Are your children all out of your home? Do you find it challenging to feel content without them living with you? Why do some people experience ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ and other do not? For this blog, my focus will be to identify reasons why people suffer from being an empty nester and suggestions of how to recover.
First, think of the days when your life was consumed with your children’s daily activities. What was it like for you? I remember that for me, it almost feels like a big blur. My husband and I became consumed with our children’s lives and how to navigate each day with its demands and responsibilities. Sometimes we would be running around like chickens with our heads cut off. To describe it simply, it was insane!! As much as we enjoyed parts of our craziness, there were days we didn’t know what was happening. Our lives were busy and there was little down time. If your life sounds something like mine, then it would make sense why you may experience feeling sad without your children being home.
As parents, we take our role seriously and want the best for our offspring, but during it all, we may lose our own self-identity. Empty Nest syndrome is defined as sadness or emotional distress affecting parents whose children have grown up and left home. This is NOT a clinical diagnosis, instead it’s a phenomenon. The absence of your children may make you feel sad, a loss of purpose and a void that is challenging to fill. What are ways that you can find a different sense of purpose, happy, and fulfilled? I have listed some things for you to think about and you can add others to your list.
Volunteer and participate with charitable organizations
Attend more church services
Meet new people
Enjoy various outdoor activities
Plan date nights/weekends with your partner
Consider changing your career
Spend more time with friends and extended family members
Enjoy quiet time with God
Relax through meditation
I am not quite an empty nester yet, however, am able to engage in many different activities to regain a sense of purpose, happiness, and satisfaction in my life. When my youngest was in his third year in high school, I felt that this was a good time for me to change my career path and went back to school to earn my Psychology degree. Without any more responsibilities to my children, I can give back to society by helping others. What is your new destiny and where do you see yourself in the near future? It’s never too late to start over.