforce, when you got married, when you became a parent, when you became responsible for raising a family - all steps into the unknown future. 

Retirement is simply one more step. You aren't sure where you are headed. You aren't sure if you will remain in the same home or downsize, or move out of state. You aren't even sure your income will cover your monthly bills!

Believe me - slowly but surely, you will feel the retirement shift and your life becomes your new norm. You are transformed from busy, never-enough-time, keeping up with the Joneses individual to a more laid back version of your old self. 

Mind you- You might not become peaceful right away. Peace is elusive as you chase it, but will come in time as you accept your new life.

You might be restless at first, and need to work, part-time, or as a volunteer helping others. Getting outside the home - and helping others - is the best medicine for retirement. Being of purpose, meeting new people, keeping your mind challenged while keeping physically on the move is the key to your best self. 

You need to find new interests and might consider things you enjoyed as a child. My husband is back into locomotive trains (though, quite honestly, he did swaps with other collectors to get a larger size as he couldn't quite see the smaller trains he thought he wanted to work with)! So many interests to look into, some will bring new people into your life with like interests.

In time, you will love retirement and the freedom it brings!

You will love waking when YOU choose to wake, and staying up half the night if you choose to. You will love doing whatever you care to do, whenever you want to do it, including odd meal times. Life is all about you and how you choose to live it!

For now, while retirement is new - consider this your Retirement Detox phase of life. Allow yourself lots of catch up sleep, it's good and will help you reboot in life. Consider where you might live, what you might pursue, but there is no rush. Play with your options. Make lists. Consider the pros and cons of each decision. But mostly - Chill out! Relax! 

Enjoy the good life! 


Comments for Retirement Detox 

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new to retirement
by: Anonymous

Thank you for explaining Retirement Detox. I have been anxious and had no idea why. I retired a month and half ago from the medical field and was looking forward to less stress.

At first it felt like I was just on vacation. I think knowing that I am retired is sinking in slowly. Some days I feel like doing nothing, other days I am a little more motivated. I am catching up on my sleep which makes me feel so much better.

I am cooking more nutritious food. I need to organize stuff, but need to get in the mood. I think when the weather is warmer it will be nice getting out more. I didn't realize the emotions that come with retirement. I love the freedom of not clocking into work.

I look forward to reading the posts and for Wendy.

retirement detox
by: andrew of New Zealand Name/Location

So much truth written in these comments. I am happy and semiretired at 73 [part time teaching]. The occasional depression occurs but that is life.

Have fun Andrew

Very true, and may take longer than you think
by: Anonymous

Great post!

I've been experiencing this for 18 months, finally feel like I'm "retired" , and moving on. It took me much longer than I thought it would.

Retirement came sooner, and more abruptly than I expected. Luckily I was almost prepared, and already lining up what what I wished to do for several years, like investing in items I'd use while I still had a paycheck to pay for them.

The identity change took the longest. Working for over 40 years did things to my brain. Experienced it as an iterative process, making new neural paths, and short out the obsolete ones. It is interesting to chart the progress through dreams: going from meeting nightmares, to not having a seat at tables, to understanding you don't want, or have to, be there and leaving before the meeting starts.

I did not realize how much the high stress over many years worked on my psyche.

Thank you for the post, and I hope others are patient with their own detox - it may be short, it may be long, and it feels great to be at the other end.

Still Finding My Way
by: Canadian Retiree

Great article Wendy. I’m one of those retired folk who slowly getting used to the slow pace of retirement. I too still miss my job and wonder if I should have kept on working a little longer. I keep trying to find a part time job but can only find volunteer work so far.

I’m enjoying my weekly art class and exercise class. It’s becoming my routine. I just turned 65 in December and adjusting to being a real senior lol. It’s great getting all the discounts. I can now travel on BC ferries for free Mon-Fri. Have to still pay for the car but it’s a savings especially if going as a foot passenger. I’m not happy about my weight gain but trying to get fit as possible.

I really want to thank you Wendy for your ongoing support here for all of us who are struggling with this huge life changing journey.

I feel better than I did last year when I found Wendy’s retirement site.

Keep up the good work !

Great description Detox
by: David/Utah

Just wanted to comment that the use of DETOX in your article is a perfect description for so many of us.

So many find out they weren't really prepared for the change, and many who feel they are, are surprised with feelings of guilt, non-productivity, purposelessness, and even failure.

"What, I'm failing at retiring? What could be (should be) easier than stopping working?"

There are so many different reasons we go to work. Being retired can reveal validity or lies of those motivations.

Work was every day (for most). It was built around many habits involving time management, to relationships, to challenges in our thinking, to responsibilities, and physical demands. When you life is built on and surrounded by these habits (and even addictions), and then they are removed, it will take an adjustment, relative to how deeply you were consumed every day.

Detox is painful, and takes time, and just like recovery from other injuries, varies greatly from person to person in how and when one is able to shed that baggage and start new life priorities.

I am learning to relax for the first time in my life, slowly.

Then Let The Adventures Begin
by: Patricia Reid-Waugh

When I was a child, at the end of summer my parents would give us a "wash out" in preparation for back to school. This would be either epsom salts or a dose of castor oil.

This excellent article takes me right back to those days, remembering the discomfort of the several bathroom trips but the revival and rejuvenation of the body when it was done. We were rearing and ready to go.

Retirement detox gets us ready to take advantage of the new adventures and opportnities that await us at this stage of life. My book 'Retirement A New Adventure' outlines many experiences that we can take advantage of. This can be a new life of learning new things, enjoying new activities and putting our own skills to good use.

Do your Retirement Detox and hit the road of life again with renewed body and spirit.

Words for everyone
by: Anonymous

Good article. Everyone who is retiring or has retired should read this.

The phases most of us go through during retirement start with learning to do things when" We Want To" and not "Schedule Everything". I call that Phase I. Some of us master it better than others. Some allow it to lead them to the cross roads,

One road leads to doing nothing and getting depressed the second road of doing too much and the problems that multiplies.

The one thing that is extremely important is to learn to like yourself. When you retire you are going to spend a lot of time the person you have become. What is great is that when you retire... you have time to change almost anything about yourself personality wise.

Loved the article. You are a great coach.

Maybe that maybe not
by: Anonymous

I have been retired for many years now and still don't like this phase of life.

If I could go back to teaching, I would. I did run a tutoring service for years until this year but my vision is too poor now to continue.

I also trade stocks which keeps my brain very active and keeeps me knowing the world news. Nevertheless I had a fine job and miss it.

I'd like to write and publish a book on my crazy life and try to get the movies to use it.

How do I do that, Wendy?


Wendy: Open a blank page, and start writing! Just jump in and write. Starting is the hardest thing -- but just do it!

by: Anonymous

I retired 5 years ago and at first didn't know what to do with myself. It got very depressing and I had anxiety over wondering if I really did the right thing.

It takes time to get used to not working.

Today I work part time and love being semi-retired. I honestly think I would love not working at all though and may just do that if I get tired of this part time job.

It's great to wake up when you want too and drink the coffee slow!

Retirement Detox
by: Nancy

Wendy, I was a year and half into my retirement when I found this website.

Boy, do I wish I had read this post when I first retired. I had a terrible, terrible time with depression and regret ever leaving my job.

I do love retirement now. I do love getting up when I wish, and having the whole day to myself.

Thanks for writing.

Recent post
by: Irwin

Excellent post! So true. Retired 23 years now and loving it!

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