I like to think of the end of summer as a new beginning. Children go back to school and some leave home for the first time, creating an empty nest and the necessity to learn how to cope with empty nest syndrome. For those of you who have children leaving for college, you might be going through a wide array of emotions; I know I did when my oldest daughter went away to school. As you prepare your child for their next journey, you must also prepare yourself to be without them. You may be wondering just how to cope with an empty nest. Letting go isn’t always easy, but there is so much opportunity for your own growth and development during this time. This article will provide 3 Reminders for How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome Now That Your Kids Have Gone to School.
How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome | What To Do When Your Kids Go Off To School
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Trust the Upbringing
The biggest challenge when it comes to learning how to cope with empty nest syndrome is letting go. There is worry that comes along with not having 24 hour access to your child. They are on their own and you can’t be there to monitor and offer guidance as much as you would like. You have to trust the upbringing you provided to your children and trust that they will make smart decisions as a result of what they learned from you and your spouse.
Take some time to celebrate the work you and your spouse have done in raising your children. Trust what you both have instilled in your child. And if you feel like you might have missed a few of those most important lessons, it’s never too late to have those conversations. One of the best ways you can learn how to cope with empty nest syndrome is to learn how to let go. The ability to let go, while stressful at first, only stands to benefit your child. This is such a crucial time within your child’s life. They are learning life lessons now that will carry them through their journey to adulthood. It’s important to let go so they are allowed to have those experiences.
Look for ways to be excited for your child during this time. It will be an amazing experience for them and it would help them to know that you both are looking forward to it as much as they are.
Reach Out if it Feels Overwhelming
If it feels like it’s too much to manage, don’t ever be ashamed to talk to someone to learn how to cope with empty nest syndrome. Reach out to your circle or a professional to get the support you need. There are emotions that come with letting go. You raise your children to be independent, but when it is time to release them to the world, it is not easy. There are professionals that can help you sort through what you are feeling so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Know that all emotions are valid at this time. Just be sure to manage the emotions so they don’t negatively impact your relationship with your spouse as both of you learn how to cope with empty nest syndrome. I had a really hard time letting go and I shed several tears. I am grateful to have had an understanding spouse there to make sure I was okay. See to it that you and your spouse are there for one another. You may be processing this in different ways and it will be important to communicate what you are feeling. Also, be honest and let your circle of family and friends in to love you through this challenging time. You can also connect with other parents who have recently had a similar experience for additional suggestions.
Embrace the New Opportunity
Now that you have eased the worry about your child being on their own, it is time to focus on you and your spouse. This can be an exciting time and a chance to repurpose yourself as you learn the positives methods on how to cope with empty nest syndrome. You have surely sacrificed so much to provide for your family and have likely neglected your own needs for those of your children; it’s every parents’ responsibility.
Now, it is your time. Embrace this new opportunity by thinking about what you and your partner have put on the back burner in your lives. You and your spouse are in this thing together. It’s a great time for the two of you to get reacquainted with one another and also create some individual hobbies. What have you been dreaming about doing? Is there a business you have been wanting to start? Or have you been desiring to be an author? Perhaps you want to switch careers to one that challenges you a bit more. Maybe you and your spouse have been looking forward to making time for more intimacy. Well, whatever it is, it’s your time. Your time is now yours and you may do with it exactly what you want.
If you are not sure what exactly to do with all this time, that’s okay too. Sometimes it’s good just to be still. There are also a ton of other ideas, like taking some classes yourself. There are a ton of free resources that will allow you to pick up a new skill. You might also consider joining or even starting a couple’s book club and get lost in a hot and steamy novel. There are also a lot of virtual events that you and your spouse can enjoy together. Get creative and resourceful and search for those new opportunities that are sure to bring some joy.
An empty nest doesn’t have to feel so empty. Though learning how to cope with empty nest syndrome might be a little uncomfortable at first, it can be comforting to know that you arrived at this space because you took your role as a parent seriously. As you prepare for this next chapter, remember you’ve provided your children with what they need to be a responsible adult, you have a circle of family and friends who will support you, and it’s now time to enjoy this new freedom with your spouse.
BMWK, in what ways have you dealt with having an empty nest?