Empty Nest Syndrome: Adjusting to Life After Children Leave Home

What is the empty nest syndrome?

Being a parent was never easy, but with all its ups and downs, it’s heartbreaking to see your kids leave home and start a new life without you. This is what empty nest syndrome is about the grief every parent experiences when their beloved children fly away.

Although there isn’t a medical treatment, its symptoms resemble loneliness and sadness. Many people feel lonely and without any purpose in life. This syndrome affects women mostly but men can feel like that too, especially if you were a single parent.

Either you’re experiencing these feelings at this moment or you know that shortly your children will leave home too, this article is for you! While it’s normal to shed your tears and be melancholy about these events, be careful not to get stuck in this chapter.

Let’s learn how to overcome the empty nest syndrome together by doing various pleasant activities.

empty nest syndrome
Photo by Prostock-studio from Shutterstock

Reconnect with yourself

One of the best ways to cope with empty nest syndrome is by taking your life to the next chapter and trying to reconnect with yourself. Remember how your life was before you had children?

If it helps, you can list all the things you used to enjoy. For example, a list of hobbies that you gave up because you’ve become a parent is something that you can pick up now as your home is emptier. Try to focus on your personal growth!

Explore new things, start a short-term project, or spend more time with your partner. Now that you’re both alone in the house, you can do fun activities together. Do more of what makes you happy!

Bring passion into your marriage and try to reconnect with your spouse

Do you recall the times when you were the only two of you before having children? It’s time to create new memories together as a couple. Now that you have the whole house to yourselves, consider planning fancy dinners once or twice a week, engage in more activities that can bring you closer together, reignite the passion, and surprise each other with things that you both enjoy.

It’s never too late to grow together once more.

If you want to cry, nobody is stopping you!

In fact, crying is therapeutic, and it’s considered a great way to cope with the empty nest syndrome. Prioritizing your needs over trying to suppress your emotions and maintain composure is crucial.

You shouldn’t feel bad about crying; it’s a natural necessity. It’s common to feel empty and alone as well, particularly if your kids spend more time living at home. One thing is for sure: You’ll eventually get over these feelings and embrace your new existence and don’t try to rush things! Go with the flow, taking one day at a time.

Are you experiencing the symptoms of empty nest syndrome yet lack the funds to see a therapist? You can have a better understanding of the process by reading the book Survival Secrets for the Empty Nest Phase.

Every page serves as a guide to help you re-discover your old passions and dreams while also maintaining a connection with your grown children. The Kindle edition of the book costs just $3.68, while the hardback version costs $8.50 on Amazon.

Parenting your children is still necessary

A lot of people who face the empty nest syndrome believe that once their children are gone, they’ll no longer need their help. But that’s not true! Your job as a parent is never done.

Your children still require your presence, even when they are not at home. Additionally, they will probably occasionally visit home if they are still in college. Hence, acknowledge that you still have a lot of parenting to perform, rather than thinking your work is over.

It’s still crucial, even if it appears more like mentoring than parenting. Maintain contact with your young adult and consider how you may help them on their journeys.

Focus on your health

Don’t forget to take care of your health as your children grow up and leave the house for jobs, colleges, and other endeavors, and you begin to gradually get used to living without them. Schedule a visit with your physician and request a standard examination. It’s also crucial to get certain blood tests every six months.

empty nest syndrome
Photo by PeopleImages.com – Yuri A from Shutterstock

Remember not to pressure them to talk too often

It’s the day after your children left home, and now you’re worrying too much about what they do, if they’re safe, if they eat enough, and so on. Stop right there! These thoughts won’t do any good to you, and you won’t be able to move on with your life.

Letting go and allowing your child to develop into an independent adult is necessary when dealing with empty nest syndrome. You ought to inquire about your child’s welfare. However, allow them some alone time and room to make a few errors. You two will both benefit from it.

Reconnect with old friends and acquaintances

Being a parent doesn’t leave much time for socializing, but now that your kids are grown, you will have more time to go out for coffee, lunch, or even dine with your friends.

Make an effort to reconnect with your old buddies to find out how they’re doing. Send them a message or call them. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask them to come over for coffee to catch up. It will be entertaining!

Empty nest syndrome is normal and you are not alone in this!

Even though parents should support their kids as they grow into young people leading independent lives, sending them off into the world may be challenging and sad at the same time. But one thing is certain: you are not alone in the boat, and being sad is perfectly normal.

Don’t feel under pressure to “snap yourself out of it” or compare your experience to others by saying, “Mary wasn’t that sad when her daughter left for college,” even if this is a typical feeling among parents everywhere. Maybe your friend Mary isn’t a single parent, or maybe the relationship between her and her daughter isn’t that close. Who knows.

Whenever you’re feeling sad dealing with the empty nest syndrome, remember all the good memories you shared, and it’s not like you’ll never see each other again.

Consider the advantages of your child’s early independence while making investments in your own well-being and wholesome connections. By doing this, you will have stuff to share with your children, and they will be happy to know their parents are doing well and their lives are full of amazing experiences.

Speak with a mental health professional, though, if you discover that empty nest syndrome is growing worse rather than better or if it doesn’t go away after a few months. It might be necessary to get therapy for your empty or lonely feelings.

If reading about the empty nest syndrome was useful for your situation and helped you feel better, that’s great! That means we’ve done our job well. And in case you’re new to the Psychology Diary realm, then you can hit that subscribe button. We promise to deliver only good-quality articles.

In the meantime, you may also find it interesting to read about the 7 Worst Subtle Ways You’re Pushing Your Adult Children Away




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