31 Oct Feeling Isolated After Retiring as a Physician? You’re Not Alone!
Humans are social creatures. Our connection to others enables us to survive, thrive, and feel fulfilled about our lives. In general, humans do better when they’re active and engaged.
On the other hand, as we age, social isolation can cause a number of negative reactions to individuals. Research has linked isolation and loneliness to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
Which brings us to physicians and how they deal with retirement.
In general, doctors are not known for handling idleness well. Starting with their education, physicians are used to having tasks, goals and achievements. As medical practitioners, they’re accustomed to staying busy making decisions, dealing with patients, and being in control.
Retirement is different. While most practitioners welcome having more free time, there’s no doctoring looming ahead. No medical crisis to solve. Lack of professional activities leaves many feeling unfulfilled, unstructured and unhappy.
Conversely, retired physicians who engage in meaningful, productive activities with others tend to live longer, be happier, and have a sense of purpose. These activities seem to help maintain their well-being and may improve their cognitive function.
Here are 5 suggestions to help doctors achieve a fulfilling retirement:
Don’t Fully Retire Right Away
As a doctor, you don’t have to completely retire. This could mean finding a non-medical part time job or working locum tenens on a temporary basis. Some physicians are drawn to locum tenens work for the flexibility of working when they want and where they want – with travel costs sometimes covered as part of the assignment. Others choose to work the occasional weekend just to have a little extra spending money.
Find a Hobby
Hobbies are a great way to spend time doing what you love – or learning new things. Whether you want to unleash your creative side, get outdoors, or learn, there are literally hundreds of hobbies for retired professionals to participate in. These include taking up golf or pickleball, learning crafts, gardening, photography, writing, or learning how to cook.
Many seniors who volunteer gain a sense of purpose as they’re helping others fulfill their needs or goals. Volunteering can improve self-worth, teach new skills, challenge you, and allow you to meet new people. A recent survey found that, 64% of women and 47% of men plan to volunteer in retirement.
Find a Life Coach
A life coach can help people get on the right track for a fulfilling life after retirement. They can help individuals access what they want to be post-retirement and provide support in reaching those goals. A life coach can also help you ask yourself deep questions to provide insight about how to feel better if you’re feeling lonely, depressed, or unfulfilled.
Exploring the world not only offers relaxation but provides new sights to see and explore. It can make you happier, relieve stress, boost creativity, and make you physically healthier. If there are any places you’ve always wanted to see, but couldn’t, due to a busy clinical career, now’s the time to have the adventure of a lifetime.
Contact Annashae to Learn More
At Annashae, we’re dedicated to the placement of highly-skilled clinical practitioners in short and long-term positions. As a nationwide medical staffing and consulting firm, we provide a range of services that enable our candidates to quickly find the career opportunity that fits their needs. For information on how you can further your clinical career, contact us today.