This post is a duplication of our newsletter, The Weekly Reset, where we review a key theme each week. In the spotlight this week: The essential retirement investment: Relationships. Is relationship building and strengthening part of your retirement plan?
A note from Johann
Take extra care to manage your relationships
As you approach life’s transitions
One of the good things that can come from a major transition, like retirement, is that we get out of our comfort zones. Uncomfortable as this may be for those of us who don’t enjoy change, it presents opportunities for growth in many areas.
If we don’t plan ahead for our retirement, it can be tough to cope with the uncertainty and lack of clear direction that we face as we leave full-time work. We spend more time at home and miss the camaraderie of colleagues while needing to adjust to different time schedules and disrupted routines. Most people find change difficult and adapting to this kind of different lifestyle is no exception.
The uncertainty of not knowing what lies ahead can cause much anxiety. This anxiety is likely to spill over into our relationships as we withdraw into ourselves, feel less generous, and miss out on queues from our loved ones.
This is a pattern we’ve seen play out with many retirees, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Change can bring tremendous growth if we prepare for it with the right mindset. After all, forewarned is forearmed and if we know which pitfalls to look out for, we can avoid them or fortify ourselves against them with knowledge and skill.
Investing in our relationships in retirement can mean adopting a willingness to improve our communication. It also means becoming alert to opportunities for engagement. Start building a habit of regularly going out and meeting someone for coffee or other opportunities to talk. Old friends and relatives provide a wonderful source of renewed engagement. Growing new skills and improving on past ones is a great way to embrace the growth that comes with change. Relationships are the most significant source of satisfaction and happiness in your third stage of life – we should embrace any chance to improve them.
Our top pick this week:
Happy Together: 6 Tips for Marriage After Retirement
Retirement can be wonderful, but it’s not always easy on a marriage.
“After many long years of employment, you have finally crossed the threshold into retirement. Congratulations! You may be feeling relieved, excited, anxious, and perhaps a little sad. You might also be realizing that retirement means many more hours at home with your spouse. This may have sounded great at first, but as the days and weeks march forward it ceases to be all sunshine and rainbows.
The truth is that retirement can put quite a strain on a marriage, even a relatively healthy one. For many years you had found an equilibrium, and now suddenly everything is different. In my therapy practice, I have seen a number of couples through the transition into retirement.
Below are six reminders I often give.
- Be patient with each other.
- Notice changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
- Don’t make any major decisions.
- Don’t expect your partner to entertain you.
- Rediscover yourself and your own interests.
- Be curious and supportive of each other.
Click here to read the whole article on Psychology Today
Our Spotlight video:
The Essential Retirement Investment: Relationships
Other Highlights of The Week:
4 Skills for Effective Communication
“Effective communication sounds like it should be instinctive. But all too often, when we try to communicate with others something goes astray. We say one thing, the other person hears something else, and misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts ensue. This can cause problems in your home, school, and work relationships.
These tips will help you avoid misunderstandings, grasp the real meaning of what’s being communicated, and greatly improve your personal relationships.
Skill 1: Become an engaged listener
When communicating with others, we often focus on what we should say. However, effective communication is less about talking and more about listening. Listening well means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding the emotions the speaker is trying to convey.
Tips for becoming an engaged listener
• Focus fully on the speaker.
• Favor your right ear.
• Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns.
Skill 2: Pay attention to nonverbal signals
Nonverbal communication, or body language, includes facial expressions, body movement and gestures, eye contact, posture, the tone of your voice, and even your muscle tension and breathing. Developing the ability to understand and use nonverbal communication can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships at home and work.
Improve how you deliver nonverbal communication
• Use nonverbal signals that match up with your words
• Adjust your nonverbal signals according to the context.
• Avoid negative body language.
Skill 3: Keep stress in check
Quick stress relief for effective communication
When a conversation starts to get heated, you need something quick and immediate to bring down the emotional intensity. By learning to quickly reduce stress in the moment, you can safely take stock of any strong emotions you’re experiencing, regulate your feelings, and behave appropriately.
• Recognize when you’re becoming stressed.
• Take a moment to calm down
• Bring your senses to the rescue.
Skill 4: Assert yourself
Direct, assertive expression makes for clear communication and can help boost your self-esteem and decision-making skills. Being assertive means expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs in an open and honest way, while standing up for yourself and respecting others.”
Click here to read the article on HelpGuide
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This week’s question
Do you have a go-to project?
Click here to answer the question in our Facebook group
Last week’s poll and finding: Are relationships one of the aspects that you are preparing for in retirement?
Our Wildcard Pick of The Week
4 Ways to Stay Connected During Life Transitions
Click here to watch the full video on The Gottman Institute
Most Popular Quote of The Week
If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me? – Maya Angelou
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