Athletes and Aging: Coping With Retirement
Going into retirement can be a daunting experience that leads to mental, emotional and physical challenges and changes in a person’s daily life. It means a stopping point to a career that has helped define who you are.
These issues are not uncommon for former athletes, or for anyone entering retirement. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the issues that can come with retirement for athletes. You may be able to identify with one or more of the following potential downsides of retirement.
Life After Sports
Everyone slows down a bit during the mid-life years. Athletic careers, in particular, peak at varying ages, depending upon the sport. While promising rest and relaxation, retirement from professional or semi-pro sports is also a major life transition that is often bittersweet.
A hefty amount of passion for your sport, a healthy dose of self-confidence and the ability to work through pain all go hand-in-hand with being an athlete. When the time comes to retire and enjoy life at a more leisurely pace, some athletes find that certain roadblocks unique to this stage of life can get in their way.
Boredom at Home
Freedom from professional responsibilities can sometimes develop into having too much time on your hands, which goes along with retirement at any age and from any profession. Boredom can lead to depression and anxiety, which in turn increases your risk of developing a dependency on alcohol or drugs.
You can take action to prevent feelings of isolation and boredom in retirement. Actively participating in social networks provides you with opportunities to get to know others and even give back to your community. Get involved with a community group or volunteer to help coach a local kids’ athletic team.
Maybe now is the time to take up that hobby you’ve always been interested in. When you follow your interests, whether it’s golf, painting, dancing or something else, you’re more likely to find a renewed sense of purpose and satisfaction with life.
Injuries, Pain and Drug Use
The common use of opioids and other medications in the sports industry often leads to misuse and dependency on these drugs, which can continue to affect your life after retirement. You may have been injured—probably more than once—and were then prescribed an opioid painkiller to help manage your discomfort.
Opioids, however, are powerful drugs with a high potential for abuse and addiction. More than half of all NFL players have used opioids during their careers, and 71 percent of those athletes report abusing prescription drugs.
If medically necessary opioid use has developed into dependency or addiction, choose to enjoy your retirement by seeking professional help. The clinicians at Silver Ridge offer a path to recovery from addiction to opioids, stimulants, alcohol and other drugs through a holistic approach in a discreet, relaxing setting.
Prioritize Your Well-Being
The treatment programs and therapies at Silver Ridge give you the personalized help you need to recover, heal and find new joy in life. Our physicians and staff are committed to developing a specialized program to meet your specific needs and enable you to achieve success, regain your sense of well-being and thoroughly enjoy your retirement.