How to cope with empty nest syndrome
Are you wondering how on earth to cope with empty nest syndrome?
When your adult children move out, you may start to feel lonely very quickly. Parents with no kids at home, sometimes called “empty nesters” are at risk of developing Empty Nest Syndrome. ENS mimics symptoms of depression in parents whose children just moved out.
Seeing your kids move on is bittersweet, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. You can beat the empty nest blues and prevent ENS by taking these preventative measures.
A definition of empty nest syndrome
Psychology today defines it this way:
Empty nest syndrome is not a clinical disorder or diagnosis. It is a transitional period in life that highlights loneliness and loss.
It is at this time you really need a heavy dose of self-love and self-compassion to see you through. It is a time to be gentle towards yourself and accept a lot of hugs. Let yourself feel your feelings before you leap into action.
Do men experience empty nest syndrome?
Articles about empty nesters often refer to women rather than men. It is very typical in our society that motherhood is given higher priority and kudos than fatherhood. The reality is for a dad too. having your child leave home is huge, significant and often heartbreaking. We must include them in all the conversations about parenthood, every step of the way. They need support and understanding just as much as mothers do.
5 tips to beat the empty nest blues
- Join a Meetup Group
Meetup groups provide support, activities, and connections for people in certain demographics. Search your local Meetup listings to find groups for adults who might be empty nesters. Look for groups for adults over 50, empty nesters, and depression support groups. There are plenty of groups that offer activities from movie trips to travelling. It’s free to join and find your perfect match!
- Take up a new hobby
You finally have time for you so why not emabrace is positivey. This really a perfect time to develop a new hobby. Finding one that is social will really benefit you esspeciaally iff you are experiencing loneliness as a result of your empty nest blue
Hobby ideas could range from:
- arts and crafts – knitting, crochet, painting, pottery
- sport – hockey, runnying, gym, netball
- culture -drama groups, theatre going, art appreciation
There are so many things you can give a go when you are no lnger constantly at the beck and call of your kids!
- Take an Adult Class in Your Community
Some local colleges offer free or low-cost activities for adults, including tai chi and painting. Find out if your local area(or a neighbouring one) offers these. Be sure to check out your local library for other class offerings. Libraries not only offer tons of programming, but they can connect you to other valuable resources. Other classes for adults might be offered at local bookstores, YMCAs, and churches.
Now that the kids are away from home, you have more opportunities to travel! Visit the destinations you’ve always wanted to go to, but couldn’t due to school schedules and conflicting interests. Not only will you finally get to experience your dream vacations, but you’ll save money by not including your adult children. What could be better than that?
- Open Your Home to a Foster Child
If you miss having children to care for, why not open your home to a child in need? There are over 443,000 children in the United States foster care system on any given day. These children are looking for loving families to call care for them temporarily or permanently. You’re a loving parent who has room in your heart to love a child, even after decades of being depended on. It’s a match made in heaven!
What it means to be an empty nester
It means to in a very physical sense of course that your birds have flown, that there is more time and space for you and your partner ( if you have one). It isn’t that simple though is it. I didn’t know about you but I went home many many times after I had flown the nest. I went off to university and came home for the summer vacations. I left university and came home to live. Got divorced – and them again I ca e home for a while. My poor mum and dad were never really quite shut of me!
Empty nest depression
Parenting gives real purpose and definition to your life and being a parent, despite its trials and tribulations – really is the most magical of times. Having your precious children leave and your daily purpose change so signifivantly can almsot feel like a brereavement. If after trying all the ideas above you still feel very blu it may really help to see a counsellor or coach to talk through your feelings and devise a new plan or goal for you rlife,
The benefits of an empty nest
Time is a huge benefit that comes along with an empty nest, time to be who you are outside of the role of parent. You can get back to you. An older and more grown up you. You have time to really invest in yourslef, your fiends, your helath and wellbeing. This time is so very precious..do try and appreciate it arather than mourn it.
The financial benefits of an empty nest
One of the huge bonuses of an empty nest is that you will probably find you are MUCH better off financially. If the empty nest is permanent you may consider relocating and downsizing you home? Whether or not you do this you will certainly be making saving…mostly in the food and petrol areas I would guess! It is absolutely time to treat yourself. Perhaps it is time to travel as mentioned above? Or maybe a whole new wardrobe to fit your new identity? Or maybe you want to pay off a few debts after all those years of spending?
You can cope with empty nest syndrome
Becoming an empty nester can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Filling your day with activities, support, and peers who are in the same position as you will help you feel better about your situation. Soon enough, your empty nest will feel full again – just not with your children. You have to see this as a whole new phase in your life and times and open your arms and your heart to it..before you know it you may hear the patter of tiny little grandkids feet!
How long does empty nest syndrome last?
Ah, well you have your kids with you for years right? Loss can take a while as can adaptation to change. Change your thoughts change your world and look forward not back and you will certainly come through it quicker. Impossible to put a timer on it though.
Is empty nest syndrome real?
Oh undoubtedly yes according to all my friends whose kids have moved on..sadly it is very real, but as explored above it really does have it’s positive side too.
What books are there are on empty nest syndrome
A quick Amazon search reveals a number of boooks on empty nests – you are not alone in your feelingas about this. maybe reading a little more about it could help?
The Empty Nest: When Children Leave Home by Shelley Bovey
Can empty nest syndrome cause divorce?
Well I don’t think many people would admit it does or cite it as a reason on their divorce papers but it is is clear at least anecdotally that many couples stay together for their children. Once the children have gone coupldes have to face the reality of life just the two of them stretching on and into the future and yes the day of recokoning really can arrive them.
I am pretty sure it’s not becuase of the kids leaving more an opportnity to face and really confrot the truth of a relationship. Their has certainly been a rise in divorce in the older generations – we live longer now – we want a future without kids that will relaly make us happy not one we ‘put up with for their sake’
Does empty nest syndrome effect granparents?
Yes of course if they have neemn involved in raising their grandkids on a regulat basis the looss of rtole as awell as the love of their loved one reallty can affect grankids too. They, like you, will need to mourn and then eventually rebuild a life fuill of other new things ( with an emphais onthe social – as it has been proved time and time again this is the cause of our greatest happuness)
Lets end this discussion on empty nest syndrome with some insiration quotes. After all sad as havign an empty nest is – your whole hopes and aims have been geared towards helping your kids to fly.
10 inspirational Empty Nest quotes
Here are some inspirational empty nest quotes to spur you on or for you to send to friend or family member who may need a little uplift right now.
- “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”
- “When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.” — Erma Bombeck
- “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”
- “The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.” ? Dorothy Parker
- “Your child’s life will be filled with fresh experiences. It’s good if yours is as well.”—Dr. Margaret Rutherford
- . “A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.”—Elizabeth Gaskell
‘Children crawl before they walk, walk before they run–each generally a precondition for the other. And with each step they take toward more independence, more mastery of the environment, their mothers take a step away–each a small separation, a small distancing.’ Lillian B. Rubin
‘Home is where somebody notices when you are no longer there.’ – Aleksandar Hemon
- ‘Don’t cry becuase it is over smile becuase it happened’
- ‘You are never too old to reinvent yourself!’ ~ Steve Harvey
I do hope this post has helped you on your quest to learn how to to cope with empty nest syndrome.