Empty Nest Syndrome

Empty Nest Syndrome

Even though you want your child to grow up and lead an independent life, when she leaves for college, or starts her own job and relationship away from your home, you may feel lonely, sad, and filled with grief when she departs. You might be experiencing empty nest syndrome.

Women normally suffer more than men from empty nest syndrome, and sadness may be more pronounced among women who were full-time mothers. If you and your child had a relationship of conflict, detachment, or hostility, you both may suffer more after the child leaves home.

While you may intellectually understand that your child needs to move away for work or studies, the strong emotions an empty nest evokes can be hard to manage. You may worry about your child’s safety, and her ability to manage on her own in the world.

Symptoms

You may feel:

  • Sadness
  • Loss
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Distress
  • A loss of purpose and meaning in life

Consider seeking professional help if you are crying excessively, or your daily life or work is impacted.

How to Transition

To help transition from life as a parent (especially if your last or only child is leaving home):

  • Allow yourself time to grieve. Empty Nest Support Services can help you through the transition.
  • Focus on your career, or find a new, more meaningful career if possible.
  • Reconnect with your spouse and your friends. To make new friends in your community, download the My Community Friends from atreapps.com.
  • Get back to hobbies you love but didn’t have time for, or discover new hobbies.
  • Keep in touch with your child via weekly text, email, or phone calls.

For more information on empty nest syndrome, see:

https://www.metlife.com/ blog/ wellness/ empty-nest-syndrome/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ us/ conditions/ empty-nest-syndrome

Shaku Atre
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