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empty nest syndrome
Mental Health

How to tackle empty nest syndrome

Whether you’re a parent or a child, moving through the process of growing up is never easy – and empty nest syndrome can be a massive issue for parents when your kids leave for college. This transition into adulthood marks the end of an era, and it can trigger all kinds of emotions—joy, sadness, loneliness and even depression—depending on how you handle it.

Here’s some suggestions on ways you can make the transition easier as your children move to the next stage of their life

Reconnect with old friends.

Reconnect with old friends. While you may be tempted to write off the people who were in your life before kids, don’t be afraid to reach out. Your friendships have likely changed since then, and it’s important not to feel like you have to wait until you’re ready to move on. Instead, make an effort to keep in touch with old friends when things get busy—and don’t feel guilty about spending time with them!

Ask yourself what’s been missing in your life.

Once the nest is empty and your children have moved out, you may find yourself wondering how to fill the space left behind. That’s where asking yourself some introspective questions comes into play.

Often we have allowed children to become our entire focus – to the neglect of other aspects of life.  Empty nest syndrome can challenge us to focus on other areas of our life that have been neglected, such as your health, intimate relationships, career etc. Take time for yourself and focus on what makes you happy.

Start with asking yourself what’s been missing in your life. Are you working toward a career change? Do you want more time with friends and family? Have there been changes within the family structure (like divorce) that have altered your day-to-day life?  Is your health in need of your attention?

Next ask yourself: Who am I, really? What are my values? What do I really like doing best when given free rein over my time and energy? What are my passions—and how can they be applied to solving problems around me? If all else fails, go back through old photos while listening to favorite music from childhood days; this will help put things into perspective!

Don’t rush the transition, but don’t let empty nest syndrome overwhelm your life.

Don’t dwell on the past.

Although it may be tempting to look back on your life before your kids were born and wish you could go back to that time, don’t try to force yourself to do so. It’s normal for parents to feel nostalgic after their children leave home, but if you constantly find yourself dwelling on the past, it can lead to depression and make it difficult for you to move on with your life. Instead of looking back with regret or longing, focus on what’s going well in the present moment.

Don’t rush into a new relationship or other major changes in your life at this time unless they’re absolutely necessary (like starting a new job).

If someone comes along who shows an interest in dating after being single for years or moving into another house because the kids are gone then by all means give them a shot! But if not then take some time off from seeking out potential partners until things settle down and become less stressful for everyone involved (especially yourself).

Embrace new opportunities.

  • Try a new hobby. If you’ve always been fascinated by art and never had the time to explore it, now’s your chance! You might discover that you have a gift for painting, or maybe you’ll learn how to make jewelry out of broken pieces of glass. Even if your hobby is something as simple as learning how to play an instrument or write poetry, embracing it can help combat feelings of loneliness and depression.
  • Try a new sport. If walking around the block gets old after a while, try playing tennis or golf instead! There are plenty of sports out there that are easy enough for beginners but will still challenge your body in new ways—and who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be able to go pro!
  • Go travelling by yourself (or with friends). Taking advantage of being single doesn’t just mean going on romantic vacations or enjoying all-inclusive resorts; it also means exploring parts of the world without anyone else holding back your adventuresome spirit from letting loose with fun activities like skydiving, bungee jumping into waterfalls from cliffs high above ground level…you get the picture 😉
  • Volunteer at community centers near where you live (or even abroad). Helping others helps us understand what’s important in life–and when we’re helping others instead focusing on ourselves only there’s more room inside our hearts/minds/spirits for love and compassion towards ourselves so we don’t feel like such total losers anymore…

Talk to a therapist.

If you are finding it hard to cope with the feelings of loneliness, or if you feel like something is missing in your life, a therapist can help. A therapist is trained to talk through problems and help people figure out what may be causing their feelings of loneliness. Talking about these feelings can also help you move past them and get back to living a happy life.

Use this time of transition to focus on your wellbeing.

  • Get a hobby.
  • Take up a new sport.
  • Get involved in a local community group.
  • Take up a new interest, such as learning how to play the piano or how to knit sweaters for all your friends and family members. This can be especially helpful if you find that it’s difficult for you to meet people, given your circumstances – it’s great to have an activity that forces interaction with other people! And don’t forget: starting something like this is one of the best ways to ensure that there’ll be plenty of time left over after retirement comes along… so even though there may be less time available now than before, that doesn’t mean there won’t still be plenty of opportunities later on down the road!

There are many ways to move on from empty nest syndrome.

When it comes to empty nest syndrome, the first thing that you must realize is that your children increasing in independence is a natural part of life. It’s not a crisis; it’s a time of transition. Instead of viewing your empty home as an obstacle or a problem, look at it as an opportunity to focus on other areas of your life.

There are many ways to move on from empty nest syndrome—from taking classes and exploring new hobbies to spending time with friends and family, even if they have kids who aren’t living at home anymore. If you’re feeling stuck in your current situation and don’t know what else could possibly be going on with your life right now, we’ve got some ideas for how you can get out there again with confidence!


As you can see, there are many ways to tackle empty nest syndrome. It’s important to remember that this is a time of transition for everyone involved in the family unit, so it’s okay if you don’t feel ready to move on right away. The important thing is that you take steps to reconnect with yourself and build new relationships with others who may share similar interests or experiences. Take care of yourself during this time and don’t forget about other parts of your life which may have been neglected while raising children!