Retirement means you take off
many parts of your Protective Armour
: your uniform, professional role, sense of identity and purpose, fitness regime and camaraderie of colleagues. It can be a stressful time, even if you’ve completed your 30 years and are optimistic for the future, so it’s important you look after your physical and mental health.
Some of you will find other ways to contribute to your community
through working in other public service roles or volunteering. Others will set yourselves challenges to help you maintain your physical (and therefore mental) fitness. You can think of these are your new armour.
As you remove your protective armour, watch out for unfinished trauma business
. It is inevitable there will be some jobs that have stayed with you through your service. These may be incidents that you can talk about and remember with sadness, but there may also be jobs that haunt you and which you’ve avoided thinking about for years. If there are, then retirement is when your brain will try to process them. You’ll be dealing with old injuries without your protective armour and that can be hard.
If this is happening, please have a look at the explanation and advice on What can I do if I'm not OK?
part of the site to understand what is happening and what you can do to help yourself.
If you need help, please contact the Rivers Centre
(details on our welcome
page), your GP
or the Fire Fighters Charity