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new life - nesters
By AMANDA MILLS 950 views

Top Tips for New Empty Nesters

If your youngest or only child recently moved out of the home to go to college or join the workforce, travel, live with their partner, etc., it can be daunting and sad at first trying to get used to them not being around.

However, remember that there are benefits to be had from this new life stage, too, that you can utilize to the fullest. Take this transitional time in your life as an opportunity to add new things rather than focusing on what you might initially feel like you’ve “lost,” and thrive in turn.

Accept Your Feelings

The first critical step is to accept the feelings that are showing up for you. Many people feel guilty that they have a sense of freedom and enjoyment from not caring for children anymore, while others are sad or feel depressed, anxious, or even potentially abandoned. Some people have a mixture of multiple emotions going on all at once.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel here, and it’s common to have competing emotions to deal with. By trying to identify how you’re feeling, rather than pushing emotions down and pretending you’re okay, you can move on to acceptance. In turn, it will be easier to cope and move forward as the weeks and months progress.

Schedule Time for Fun and Self-Care

If you’re like many parents, you likely haven’t been very focused on taking care of yourself for years, as you may have been much more focused on your kids. Now is, therefore, a great period to schedule some time to have fun and engage in self-care. You might enjoy sleeping in each day or having a nap and not feeling like you have to cook a big meal each night or cook what others like.

Instead, make choices based on what feels right to you at the time. Let yourself luxuriate in nightly baths, get massages, watch TV shows or films you’ve been meaning to get to for years or the books you’ve wanted to read, etc.

Make New Goals

When you’re an empty nester, making new goals for yourself is essential. Again, this might be an area you’ve been neglecting for a while, or your previous goals may have revolved a lot around being a good parent, keeping a tidy home, etc. Now, though, think about goals you can have just for yourself that you might not have had enough time to dedicate to when you had a child at home.

Your goals could relate to health and fitness, financial targets, relationships, spirituality, etc. If you don’t already have one, why not devise an entire bucket list of items you’d like to tick off your to-do list over the coming years? Choose some short-term and long-term goals and start focusing on ways to incrementally work towards one or more at a time. Doing this will help bring your focus off what you might feel you have lost and instead onto the exciting prospects ahead of you.

Start a New Hobby or Fulfill Another Passion

One of your goals may be to start a new hobby. You might decide to learn how to golf, ski, knit, run, or bake, join a cycling or writing group, learn a language, get a pet, take up drawing or painting, or spend some time volunteering to help others. Alternatively, perhaps there’s a passion you’ve wanted to explore for a while but didn’t feel game to or feared you didn’t have enough time for.

For example, you may have wanted to travel more and explore every continent on Earth, or you might have long-held dreams of opening your own business, returning to work, or transitioning to a work-from-home job. Being an empty nester can give you the opportunities you’ve been looking for to finally embark on a new life path.

Embrace Communicating via Technology

It’s normal to miss your child and worry that you won’t stay in touch with them enough. However, today, technology makes it easier to communicate with them in numerous ways. Ensure you update your phone or computer as needed, invest in quality security software such as the trusted Trend Micro download, and practice using tools such as Facetime, Zoom, text messaging, email, and other methods of chatting with and checking in on your loved ones.

No matter where you are in the world or what you’re up to, you should find it simple enough to have a quick video call with your child, swap photos and texts, and more. If you’re unsure about tech platforms or need other assistance, get some outside training so you’re ready to go and never miss a conversation with your children.

Being an empty nester may seem daunting initially, but see it as an opportunity for a new phase of life. Seek support if needed and keep some structure and routine in your day. You’ll soon find your “new normal” and be able to move forward, enjoying this part of your life and appreciating what it brings.

Amanda Mills

I’m a Web Designer, Freelance Writer, and Digital Marketer with a study background in Logic, Philosophy, and Journalism. I’ve always had an unwavering passion