3 Things You Need To Know
About Empty Nest Syndrome
Your kids have left home and are off creating a life you dreamed for them.
You’re absolutely ecstatic that they are finding their way in the world, and you couldn’t be happier for them.
You should be celebrating, however why is it that you have never felt so empty?
1. Reclaim Your Identity
One of the key factors that you are feeling so empty is that you have spent many years doing for your children and forgetting to be for yourself.
A client of mine explained this beautifully when she said to me that she had chosen to have kids 30 years ago to fill a void in her life. She had a marvelous time raising her children and it was one of the most beneficial things she felt she had ever done, but here she was 30 years on and that void is still there. In fact it’s even worse then before.
She is an intelligent articulate woman with many varied skills and abilities yet the one thing she has never actually discovered is who she is as a woman. Her worth has always been tied in pleasing others and her reward has come from being praised with a successful family and the accomplishments of her children.
To begin your journey of self-discovery, you need to take time out. This will allow you to discover the smell of a flower, the sensation of feeling raindrops on your body as your clothes get wet, it’s to see the vibrant colours of everything around you. It’s relearning what makes you smile and feel fulfilled. It’s connecting to your senses one sense at a time and listening to the messages that surround you every moment. Keep a journal and explore you senses – how do you really feel about things.
2. Re-evaluate Your Purpose
The next key challenge for empty nesters is re-learning how to be a woman, not a wife or a mother but the woman who you intrinsically are. It’s time to re-evaluate that passionate being with hopes, dreams and inspirations, the woman you were before children.
Take a look and acknowledge that who you are now has a great deal of life experience. Use this knowledge to forge a path with passion and purpose.
Can you remember what you used to enjoy doing as a child or young adult? When was the last time you did those things? Take some time to write down what you remember. Do any of those things resonate with you now? Find ways to bring back the things you used to enjoy back into your life and take some time to do them.
Alternately look at everything that you have accomplished in your life to date and write them all down. Is there a pattern are you seeing within yourself that you may not have noticed before? Is this an area you would like to pursue? List three ways you could bring this into your life.
3. Re-discovering Your Relationships
For the married Empty Nester there are different types of challenges as your partnership enters a new phase with out the children being the glue that has often kept some people together. It’s redefining who you are as a couple and re-learning why you fell in love in the first place. Its taking time to look at how you have both changed and what you both know want moving forward in your lives.
Talk to your partner and let them know you would like to do more things together to reignite the spark now that the kids have gone. It’s important to ensure that whatever you do as a couple is what you both enjoy. Try out a few things, be open and willing to give new things a go.
Perhaps plan a date night once a week and take it in turns to plan what you are doing, and let the other person know in advance so they can look forward to it. Or plan some travel together, it could be a simple weekend away, a longer holiday or a dream trip overseas! Also finding a hobby that you both enjoy such as a photography, cooking or dance class.
For the Single Empty Nester….
This is the perfect time to discover who YOU truly are. What you truly love and not what you perceive others want you to be. Will this new life be perfect right away? Hell no! Will it be sorted in a month? Not necessarily, but with the first few steps you’ll be well on the way to an enriching and rewarding life.
Spend some time reconnecting with friends and family. Also start trying new things for yourself. It’s a great way to get out and find new like-minded people to mix with. What is a hobby or class that you have been wanting to try out or get back into for a while? Be brave and go alone, you’ll be amazed at who you might meet along the way.
I have been where you are today and I understand the journey you are on. I’ve walked the path, hit the obstacles and I’d love to share with you my experience to help you fast-track the process with as much ease, grace and faith as possible. I’ve designed a ten step program that will help you to reclaim who you are and guide you to live your life with purpose, passion and connectedness. If there is one thing I wish, it’s that no one struggles through this time alone.
Let’s do this together!