Empty nest syndrome is the feeling of depression that arrives when your children leave home. According to studies, more women are affected by empty nest syndrome than men. As mothers, they are the ones who spent more time caring for their children at home, especially during their formative years.
While parents are proud that their children have gotten accepted into one of the best colleges, the feeling of sadness can be overwhelming. Life will never be the same again. Their kids will be away from their watchful eyes, and they will no longer have anyone to take care of.
Leaving the Nest
It is usual for parents to experience empty nest syndrome in varying degrees when their kids grow up. Some are happy that their children are independent enough and do not need them anymore, while others feel unsettled at the thought of an empty house.
There are effective ways to combat empty nest syndrome, though. Keep reading to find out how you can overcome this difficult stage in your life.
What are the signs of empty nest syndrome?
- There are several signs that you are suffering from empty nest syndrome. Some of these are:
- You feel sad, anxious, and stressed at the thought of an empty house.
- You can’t sleep or eat well, too distracted by your thoughts.
- Your mind reverts to all the memories you shared with your kids when they were still living at home.
- You sort through the things that your children have left behind, reminiscing about their childhood.
- You feel useless and worthless because you can no longer take care of your children.
Solutions to Empty Nest Syndrome
There are several solutions parents can use to overcome this difficult stage in their life.
- Find a new hobby outside the house. Since you have more time on your hands, take a class or join a club for seniors to keep yourself occupied.
- Make new friends outside school and go out with them regularly. Go on a date night with your spouse once a week, even if your kids are not around.
- Join an organization that makes you feel useful. Some volunteer organizations need help with various tasks, including filing documents, taking photos, or doing their website.
- Devote more time to yourself. Take a long bath every day, have beauty time with your favorite cosmetic products, sleep longer, or exercise.
- Do not feel guilty for having fun. Your kids are grown up now, and you deserve time to relax, too.
How can you cope with empty nest syndrome?
There are several ways you can deal effectively with empty nest syndrome. Some of these are:
- Accept it as part of the change that comes with your children growing up.
- Reminisce on the fond memories you had with them while they were still home.
- Give yourself a break every once in a while and know when to ask for help.
- Do not be afraid to ask for support from friends, family members, or even your husband when you feel helpless.
- Keep yourself occupied with activities outside the house. This is an excellent time to socialize more, too.
- Do not let empty nest syndrome define who you are as a person. You are still a wonderful parent even if your kids are not living at home anymore.
- Remember that you can still take care of your children even if they do not need you in the literal sense. You can give them a call or send a text message to find out how their day is going. These little things mean a lot and will keep you connected despite physical distance.
Treasure Family Time More
Your children did not disappear from your life; they just went to college. They will still come home for the holidays, call you when they need to talk, and visit on special occasions.
These moments may not be frequent anymore, but you should treasure them more because it is the little time you get to spend with them. Make sure that you schedule quality family time away from technology once or twice a week so that you can bond over meals or go on mini-adventures together.
Being a parent is not easy, especially when your children grow up and leave the house. Empty nest syndrome happens to all parents eventually, and this stage in life can be difficult for some, but it does not always have to be so. There are effective ways to cope with this difficult time, and we hope that you find this article helpful.