Harvard Men's Health Watch

Retirement stress: Taking it too easy can be bad for you, too

Men need to be challenged to be healthy in mind and body.

It might seem like retirement is a time to take it easy and devote yourself to gardening, golfing, and napping. But don't take it too easy, say Harvard experts. An absence of challenges can have the same effect as too much stress, compromising your physical and mental health. For optimal well-being, you need to stay engaged—with your own interests as well as with other people.

Making the change

Newly retired men face some typical difficulties. One is creating a new routine after leaving behind the nine-to-five grind. "During that phase of going from a lot of structure to almost no structure, men can exhibit the same signs as someone who is overworked," explains Dr. Randall Paulsen, a psychiatrist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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