When Kids Leave Home

Kids Left Home… Now What

Starting a new chapter as an empty nester can be a little overwhelming, we are on a roller coaster of emotions and it is good to sort it out. But first, let’s clarify what we can get through.

What is Empty Nest Syndrome (ENS)? 

is a feeling of grief and loneliness parents may feel when their children leave home for the first time, such as to live on their own or to attend a college or university. It is not a clinical condition. 

Having an understanding of it gives us the realization that… 

  • It is a normal feeling. 
  • We are not alone. 
  • Time will not ease the discomfort. 

5 symptoms of ENS 

As you read through the five symptoms of the empty nest syndrome, remember that these are just symptoms and they CAN be reversed and that is what we are here to guide you through.

1 – Emotional State 

Becoming an empty nester can stir up a variety of emotions. You may be feeling: 

  • Sad that your child has grown up 
  • Angry at yourself for not being more available to them in the past 
  • Nervous about the state of your marriage 
  • Scared that you’re growing older 
  • Frustrated that you’re not where you imagined you would be at this phase in your life 
  • Anxious for your child’s welfare.

Whatever you feel is OK. Trying to deny your pain or suppressing your sadness won’t make it go away, and could even make it worse by causing it to spring up at the wrong time or place. 

2 – Loneliness 

Loneliness is the state of being alone and feeling sad about it. You can suddenly burst into tears as you clean your child’s room or come across his favorite movie. 

One of the roots of loneliness is the change in life. As your child is moving out or going to college, it is important to recognize the change and grieve it. 

The consequence of loneliness will lead to a disconnection with others, yourself, and isolation, it might develop into depression. 

3- Frustration over Lack of Control 

As your child is living his/her own life, you cannot control and supervise it anymore. This lack of control leads to anxiety, anger, and frustration. 

Although you have the best intentions, your adult child may resent what they see as an intrusion into their new independent life. 

Your role now should be one of an advisor rather than a constant source of instruction or correction in their life. 

4 – Feeling of Rejection 

As your child is leaving, you can feel rejected and it hurts. Separation doesn’t mean rejection. It needs to be processed to avoid anxiety and depression

5 – Feeling of NO Purpose 

Now the hustle and bustle of raising kids is a thing of the past. Despite your friends, family, work, and other activities, your days may still feel a bit empty.

Now that you have read through these. Take a moment for yourself and assess where you are at. Below is a list of ideas to take the first steps to overcome the empty nest.

  • Acknowledge your grief (even if you feel that no one else seems to understand) and allow yourself to feel upset.
  • Discuss your thoughts, feelings, and future plans with your spouse, a family member, or a friend.
  • Give yourself time to adapt to the changes. Don’t expect too much of yourself, particularly in the first few weeks or months.
  • Pursue your hobbies and interests now that you have more time. 
  • Some people find that keeping a journal is helpful, while others find peace through prayer. Do whatever feels right for you.
  • Put off making any big decisions – such as selling up and moving to a smaller house – until you feel you have adapted.
  • Keep up regular routines and self-care, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
  • Seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.

For many years I studied and applied in my daily life the principles of Yoga & Ayurveda. I am a Yoga & Ayurveda Wellness Consultant, and Mindful leader.

4 years ago as we dropped our firstborn to college I asked myself “My kid left home, Now what?”

  • I was on a roller coaster of emotions: excited, sad, happy, anxious, fearful, worried.
  • I was thinking to myself “Will he be okay?”.
  • The truth was more complex than that.
  • Turns out that the feelings I was going through were completely normal.
  • I found out that it was called Empty nest Syndrome.

Rich with this knowledge, I decided that I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. Especially because I have a second son. I created my own transformation.

Today I can share with you that we dropped our second son at college and I am celebrating and looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

Now, I want to share my knowledge and wisdom with you.

Written by Sophie Malahieude 

Mindful leader

Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Consultant

#Wellness #emotionalheath

Posted In - Health Tips, Mental Health