Sleep and retirement? What’s the connection? Simply this: research is demonstrating that sleep is a key to both physical and brain health.
A few years back I was interviewing Peter (not his real name) for a project I was working on. He’d retired quite a few years before and was talking about his working life. He was in charge of in-house communication for a well-known company in Australia and New Zealand. ‘It was the best job I ever had,’ he told me.
Nobel Prize-winning scientist and pioneering researcher into ageing, Elizabeth Blackburn, likes to talk about the healthy part of our life as our ‘health span’ and then as we age we move into the ‘disease span’. The trick is to try to lengthen our health span to keep the disease span as short as possible. This has the advantage that we age more slowly. And there are ways we can do that.
I was reminded of the need to keep our brains as healthy as possible when I came across Bill Lyon’s story. Bill has Alzheimer’s—or ‘Al’ as he calls it. He’s personalised his disease to help him fight it—him.
After reviewing many studies examining the relationship between longevity and happiness, renowned researcher Dr Ed Diener estimated that a very happy person is likely to live between four to 10 years longer than their unhappy neighbour.
Walking into my local shopping mall a while ago, I was confronted with a sign advertising ‘Happiness, only $99.’ Thinking that was a good deal, I approached the shop assistant to inquire.
People approaching retirement should consider how they will feel when putting their career in the rearview mirror. Even if you do a good job maintaining contact with your career friends, your career is over and you may have a period of mourning to go through.
A Wellbeing Survey was published that used Martin Seligman’s five pillars underpinning the ‘flourishing life’ to comment on wellbeing. The survey also revealed a number of self-care activities that help in building wellbeing.
The goal in life should be to flourish. That’s what psychologist and founder of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, says. In 2016, the Australian Psychological Society reported on an Australian Wellbeing Survey that used his five pillars underpinning the ‘flourishing life’ to comment on wellbeing.
What we feed consistently will grow. That’s why nurturing our life garden is so important. We need to daily tend to our garden, knowing that what we’ve sown will bear fruit in the fullness of time.