It’s a hard day when your child moves out. The house can feel empty and large once your little ones are grown and gone. But this isn’t a loss, simply a new chapter in life. Learning to love your empty nest is the best way to adjust for such a dramatic change.
At first, you may want to catch your breath. For nearly two decades you’ve been running after your children and it stands to reason, you’re probably tired. Take time to sleep, get life in order in a leisurely way, process your feelings. You’ve earned some relaxation.
Next, so you don’t go crazy imagining your child doing some crazy stuff, right? Here are 4 Tips for Adjusting to an Empty Nest.
First, Celebrate Your Impact in Your Child’s Life
Graduation is an opportunity to celebrate the many ways you have set a positive example for your family, so celebrate you, and your role in your child’s life and accomplishments. You shouldn’t compare how you feel to how other people feel, as everyone experiences an empty nest differently. If you’re happy as can be to finally have the place to yourself, that’s great. It’s also OK to feel a little down at first.
It’s a nice idea to make weekly phone time
Your child will still have his or her freedom, and you’ll have peace of mind. Plus, in all likelihood, you’ll miss one another and it’s a great way to stay included in one another’s lives.
Now, start over
There must be a million things you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve put off because you never had the time. Well, now you do. Take yourself out of your regular routines. Pick up a new instrument, volunteer, or find a new regular activity like going to hear music or visit art museums.
Did you eat your way through your child’s SAT prep? Figure going to watch your child’s soccer game counted at fitness? During parenthood, many of us let our exercise regime slip because we’re short on time. But it’s important to set that straight. As we get older, our metabolisms decrease so we need to get out and get moving! Take up a new activity, like yoga or swimming, or come back to one like tennis or dance. It’ll also help with the anxiety of missing your child since exercise is a natural mood booster.
What about romance?
When was the last time you and your spouse went on a date? Or went a vacation together? If you’re single, it’s a fun time to start dating again since you won’t have to worry about your child’s schedule, or approval (yet!). Plan a night out, it’ll make your empty nest sizzle.
Let yourself love your new life;
it can be full and fulfilling. Now’s the time for you to do all the things you’ve ever dreamed. And if you miss your kids, don’t worry, they’re just a phone call away.