For so many years, you’ve been a parent, but now your children have grown and moved on. The house seems empty and eerily quiet. You wake up each day with no school lunches to pack or school functions to attend. Almost overnight, you have experienced a significant change and begin to wonder what to do with yourself and how to handle this empty feeling. Rest assured, you are not alone. Although not a clinical diagnosis, this is what is commonly referred to as empty nest syndrome.
What is Empty Nest Syndrome?
As parents, we nurture our children and teach them to become independent so that when they are on their own, they will be functioning, responsible adults. What we don’t typically prepare for are the feelings of loneliness, sadness, and emptiness that ensue when the day comes that our children have done exactly what we prepared them to do – grow up, move out, and begin navigating the world as an adult. An individual experiencing empty nest syndrome may feel feelings of depression, loneliness, sadness, and a loss of purpose in life. This is a normal transition in life, and although not a comfortable place to be, it can be a time of opportunity.
Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome
There are several ways to cope. Some of the easiest include keeping in touch with your child and seeking support from family, friends, a counselor, or medical provider and staying positive. This is also a great time to explore new hobbies, or pick up old hobbies that you may have put on the back burner. Planning a trip to visit your child keeps the connection and also gives you something to look forward to. Being intentional with activities each day plays an important role in coping with empty nest syndrome.
Garrett Counseling Can Help
If you are experiencing empty nest syndrome and need help coping, contact Garrett Counseling today. To serve you better, we have three locations in Jacksonville, Albertville / Boaz, and Huntsville and offer in-person or telemed appointments. Contact us today at (256) 239-5662.