An Australian study has shown that getting a good sleep at night and being active during the day was the most effective way to boost mood in retirees.
105 people took part in the Life After Work study. They were followed for six month before retirement to 12 months afterwards. They carefully logged their activities and their mood was measured.
The time spent on chores, physical activity, quiet time, screen time, self care, sleep, transport and work, all changed over this period of time. The most favourable substitution was replacing work time with physical activity and sleep. Replacing work with screen time and social activity showed less effect on mood enhancement.
After retirement, depression, anxiety and stress all reduced.
Olds T et al One day you will wake up and won’t have to go to work: The impact of changes in time use on mental health following retirement. PLoS ONE.2018;13(6);e0199605.doi:101371/journal.pone.0199605. PMID:29953472