Empty Nest Syndrome is defined as the feeling of extreme loneliness that parents often feel when their children leave their home to live on their own for the first time. It’s only natural to have these symptoms considering all the love and focus that goes into raising a child from birth to adulthood. Medical Alert Advice has the signs to look for that you are experiencing empty nest syndrome and how you can overcome them.
- Increased Marital Stress: Going through the grief of an empty nest can highlight problems in one’s marriage. Some couples put so much emphasis on their child that they don’t know how to handle each other when that child is no longer a part of the day-to-day. Now is the time to rediscover why you fell in love with each other in the first place.
- Extreme Grief or Depression: This is more common in women especially those who are going through menopause. If you find yourself spending a significant amount of time in your child’s old bedroom (even months after they are gone) and you can’t bring yourself to spend time with other family or friends, you may be experiencing this symptom.
- Feelings of Anxiety: It is normal to worry about your child’s wellbeing. However, it is unhealthy to feel extremely anxious on a day-to-day basis. If you are constantly worrying about your child, it may be time to explore some coping techniques.
They are many ways to cope with or even overcome empty nest syndrome. One of them is to keep an open line of communication with your child. You don’t have to overwhelm your child with multiple calls a day but with so many options on ways to communicate, it is easy to pick the system that works for you both. Perhaps Skyping or texting a few times of week will give you the reassurance you need. Also, keep your expectations realistic. You might not see your child for every single special occasion or holiday so it is important to cherish the time that you do have to spend together.
Spend time with supportive friends that get what you are going through. Having a shoulder to lean on when you are feeling down can help get rid of some of the loneliness you may have experienced. Finally, now is the time to go after that hobby you’ve always wanted but didn’t have the time for or learn something new! It’s never too late to chase your dreams and learn a new craft or skill.
Bottom line is it’s completely normal to miss your child and experience some loneliness when they leave your home. If you have any extreme feelings of depression or guilt, it is best to speak with a medical health professional.