At retirement a lot of people feel happy about the freedom from their jobs; however, after the “honeymoon“ is over, sadness, loneliness, or depression may set in as retirement turns out to be different from what it was initially anticipated to be.

A great number of people, particularly those who are career-oriented, may suddenly feel bored and directionless and people whose children have gone out to live their separate lives (often referred to as empty nest) may fall into depression.

Lacking a purpose for living is also one of the reasons that people feel depressed after retirement, so having a reason for living is very critical to one’s emotional and physical well-being.

Lacking a purpose for living is one of the reasons that people feel depressed after retirement. Having a reason for living is critical to our well-being. Click To Tweet

Here are some of the ways a retiree can find meaning and purpose after retirement:

1. Create a schedule

Finding purpose can sometimes be overwhelming. An easier way of doing this is to simply create a schedule and be disciplined about it. Start by using your calendar or diary to make a list of people you want to visit and places you want to go. Examples include:

  • Visiting the library or a bookstore on a specific day of the week.
  • Going for classes or workshops on anything that you are interested in learning.
  • Starting something like a coffee club where you meet up with friends on a specific day of the week to discuss ideas

2. Stay active

It is important that you get off the couch and find activities that give you a sense of purpose. Go for what makes you happy. Find a new sense of purpose by doing something that relates to your former career or a cause that you’ve always cared deeply about.

3. Try volunteering

Studies have shown that retirees who get involved in volunteer activities feel fulfilled and have no depressive symptoms. Finding a new way to provide meaning for your life will restore the sense of purpose that you had when you were still working.


Depression is very real. If after applying all these tips, you find that you are still very sad and it has started affecting your general well-being, please seek professional help before it is too late.