Most of us are constantly looking towards retirement. Common phrases are ‘When I retire’ or ‘I’m hoping to retire soon’ or ‘Can I retire early?’ and we spend a lot of our working career paying towards our retirement with pension funds, savings pots and plans to upsize, downsize, move to the sea or even a different country. While we may all look to retirement sometimes when we finally do give up the grind it can be overwhelming. You find yourself unsure on what to do, how to fill your time and maybe what your identity is now you’re no longer working. You may even feel guilty that you’re not enjoying retirement as much as you thought you would. Going from a fast-paced strenuous working environment 40 hours a week to having days stretching in front of you can be
Robert had worked in the nuclear industry for 41 years; he had held various positions and had eventually been a Group Head before retiring. He was ready for retirement both mentally and financially and like many of us had been planning for his retirement for much of his working career.
The nuclear industry had changed inordinately over forty years and Robert was ready for a slower pace of life. During his working career he had enjoyed an active social life. He volunteered with St John’s Ambulance, was a local school governor and a retained firefighter. He also spent lots of time with his family and supported his children through their formative years and into adulthood. Robert had so many pastimes he felt he was well equipped for retirement. Robert was confident this transition from full-time employment to retirement would be easy enough to navigate and his interests meant he could still get out of the house and contribute in different ways.
When Robert’s life began to slow down his own internal struggles began to bubble to the surface. While running and managing a team for years Robert had always addressed everyone else’s concerns and issues, often ignoring or burying his own to help others. When he no longer could focus his attentions on his staff or workplace issues Robert began to grapple with his own issues.
Sadly, Robert’s son had struggled with mental health and addiction issues. Robert understood that his son was the only one who could address his issues and change but he still felt hopeless and powerless. As an engineer by trade Robert was used to repairing things which were broken and as he couldn’t do this for his son Robert struggled with his own mental health.
Robert approached the Electrical Industries Charity and he was assigned a welfare case officer who referred Robert for a psychiatric assessment. Robert was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and the Charity sourced counselling sessions for him while providing ongoing emotional support and a listening ear. Robert completed his therapy sessions and his anxiety has dissipated. If he ever feels overwhelming moments of anxiety, he now has techniques to help restore calmness.
Robert is now enjoying all the perks of retirement. He exercises frequently – running, cycling and walking, he tends to his garden and has started working through all the domestic jobs he has wanted to do for years but never had the time for.
Robert’s one biggest change is he now cares for himself. He still supports his family wholeheartedly, his son is on the mend, and his whole family is a hub of love and support, but he now realises the importance in caring and supporting himself.
Retirement doesn’t have to be daunting with The Electrical Industries Charity you can get the support you need through its Employee Assistance Programme. If you’re struggling with practical, emotional or financial support the Charity can help you to navigate this huge life transition. If you need assistance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0800 652 1618.