CBS OWN

Tips for Dealing With Empty Nest Syndrome

It is definitely a major adjustment when your last child moves out. It is difficult to transition from taking care of someone for many years and then, all of a sudden, they are not there. The home may feel empty and lonely. If you are unsure if you are suffering from empty nest syndrome, take a moment to learn more about this phenomenon here.

In the last decade, more and more people have figured out how to make this transition easier.

It matters to some extent if you have a partner and if the relationship is a viable one. Not having to worry about a child at home can be very liberating and can take you and your partner to a time you had together before you had kids. Do you remember a time in your relationship when you were about to have kids and were worried about losing your freedom? When you were free and could just focus on each other and do whatever you wanted to.  

Even though you had more freedom in years before the kids leave home then when they were young, still there was a lot of energy spent on them. 

Now there is space to just focus on you and your partner and think about doing stuff you did not do for a long time, such as:

  • It is time to reconnect with your partner
  • Think about new personal and professional goals
  • Resist the Urge to Check-In too much with your child
  • Reach out to family and friends, especially those who have been through this.
  • To the extent that it is possible, plan for this ahead of time. Line up experiences that would be fun.

Things can feel even more lonely and upsetting if you are single. You may feel abandoned, useless and alone. It is important to realize that your kids can no longer be the only meaning in your life.  They will always need you and be very important, but you need to figure out a life for yourself. There simply is no choice about this. 

During this time consider the following:

  1. It is a great time to reach out to others who are in your life and extend yourself in ways you did not have to before.
  2. It is also an ideal time to do soul searching about what you care about and what interests you have. It may be time to devote to your career.
  3. Consider ways you could volunteer your time and energy to help others in need.

The main thing to remember is that your kids cannot be your life when they are adults. Trying for that will be disappointing to you and not fair to them.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phone: 212-953-1388
370 Lexington Ave Suite 514
New York, NY 10017