You may have empty nest syndrome if…the kids went off to college, the kids got married, the kids moved into their first apartment, etc. The commonality here is that your children no longer occupy space in your home on a regular basis.
This can be an emotional time for everyone – you, your husband and of course, the kids. You may be feeling like the momma bird after her babies left the nest. Maybe not as much for the kids though. They are getting out on their own and probably feeling liberated from the rules they had while living under your roof.
The empty nest syndrome may not set in at first. It may take a little while before you notice the inactivity and quiet that surrounds you on a regular basis. According to Psychology Today & The Mayo Clinic, it’s not a clinical diagnosis. It’s at that time, if not sooner, that you may have feelings of sadness, loss or even grief.
During this transitional time, you will need to turn to your coping mechanisms to help you through periods of sadness and loss. Everyone has, or should have ways to deal with stress and anxiety in general. It’s normal to experience these emotions. While it’s not a clinical diagnosis, and these emotions are normal, if you experience prolonged periods of sadness and have issues coping, you may want to seek the advice of a health professional.
The empty nest syndrome, as mentioned earlier, is a time of transition for your kids as well as you. You may quickly realize that you have more time and space in your life. Time to do more of the things you couldn’t do because you were the main caregiver for your children. More space in your home due to vacant bedrooms.
Taking an action is the best way to shift those feelings of sadness and loneliness. Think about some things you have wanted to do and make a plan. A plan for your time and space. These two things can go hand in hand with the empty nest syndrome.
Maybe you want to repurpose a bedroom into an office, an exercise room or a craft room. Determine the room to repurpose and how you want this space to be used. Then begin the purging process and relocate items you want to keep to their new homes. Some painting and other aesthetics may be in order. The next step is to move in and organize the appropriate items in this new space.
Maybe your house is now just too big for you, or you and your significant other. If that’s the case, consider downsizing to a smaller home. Determine the type and size of your new home and create a plan with the tasks required to move to the next chapter in your life.
What steps will you take to deal with the empty nest syndrome?