Feeling Loss in Retirement

Retirement – Career/Work Loss with Heather Stang


Introduction to Heather and her work


3:45 Retirement is a major change in life which results in a normal loss reaction. Feeling loss of daily routine, identity, sense of meaning are all common. It is normal to feel loss as one shifts from daily work life to retirement.

6:00 Who are you now? Need self-compassion because you and your life are changing and need time and effort to feel comfortable in new role. List the quality/traits that you have that are not work-related is one technique to find the retirement you – spouse, parent, grandparent, volunteer, community member etc. Find how to relate to yourself in a non-work environment. Explore who you are now? What is your passion? Not easy and takes effort but needs self-compassion.

Kristen Neff: Self-compassion has three elements

a)       Self-kindness – how do you talk to yourself? Is it positive or negative? Humans have a negativity bias: where they pay attention to the negative more than the positive. Obsess over what is wrong, rather than what is right.  Be aware of your self-talk; will probably tend toward the negative because this is a major life change which takes effort to craft new role. Consciously  be aware of what you are saying and try to be neutral if not positive in your self-talk.

b)      Common Humanity – most people who retire will be stressed because of this major life change.  Normal human reaction to change. Build or join a community of others in similar situations.

c)       Mindfulness – state of mind of being aware, present, compassionate in the moment. Build resilience for the major change of retirement. Use mindfulness to check out what is missing when retired – connection?, meaning? Purpose?

17:00 Many are retiring and then returning to work.  Be aware why they are returning? What is their motivation? Are you avoiding something, or you truly love the job, or financial reasons. Good to understand our motivations. Know and understand why you are returning to work. Afraid of the void, the habits of work etc. These feelings of fear, distress, etc. are signals that something is out of balance. Be self-aware and explore the reasons for these feelings so that you can create the life you really want in retirement. Using mindfulness to step out of our habits and become aware of the moment. Find something new or something that you haven’t had time to do recently. Use mindfulness to find something new and or creative to encourage mental flexibility.

27:30 Time does not alleviate grief or loss but what you do with the time that will lead to lessening of these emotions. It is different for each person; each must find their own  purpose and meaning and that can  be a variety of things.  Finding meaning through activities is important in retirement.  Be open to opportunities that may be very different from what you have done previously or want to do .

34:09 Do retirement your own way. Create space to listen to yourself.


Website: www.minfulnessandgrief.com

FB: mindfulnessgrief

Insta: mindfulgriefquotes

Two Years into Retirement with Nerida Tempest

Introduction to Nerida Tempest- 2 years into retirement

7:36 Have to feel happy where you are. Value social interactions – started yoga, joined U3A. Need to be proactive to find new friends. Important to make the effort to meet people, make friends. Left good friends in Perth, but everyone doesn’t retire at the same time. Can’t rely solely on those you socialised with before retirement. Return to Perth because Nerida’s parents live there – about 3 times a year. See Perth friends then.

11:30 Planning day to day – doing things that I didn’t do when I worked – more physical exercise, joined a book club. Nerida and Richard planned for retirement for two years and weren’t worried about finding something to do. More difficult to choose between the many things that are available.  But activities change and be open to new things along the way. Most important to keep your body and mind active and grow your friendship group. It has been more difficult for her husband because he has been working for most of his life and taken very little long-term time off as Nerida did for raising the children. Their planning for retirement consisted mainly of logistics once they decided to move.

16:19 Retirement fulfilled their expectations. They are happy they relocated, aware that may have many years in retirement and have started thinking needing to find a purpose. But right now content with current activities but in the future they will probably not be enough. Looking for something that adds value to someone else. Nerida will start to probably explore volunteer possibilities.

18:54 Guidelines to be fulfilled in retirement: Happiness is not enough – people need purpose. For their self-worth, need to add value to someone or something. Really happy, but there will need to be more

20:48 Advice: stimulated mentally, physical activity, good social network (very important) get involved in something and comfortable with the activity and the people.

Your Brain on Retirement with Ani Wilson

Introduction to Ani Wilson and Neuroscience

2:28 What happens to the brain on retirement? Your brain will have built pathways to meet your work obligations and will be very strong in those areas (and weak in areas not needed in work). In retirement, the brain may not know how to relax if this has not been part of your life when working. Brain wants to achieve something on a daily basis like you did at work; if it can’t it is unsure what to do.

4:50 How to make the transition; strategies to build pathways before retirement. New activities to activate both sides of the brain (sports, dancing, anything where hands cross the midline of the body)  to get whole brain usage. People that were planners, CEO’s, high achievers need to continue to plan in their retirement. Something that has to requires daily attention, activities that use work skills in a different context.

7:15 Find activities to train the brain to use all of the functional brain areas.

8:23 “How to find inspiration – its in the cracks – the little things in life.

9:04 Not Achieving – brain becomes less active, doesn’t produce neurochemicals that activate happiness, can lead to depression, Find something to be excited about, even looking at our failures to better in the future. Always seeking = learn something different that you haven’t done when brain becomes neutrally excited by new ideas, tasks, activities, creates new neural pathways.

10:48 Brain never stops growing unless you stop learning. Brains want to old neural pathways which may no longer be needed. Find new things to build new pathways; happy chemicals are released.

11:29 Contribute in Retirement = having a purpose leads to better longevity and happiness. Every time you feel valued because of your contribution, oxytocin is pumped through the brain, we feel more happiness being with people. Leveraging your brain power to contribute to your happiness .Neuroscience research indicates that being in nature moves your brain into an alpha state which encourages creativity.

16:21 Finding commonality with others; brain wave changes. Don’t isolate yourself; find your community.

17:20 Smile 3 neurochemicals are released when you smile. Oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine.

18:50 Tips for Planning Retirement

  • Explore what you were excited about when you were 18

  • Go to local community centres, explain your skills and they will match you with an organisation that needs those skills

  • Ask other retired people what they really enjoy doing.

  • Find excitement/inspiration in the small things. Finding the wonder in each moment. Being present, breathe, interaction with others, Look for amazing moments. How you respond to life is how it will respond to you.

23:30 Share your knowledge of what you have learned here. Treat your brain well: feed it correctly, maintan hydrated, breathe.




Finding passion and fulfillment in Retirement

Lee Majewski

1:47 Intro to Lee Majewski and her 3 week intensive cancer retreats

She is a baby boomer, worked in corporate positions, laid off and was looking for another position when she met a guru and he asked her to his ashram in India. Became a senior member of the ashram. Returned to Canada because of cancer diagnosis, had treatment and suffered from the severe side effects of cancer treatment. She recognised the gap in medical treatment and began teaching yoga to those in the cancer journey and others. She saw the benefits of yoga for people on the journey. Returned to India for intensive study, developed the intensive retreat program, and taught it in India for the next 5 years.

Returned to Canada for family reasons and developing these retreats in English speaking countries.

7:30 Developed intensive, residential 3 week program based on yogic principles for people finished with the Western allopathic treatment. The retreat is structured to help people deal with the side effects of treatment like depression, brain fog, anger, fear, and depression. The retreat encourages understanding where the attendees are and how to get back to their life.

10:06 Retirement and Service to Others

20 years of retirement is very possible, can create something to bring joy and purpose in life. You have the time to find out want you want to do to know that you have purpose

12:05 How to find purpose: Lee always had established goals for herself throughout her life but her current life is totally different from any previous goals. I had to start listening to what is happening to the now for me. Had a call to go in this direction; following the now that is showing up requires self-discipline and listening to yourself. May not be logical, but follow to need what you need to do

15:30 Lee is implementing programs to launch in English speaking countries first. September in Europe, Early 2019 in Canada for North America, and had a retreat in Australia 2 years ago. The future for these retreats is unknown but someone may decide to continue them or the cure may become much less damaging.

16:34 Lee’s journey began with menopause when she felt she had stopped being a woman and a mother. But realised these were just masks so she needed to look at who she was – slow process. Look inside and realise who we are and connect with the small stillness inside. Path may take you to unknown places, have to trust yourself and not let others dictate your choices.

19:06 With age become more open to intuition Experiences are changed to wisdom and calls for connection with yourself. With age part of this process is to look inside to have inner conversations, connect with your inner spark.

22:15 What will be your legacy?  Don’t know if it is a legacy but I see the need for these programs that are available for everyone that needs them on the cancer journey.

Contact Details:


Bart Astor - I like being older

Bart Astor - Early Baby Boomer, Author and Funny

1:16 Intro: Bart Astor; author of AARP Roadmap for the Rest of Your Life and the Baby Boomers Guide to Caring for Aging Parents

3:00 What You Are Now is What You Were When  -

Early teenage years starts the development of their own values. Critical events for Bart’s development was the JFK assassination and he left home to travel with a group. Both events made a deep impression and he is still interested in politics and travelling.

7:31 What is my life now and how does that relate to who I am now? How does it affect retirement?

8:44 Baby boomers work is not over – first must differentiate from early and late boomers. The experiences are very different for those born is 40’s and early 50’s compared to those born later. Can’t lump the 18 years together as far as experience goes. The draft was a major part of his life as a young person, the Viet Nam War, but for younger boomers these were not relevant. His experience is rare in that he knew no one that was in the military and went to Viet Nam; he and his friends had deferments because of school. Doesn’t know anyone on the Viet Nam Memorial.  I knew guys that went into the army, served in Viet Nam, and some came back very damaged.

14:58 1968 – a miserable year: 50 years ago at war, Tet Offensive, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, Chicago riots and it still affects us. LBJ not running for president resulted in Nixon elected.

17:45 A slight detour into “Those Were the Days My Friend”  but loves being older can’t do some of the things I really like to do – like team sports. Old is good – I expect some respect and I think I get it. Younger people offered to help set up a large umbrella at the beach as Bart’s group was struggling. Accepted help; learn to accept help. Is one new skill to learn as we age

22:00 Smoothness in our lives now; not true as teenagers. Envied people who knew what they wanted to do in lives as teenagers. Bart has travelled from career to career but has brought a set of similar skills to each.

25:05 Bart’s description of a Fulfilled Retirement:

  • Can choose your own goals, but make no value judgement about those goals (choosing goals as I see fit, not judging myself)

  • Can change goals as want to do new things or as new ideas occur

  • Quality of life matches your lifestyle

  • Open to new possibilities

30:50 Contact details:

Bart’s newest writing on retirement can be found at www.forbes.com/retirement/ and at www.nextavenue.org


The adage “you are as old as you think you are” has particular meaning in discussing how the brain and the body interpret your thoughts. Dr. Ellen Langer, Harvard professor of psychology and the designer of the Counterclockwise Study, studied this concept.

Counterclockwise Study

Dr. Langer designed the Counterclockwise Study to put older people in an environment to recall their lives 20 years in the past.

In the 1970s, researchers chose eight men in their late 70s and early 80s to take part in a research study. First, the researchers administered a series of tests of physical ability (e.g., grip strength) and mental ability (e.g., memory).

The participants then lived for five days in a house decorated to look as if it was set up in the 1950s. For the sake of the study, all media in the house was consistent with 50s media offerings. The men were asked to only discuss things relevant to the 1950s.

At the end of the five days, researchers administered the same tests. The physical tests showed improvement in strength and mobility and the mental tests showed improvements in memory and other cognitive areas.

Dr. Ellen Langer observed that the men looked younger, moved with more agility and seemed happier. Interesting enough, a UK television series duplicated the study and produced similar outcomes.

This study is really fascinating because it may be one of the first studies conducted in the West to probe the mind-body connection.

Mind-Body Connection

The mind-body connection is defined as the way thoughts and emotions can affect the body. This concept, accepted in the East, was not well known in the West in the 1970s.

Nowadays, there are many research projects testing the mind-body connection. As an early researcher in this area, Dr. Ellen Langer noticed that as we convince the mind, the body follows. The brain’s reality is in its inputs, so if you are feeling old, acting old, believe you are old – your body will follow and be old.

Feeling old physically and mentally could very well hasten the afflictions of old age. It then becomes a vicious feedback loop. The older the body feels, the older the brain thinks we are, which in turn makes the body feel even older.

How Do We “Think Young”?

You can break the patterns of old thoughts and replace them with more positive thoughts via meditation and building new thinking habits.


Meditation trains the mind to be in the present, not regretting the past nor planning the future. Learning meditation takes time, but here is a simple way to start.

First, find a quiet place and take a few deep breaths. This trains the body to relax and signals that meditation is starting. Create an affirmation, a song or a visualisation confirming that you are young in your thoughts, attitudes and relationships.

For example, an affirmation may be “I am resilient.” This is an excellent way to tell the brain, and then the body, that you do not believe that you are old. Repeat this activity daily for the duration that feels right for you.

Building New Pathways in the Brain

The brain builds pathways (ways of thinking) at each event we experience. When something occurs in a pattern similar to a previous event, the brain will send us down those same ways of thinking we had developed in the past.

We have to encourage our brain to build new pathways if we want to think in a new way. This requires new messages to ourselves.

Every time you think “I am too old to do X,” change the message to either “I am young enough to do X,” or “I don’t want to do X.”

Those are different messages. The brain will perceive them as different from previous thinking and build new pathways. And, it won’t send a message to the body it is too old to do X.

The adage “you are as old as you think you are” is now even more relevant as current brain research confirms its truth. Tell your brain through your actions, feelings and beliefs that you are a vital and contributing member of society.

Changing the messages you tell yourself can positively impact how you feel emotionally and physically. We can ‘think’ ourselves young but we can also ‘think’ ourselves older than we are or want to be.

Have you ever found yourself using your age as an excuse for not doing something? What do you think of the idea of “thinking yourself young?” Have you tried any methods to change your way of thinking?

Day to Day Retirement - Introduction

Introduction to Day to Day Retirement

2:05    My retirement started with:

Round the world bicycle tour, January 1 2000, in September, came to Australia for Sydney Olympics. Partner decided to stay in Australia to explore further, and I went on to Asia. On returning to Australia, my partner wanted to extend our visa for a few months to further explore. I agreed, and a few  months later he want to live here more permanently. I agreed, but I didn’t understand that the visa we received did not allow us to work. I was forced into an unexpected, unplanned and very unwanted retirement in my early        50’s.

Retirement activities: yoga, more bicycle tours, rehabbed an old house, but not very fulfilling. The visa restrictions eased and I completed general and   specialised training in teaching yoga to seniors. Started classes and then in 2017 started a podcast to expand the perception of yoga. I found it incredibly satisfying and felt I had found my niche.

7:25    Starting another podcast on expanding the perception of retirement. Baby boomers much healthier than previous generations and will live longer. Retirement 20-30 years. Previous generations’ retirement – short rest before dying.

8:30    What is retirement now? How does it look? How do we find fulfilment and purpose for the decades of retirement? How do we contribute, find social interaction, maintain healthy bodies, minds and emotions?

9:30    First 18 -24 months are honeymoon period. Do what you want, when you want. Using your time and pursuing activities are at your discretion. After that you may want more of your retirement.

11:15 This podcast is a connection tool to hear about other peoples’ retirement journey, find new ideas, to absorb new ideas, etc

11:52 Podcast Instructions: people over 50 are the least likely to listen to podcasts however it is pretty simple.

Listen on the computer: find the Itunes app on your computer or download from the Apple store.  Search for podcasts, Apple has an extensive directory of podcasts on every subject imaginable. Click on the particular episode you want to listen to and enjoy.

iPhone – if it is new, it probably has the Itunes app (I have heard) otherwise download the app from the Apple Store. Follow instructions in computer directions.

Android phone – download the podcast app from Google store and follow instructions.

16:00 Definitions:

Subscriptions: when you click subscribe on any of the apps, this sets up a notification sequence. When a new episode of a podcast is released, the app   will either notify you or download it to your phone. It is FREE and it only means that you have asked to be notified of new episodes.

Ratings: you can rate the podcast episode on a 1-5 scale which is telling the producer how much you enjoyed the episode.

Comments: tell the producer your opinion on the episode or suggest topics or ask questions or  ?


Website: www.yogalightness.com.au/podcasts/
Email: stephanie@day2dayretirement.com