A Happy Transition from Empty Nest Syndrome to Happiness may feel impossible but there are things that can help.
Firstly it’s probably important to understand what Empty Nest Syndrome is.
It has only been recently that I have discovered that Empty Nest Syndrome is a thing!
My thoughts and feeling over the past 7 or 8 years have led me to a point where I realise what I have been experiencing.
Although I HATE using labels, it does appear that my thoughts, feelings and behaviours do relate to Empty Nest Syndrome. I honestly still can’t quite get my head around the fact it is a Syndrome!!
Research by Sky Mobile in 2021
found that almost half of the parents in the UK whose kids were leaving for university were experiencing some forms of Empty Nesting.
Lets Look at What Empty Nest Syndrome is and what you can do to feel Happier during this time.
So, what is Empty Nest Syndrome?
It is a time in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home. Although you might actively encourage your children to become independent, the experience of letting go can be painful. Feelings of loneliness, anxiety and a lack of purpose are also common. Empty Nesting Syndrome can show up in all unusual ways for different parents. Look below to see some of the more common symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Empty Nest Syndrome?
A feeling of isolation can sometimes take over at certain times of the day. Knowing the house is quieter and less busy, can bring a sense of loneliness.
Anxiety: Worrying and feeling anxious about your children when they are living elsewhere, but also anxiety about your own life are common symptoms. Where you have always had your kids to think about, you can find yourself with free space to think about yourself and this can feel unusual and throw up some anxiety especially about the future.
After many years of bringing up your children it can feel greatly distressing learning to live and love them from a distance. This can manifest into a feeling of loss and can feel like a wave of depression.
Loss of Purpose:
Now they have “flown the nest” what are you to do?!! There is only so much cleaning to do and only so many coffees you can drink! Wandering around the house eating crap and wondering what to do with yourself can send you easily into feeling there is no point and that your life lacks purpose. It’s a horrible feeling!
Developing Negative Habits:
Overeating, drinking more alcohol and smoking are amongst the most common. But also, things like excessive exercise or cleaning can be a symptom too as it helps to fill the time. Overthinking is also a negative habit that can sometimes creep in.
How long does Empty Nest Syndrome Last for?
Every parent will have a unique experience of empty nest syndrome. It may only last a few weeks for some, while it may persist for years with others.
In my personal experience I now realise I was suffering with these feelings long before my first child went to university. In fact, I think my empty nesting feeling started when my youngest left Primary school and started walking to school with his friends rather than me walking him! I used to always moan about the school run but when it stopped, I felt lost!
How to find Happiness with Empty Nest Syndrome
Acknowledging how you feel is always the best place to start. By just ignoring or pushing away the negative thoughts and feelings surrounding this can make it last longer and feel more intense. A great way to acknowledge your feelings and emotions is through EFT Tapping.
Find out more here https://www.lisatighetherapyandcoaching.co.uk/techniques/
Start to think about looking after yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to go to a spa! Choose just one thing to do for yourself that makes you feel good. Like a long walk, bubble bath, play your favourite tunes, or maybe even invest in something for yourself like a hobby or a learning of some sort.
Set some Goals:
Think about the things you have always wanted to be, do or have from your past. This could be the ideal time to have what you have always truly desired.
Work on your Purpose:
Find things that you are good at, you enjoy doing and feels right. Our purpose can change over time. Empty Nesting is an ideal point to think about living purposefully and what that could look like for you.
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS AS A PARENT!
Enjoy the positives. Less washing, tidier, quieter house, cheaper holidays, cheaper food and bills. It’s easy to focus on the negatives. I spent a lot of time wandering round the house in my dressing gown feeling that I wasn’t needed anymore. I let myself feel this, I acknowledged it. then I found ways in which to work on having a life that made me happy and this became really empowering. In fact my Therapy and Coaching business was born during my early stages of Empty Nesting! So look at your kids, hold them and know you have done a great job.
Enjoy living a life for you.
Found this ineresting? You may also like to read https://www.lisatighetherapyandcoaching.co.uk/emotional-eating/
Want to talk? Book a free consultation with me, Lisa Tighe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nice words from people who have worked with me: