A Pleasurable Plan for Retirement

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    Welcome to installment #16 of the A to Z for a Rocking Retirement. P = PLEASURE. When I think about what retirement looks like (now that I have partially stepped into it) I think of PLEASURE. After all, it’s our last great hurrah before we cash it in.

    A Pleasurable Plan for Retirement

    I know not everyone sees it that way, especially if you feel like you will be lost without your job, be lonely and have no purpose. But I like to think about it differently. I believe pursuing PLEASURE should be our goal. After all, you are now free from the shackles that bind and can do and be anyone and anything you want. I say soak it up as much as you can - you've paid your dues and now it's ME TIME.

    So if pursuing PLEASURE is your goal, have you given it any thought? How will you accomplish it? Perhaps I can help you get started with a PLEASURE road map. Get a pen and paper and answer the following questions.

    P - Play often.

    The National Institute for Play says: The prevalence of depression, stress related diseases, interpersonal violence, the addictions, and other health and well-being problems can be linked, like a deficiency disease, to the prolonged deprivation of play.

    What types of play do you enjoy, or would like to begin doing that would be fun?

    L - Love yourself every day and spread the love to others.

    Research shows that loving acts neutralize the kind of negative emotions that adversely affect immune, endocrine and cardiovascular function, reduce stress and improve your mood.

    Make a list of all the loving relationships you have in your life and schedule more quality time with them.

    E - Enjoy your newly found free time.

    At first, when you have all this free time it can be very unsettling. You might find yourself restless because you are so used to doing something every minute of every day. You may need to still schedule free time on a calendar so you can honor it, be with it, explore it, and begin to enjoy it.

    How will you spend your free time so it will be enjoyable and not stressful?

    A - Appreciate every day

    Appreciation and gratitude create good feelings, cheerful memories, better self-esteem, feeling more relaxed and more optimistic. When you awake every day, focus on everything you are grateful for and your day will be off to a great start.

    How will you incorporate an attitude of gratitude into your daily life?

    S - Sleep until you wake up naturally

    Waking up naturally allows you to go thru all 5 sleep cycles which are necessary for cell repair and rejuvenation, healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, maintaining a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full, support for healthy brain function and maintaining a positive mood.

    What steps will you take to improve your ability to sleep 7-8 hours each night and wake up naturally?

    U - Uplevel your belief about this being the best time of your life.

    Are you dreading retirement or just haven't even given it any thought at all? It's almost like it doesn't exist, and I know for me it didn't seem to be something that I should think about or prepare for. Actually, I was in denial about the whole thing. Now that I'm there I see how cool it really is and how it is something to look forward to and embrace when it arrives.

    What are your thoughts about retirement and what are 3 things you need to do to prepare yourself?

    R - Relax more to slow down your revved up motor.

    This is probably the biggest challenge for those of us who work at top speed all the time. Since you will have all the free time in the world, why not fill some of it with relaxation strategies that feel good, start re-engaging your parasympathetic nervous system and become regular activities to start filling your day with PLEASURE. I love Tai Chi classes, Yoga classes, daily walks in nature with a friend or your dog.

    What activities will you build into your daily schedule that are relaxing?

    E - Engage with others who have a positive attitude.

    You can now control who you spend time with. At work, you may not have this luxury, but when you are in charge of your own time you can select those friends and make new friends who feel good to be around. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include Increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological and physical well-being, better cardiovascular health, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress. Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk - Mayo Clinic

    Who makes you feel better and who drains you and how will you spend more time with those who have that positive attitude?

    Did you know living a life of PLEASURE could have so many health benefits!

    Now ask yourself, what does my PLEASURE plan look like? Please share.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jun 15, '18
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