The excitement around exam results is over, job vacancies are being filled and university places are being allocated. If your young adult child is about to leave home, it’s time to consider whether you are ready for the next stage – your empty nest.
There may be no statistical evidence to prove that empty nest syndrome exists, but those experiencing it will know that it is real and can feel overpowering.
Empty Nest is a time of transition for the relationship between you and your child as they develop into an adult. That parent/child relationship may be ending, but a new adult relationship is just beginning. You are moving from being a carer to a mentor and coach.
When my son went off to university I cried all afternoon. I knew that the young man who would come home would be very different from the on who left. For me, that feeling passed but for some parents it can carry. Symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome include:
- Prolonged feelings of sadness
- Crying excessively
- Loneliness and feelings of loss
- Not wanting to talk or mix with friends or family
- Feelings of uselessness, or that your life has ended
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Change in sleeping and eating patterns
- Spending obsessive amounts of time in the child’s bedroom
- Feeling anxious and disoriented
If you experience these symptoms for two weeks or more, seek advice from your medical practitioner
Here are my five Top Tips for dealing with ENS:
- Plan ahead. Have you begun to think what you will do with your spare time? Are there friends or family members that you have been meaning to contact when you had the time? Is there a hobby or evening class that you have been thinking about taking up?
- Acknowledge your feelings without judging or suppressing them. Notice the thoughts you are having and the stories you are telling yourself which give rise to the emotions.
- Talk about what you are experiencing with your partner, or a trusted friend.
- Take care of yourself. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. To help to reduce mood swings, limit the amount of caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods and drinks.
- Celebrate. We celebrate all other stages of our lives, yet often fail to celebrate midlife and the next step in our family dynamics. Plan a celebration that will mean something to you and your family at this defining point in your lives, helping you all to focus on the future
The Quick Fix For Empty Nest Syndrome is available now on Amazon