Experiencing September without work has meant there has not been the days where I think I have to be careful about what I drink because of the next day. If I see friends on a Sunday for a barbecue I now don't have to worry about having an extra glass of wine because there will not be that big staff meeting on Monday and I will not have to field phone calls from parents. I can now go out to the pub on Monday or Tuesday and I don't have to worry about getting up early and being clear headed for work the next day. Now, although the level of drinking on many of these days when I previously would not have been drinking, is not very high, the overall effect is to increase the amount of alcohol I am drinking over the week. It has made me aware that if I kept this up over the coming months and years it would be very easy to end up with an alcohol problem.
So, even at this early stage of retirement, I can see three potential health dangers which I need to address:
- Less physical exercise. I will need to put in place an exercise regime to replace the energy and exercise which I would naturally have had as part of my day-to-day work.
- Overeating .At work I was on the go from eight o'clock through to at least five and sometimes six o'clock. On these days I would have a light breakfast and just a sandwich at lunch. When a home it's easier to snack more often and have bigger meals. Eating more can just creep up on you.
- Drinking too much alcohol.It's easier and more tempting to drink recreationally during the week when you're not working which can lead to an increase in alcohol consumption
Sorry this post has been more serious and just to temper that sombre tone I want to finish by pointing out how liberating the past two months have been. Yes there are dangers of overindulging and needing to find new purpose but being aware of these one can do something about them. The huge pluses of retirement are the freedoms provided to find new sources of meaning and purpose and the luxury of time and a pension (although I recognise not everyone has the luxury of a decent pension) to be able to do what you want to do but maybe put off because of all the other pressures whilst working full-time.
It would be great to hear from anyone else who's recently retired about their experiences in the immediate aftermath of retirement especially in relation to diet, exercise and alcohol. Take care out there.
Until the next time.