What is empty nest syndrome? How do you cope with it?
Your child is all grown up now and is about to leave home for college in another state probably. You take the news calmly up front but when they actually leave, you are hit with the shock. You may experience a mix line of emotions related to sadness and a feeling of loss. Here we talk about this phenomenon in detail and explain all that can be done to cope with it in the best way possible.
What is Empty Nest Syndrome? Empty nest syndrome is not considered as a clinical diagnosis. Instead it can best be considered as a phenomenon where parents experience feelings of great grief and sadness at the sudden departure of their children. Although, you might have encouraged your children to live independently, seeing them leave home can be a painful experience. You might find it difficult to not have them around in the house and to see that your companionship has come to a drastic end. You will miss being a part of their life and will want them to be back.
You may also intensely worry about their safety and how they are looking after themselves while on their own. You might struggle coping and will miss them even more as the clock ticks by. If you only have a single child, the coping process would be even harder.
There have been cases in the past where parents who have suffered from the empty nest syndrome have retorted towards alcoholism, depression, marital conflicts and identity crisis in severe cases. There have however been theories that suggest parents can rekindle their interests and cope in a way that does not leave an impact on their mental or physical health.
How to Cope With the Empty Nest You have directed your efforts since a better part of the last two decades towards the well being of your children. It is now time for them to leave and pave way for themselves. You can either falter under the nostalgic feelings you have towards them, or you can move ahead and enjoy what is left of life. The latter might sound like a tough option to follow, but here we will mention ways that are bound to get you back on your feet, raring to get your life back on track and do things that make you extremely happy.
Celebrate Their Success The fact that your child is flying out to study is a success that should be celebrated. Ruing and having your head down because you don’t have him/her with you anymore will spoil the moment and hamper your celebrations. Their success is a way to relish and celebrate the many times you overcome obstacles, set an example for your kid, demonstrated the peaceful resolution of topics to them , taught how important it is to be hard working and most importantly given them unconditional love to pave their way across the difficulties in life.
This was not easy, your role, your values and your impact should make you feel proud of what you have achieved and you should celebrate it by having a good time and promising to yourself that you will endure by the qualities of perseverance that you yourself taught to your kid.
Change your Perspective It is true that the parting of ways with your children may feel like a loss. But, a lot of how you react to this change depends upon how you perceive it. If you are able to change your perception, you will be able to look at the change in a better way. Look at the fact that your child is leaving as a new beginning. You can take the cutlery course that you had planned, but could not due to responsibilities with your child.
You can go out for a walk with your friends and have regular book meets. You can enhance the beauty of your marital relationship once you have the whole house to yourself. There are innumerable opportunities, all set for you to be explored. If you haven’t grabbed a diary or a journal before, grab one now and start jotting your feelings and plans down. You will note significant differences in how well you are able to enjoy the real essence of life, instead of just ruing your faith in becoming prone to the effects of empty nest syndrome.
Get Social Being socially active is perhaps the cure to all the problems that risk seclusion once you get older. Regardless of whether you are married or not, your life must have been revolving around your children. With them gone now, you can have some ‘Us’ time with each other. Go out to a dinner and rekindle the old flames.
This is also a great opportunity to go outside and make a lot of new friends. You can go to social circles with people your age and form a decent understanding with the people there. Your social circle will ensure that you are outside the pits of anxiety and do not have to spend all day at home, thinking about the memories that your children had.
Have a Pet We cannot talk enough about how important a role having a pet can play in helping you cope with the empty nest syndromes. Pets are adorable and trustful companions, who can be a treat to have around your house in the absence of your children. The responsibility to feed them and cater to their needs would make you feel like a parent again and relive the wonderful moments of having someone look up to you for something as trivial as going outside.
Moreover, you can take most pets out for fun filled strolls in the park or other areas in your vicinity. You can also bond with other seniors this way, as they bend down to pat your cat or dog. Form a lovable relationship with your dog so that you don’t feel lonely or secluded at all.