You spend years looking after your children and preparing them for when they are on their own. When the time comes and they have finally left, after that first sigh of relief comes an empty feeling. This is empty nest syndrome. There is a feeling of loss, of not knowing what to do with yourself. There are various ways to cope with this feeling and move on with your life.
- Always keep in touch. Staying in touch is easier than ever with text, videos, email and social media. Arrange regular visits. You don’t need to know everything that is going on in your adult children’s lives and you shouldn’t. This is the time to create a new type of relationship with them.
- Look at the benefits. Just like when you were single, you now have more time for yourself. Think of redecorating, plan vacations, take up new hobbies. Your life is your own again without the responsibility of children every day. Many parents become depressed and anxious at this point in their lives. Seek help if you find yourself losing interest in things. This is the time to get serious about exercise and improving your health.
- Talk to others. Many of your friends are probably going through the same thing right now or have already experienced it. Ask them how they handled it and what made it easier.
This time of life is easier for some than others. It depends on your personality. Sometimes it’s best to plan ahead. Make a list of things you would like to do that up until now were impossible when you had extra responsibilities. Go back to school? Change your career? There are many possibilities. To read more on empty nest syndrome and how to cope, click here.