Article | 1:49 min read

How to Handle Empty-Nester Syndrome

Life Events

After at least 18 years of sporting events and dance recitals, your active parenting period is over. You’ve slipped into a state of sadness and loneliness and can’t figure a way out of it. You are facing what’s known as empty-nester syndrome. Though not a disease, this syndrome can leave you feeling helpless and missing your baby, so here are a few things to do to cope with being on your own again.

Middle-aged couple embracing each other
  • Accept sadness.

    It's alright to be upset. Your children are a huge part of your life and being sad is a perfectly normal reaction. Allow yourself time to accept your new reality and begin to start the next chapter of your life. Being sad only means that you love your children, and there is nothing wrong with that [1].
  • Get excited for your new beginning.

    Although one chapter of your life is closing, a new one is right in front of you. You can begin to get to know your spouse again and create a list of things you want to do now that the kids are out of the house [1]. Research new homes that you could possibly move to, or write down places that you would be interested in traveling to [2]. You can live as freely as you did before you had kids, only this time, you have the money and experience to do almost anything. Find the positive and embrace it.

  • Communicate with your children.

    Social media makes it pretty simple for you to stay connected with your children. Things like Facebook and Twitter help you stay up-to-date on exactly what they're doing. Also, if your child is willing, set up Skype or Facetime dates where you can catch up and talk about what's been happening [1]. Don't completely invade their new life, but be aware that you don't have to cut all of your ties.

  • Find your connections.

    Talk to other empty nesters who have been through what you are going through. They will be able to supply you with tips and a listening ear when you are facing troubling times. Also, consider making new connections through things like volunteering. Finding new activities can help take your mind off of your empty house.

  • Reward yourself.

    You have been caring for someone else for so long, now it's your turn. Reward yourself for all of your hard work. Reserve a massage or a nice vacation. Start taking a class that you've always wanted to take, you've earned it [1].


[1] 7 Tips for Parents to Manage Empty Nest Syndrome, Huffington Post
[2] Six steps to getting over an 'empty nest', Today


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