Six Ways To Deal With Empty Nest Syndrome

There’s More To Life Than Child Rearing

Empty nest syndrome has been defined as the feeling of loneliness and loss that parents experience when their children leave home. This is not a medical condition but rather a normal phase that many parents go through. It is only natural to feel this way when the person you have given your undivided attention to for over a decade and a half leaves your protection to discover and live life on their own terms. But this does not mean you should wallow in your sadness and lose your sense of purpose. There’s more to life than child rearing.

According to an article authored by Rebecca A. Clay published on the American Psychological Association, “While they acknowledge that parents do feel a sense of loss when their nests empty, they are also finding that this period can be one of increased satisfaction and improved relationships.” So if you’re going through this difficult time and are looking for ways to come out of it, here are a few things you can try out.

1. Redefining Your Sense Of Identity

We May Even Define Our Sense Of Identity Based On The Various Roles We Play In Our Lives

Most of us strongly associate our sense of identity with the clothes we wear or the jobs we have. We may even define our sense of identity based on the various roles we play in our lives. This is especially true when we are parents. This identity may have to re-defined when our children leave. Of course, we will always be parents but it is essential to keep in mind that that is not the only role we should to define ourselves by. Re-defining your sense of identity may help you find a renewed purpose and contentment.

2. Spend More Time With Family And Friends

Investing In Relationships Can Act As A Pleasant Distraction From The Empty Nest

It is natural to feel a sense of loss when your children leave home. But you can change the way you perceive your loss. You can look at it as gained time that you can spend investing in your already established relationships or even meeting new people. You can reconnect with old friends who you may not have had time for before on account of having to prioritize your kids needs. Investing in relationships can act as a pleasant distraction from the empty nest.

3. Use The Extra Money To Pursue Your Interests

If your kids have left home and if they aren’t financially dependent on you anymore, you are likely to have some extra cash in hand. Use this extra money to pursue your interests that may have taken a back seat when your children were priority one. You may have been passionate about several things back when you were in school or university. This gained time and money is an excellent opportunity for you to look into those passions again.

4. Reignite Your Career

If you find that your career gives you a sense of purpose, then the time gained when your children leave home is an excellent opportunity for you to dive fearlessly into it. You could even start working on the business you’ve always wanted to start – it’s never too late.

5. Talk To A Therapist Or Life Coach

If you’re feeling too overwhelmed by your kids absence, it’s okay to talk about it to a therapist or life coach. They could help you cope and look for new opportunities to explore. Participating in social or community service is another way of directing your energy outward so that you don’t experience stagnancy.

6. Get Accustomed To The Idea Of Your Kids Leaving Home Before They Actually Do

The best preventive strategy to deal with empty nest syndrome is to prepare for it in advance by finding activities and interests to pursue, preparing a list of all the people who you want to reconnect with, signing up for classes, and essentially, keeping busy. In most cases, you are likely to know when your kid is going to leave home which will give you the preparation time you need.