Watching your children grow is an exciting time. You anticipate milestones, and there is a sense of pride for each step they take as they blossom from itty bitty’s into young adults. So why, after the joyous celebrations of graduation and moving them to the next phase of their life, do you feel sad? This is a very common occurrence known as empty house syndrome or empty nest syndrome.
Have you ever been rollerskating or on a boat? When you get back on solid ground, it feels like you’re still moving, right? When you have a child (or children), every day is full of activities. There’s school, extra-curricular activities, birthday parties, being a caregiver when they’re sick, and many more responsibilities. When your child finally leaves the nest, all of that busy-ness ceases. It’s a very normal response to feel lost, sad, empty, and wondering “what now?” For nearly two decades, your life is wrapped up with so much, and over night life changes. The researchers cited by this article state that 66 percent of parents experience empty house syndrome. That’s a pretty big percentage. Hopefully that encourages and lets you know that you are not alone. What you are experiencing is completely normal.
The best way to help prevent symptoms of empty nest syndrome is to be proactive. Plan ahead. If you know your child is leaving, there are several things you can do to help make the transition easier. Involve yourself in your community. There are many organizations and churches that are active in helping members and businesses in your area. This would fulfill the human need for social interaction, and you would be providing a helping hand which boosts the emotional side of humans that need to feel they have a purpose.
It is important for you to not only know you are not alone, but that you don’t feel alone. The therapists at Garrett Counseling have extensive experience working with clients through grief therapy as a result of empty house syndrome. Reach out to Garrett today by calling (256) 239-5662 or clicking here to complete a short contact form. Let us help turn your sadness into smiles. Don’t delay. Contact us today!
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.
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.
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.
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, Boaz, and Huntsville and offer in-person or telemed appointments. Contact us today at (256) 239-5662.