5 ways to adjust to an empty nest
Empty nest syndrome might sound cute or made up, but it’s far from either. This very real condition affects parents when their children move out, leaving them feeling lost, sad or lonely. It’s basically a kind of grief. Even Boots the pharmacy and Psychology Today have written about dealing with an empty nest because it’s so common.
Just like grief, there’s no quick fix for empty nest syndrome. But here are a few tips to help you feel better and adjust to these changes.
- Use your new-found free time as me-time.
When you’ve been in parent-mode for so many years, your hobbies and interests can fall to the wayside. Make time for yourself, friends and things you enjoy, but might have neglected over the years. It’s never too late to rekindle an old friendship, hobby or dream.
- Find ways to be a family remotely.
With things like FaceTime and group chats in texting apps, keeping in touch as a family is easier than ever. Scheduling a weekly time to talk on the phone might be helpful. (You might be tempted to call more often, but try to give your child the time and space to be independent.)
- Be patient with yourself.
Psychologists think it can take anywhere from 18 months to two years to adjust from being an actively involved parent to an independent adult. Give yourself the time you need to work through these big changes in your life.
- Ask for help if you need it.
If you feel like you aren’t coping or feel depressed, it’s important you ask for help. If you have a partner or spouse, talk to them. It may be worth making an appointment to see your doctor, too.
- Use your parenting skills to help someone else.
Your child may have left home, but you’re still a great parent. At Foster Care Associates, we’re always looking for people just like you who could help give a foster child the love and stability they need to flourish. If this sounds like something you could do, please call 01527 810459 to talk to one of our friendly fostering experts.