As we get older, having some sort of routine before retirement becomes necessary. I’m talking about the wake-up and get out of bed, get ready for the day, eat, and the all important bathroom routine. You don’t want to be out and realize you don’t have your Depend®s. That would be embarrassing. Seriously though, getting a good start in the morning and having an evening routine becomes more important as you age. Therefore, you need to get into a routine before retirement.
The reason I’m writing about this is because several of my friends have retired or have an empty nest and are going through trials. They often find themselves feeling unproductive in their day-to-day life.
The common scenario
Eating breakfast at lunchtime.
Eating lunch at dinnertime.
Eating dinner at midnight.
Staying up late watching movies.
Finally getting to bed in the middle of the night.
If there’s nothing pressing to do each day, and the bed is comfortable, why get up? My friends have been working or caring for everyone else for so long, they don’t even remember what they used to do in their free time.
Also, many of their friends are still working so they’re a bit scarce on companionship for activities. I asked one woman what her routine was at home while she was working. She had a routine, but because of work, she allowed herself some luxuries like getting takeout and plotzing on the couch to watch TV most weekday nights. On the weekends, she’d tidy up and maybe clean some things and sometimes go out with a friend. Other than that, she didn’t do much for fun.
Without a good support system or group of friends the women I’ve spoken to say they don’t know what to do “next.” Once upon a time, people would work until they retired (usually before or by the age of 60), then they’d travel, go on cruises with friends, have parties, etc. Society as a whole has changed and therefore the norm is no longer the norm.
There are certain things that are essential to do each morning and evening. You probably know what I’m going to say: brush your teeth, shower, clean your face, eat, have fun, keep your body moving, then spend time winding down. Why are they essential?
Why you need a routine before retirement
These basic needs are self-care essentials that many people take for granted or skip.” Oh, I showered yesterday and didn’t do much, so I don’t need to shower today.” “I only stop at the fast food place a few times a month.” One woman told me she got up and out twice a week to go to the grocery store and did the laundry. Sadly, I had to tell her that wasn’t enough exercise to make a dent in her health. There are many excuses and bad habits we’ve picked up along the way, so much so, that these bad habits have created a health industry worth billions.
Reasons for self-care
Showering can be a form of cleansing the spirit as well as the body. After all, they do say, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”
You need your teeth for life; so brushing them before bed keeps overnight build up to a minimum and brushing them when you wake up cleans off the build up from the 6 to 8 hours from your night of sleep. Furthermore, bacteria buildup can cause illness.
Washing your face in the evening removes makeup (if you wear makeup) and dirt that accumulates throughout the day clogging up your pores, while a morning wash cleanses the skin of oil deposits from the night before and refreshes your skin.
Our fast food nation is causing a lot of illness and obesity. Having a routine for meals can maintain health by creating a better sleep environment for the body, healthier teeth and gums, more energy during the day, and offer overall health through proper nutrients for the body.
Taking a walk each morning and doing rigorous housework three times a week will keep the blood pumping and your body active. Vacuuming takes one set of muscles, while dusting and cleaning the bathrooms uses others. It’s imperative to keep the body moving.
A calming routine in the evening signals the body that it’s time to wind down and rest. Do what it takes to have a restful sleep and you’ll wake up fresh in the morning.
FIND things you like to do. Plan to participate in things you enjoy, and you will have a reason to get up in the morning. If you have trouble, think about what made you happy when you were younger. During training about personalities, I learned that our young self is closer to our true, older self. Our older self, to a degree, has changed to learn to manage in society, so some things we liked as children, we will probably like as adults. For example, I loved to color and picked it back up again after getting too busy as an adult. As I create a routine before retirement I can see the benefits and feel better.
It takes patience to build a routine that sticks. But the health benefits are life altering.
Blessings and Peace,
P.S. Do you have a morning or nighttime routine? Curious minds want to know!
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