Guide to Becoming an Empty Nester

September 15,2017 | Lifestyle

With the kids away in college, the family dynamic goes through some adapting. Whether it’s time to re-connect with your spouse or you are a single parent living solo for the first time in quite a while, here is a guide for a smooth transition to an empty nest:


Catch Up On R&R


With an empty nest, it’s now time to focus on yourself; you deserve some rest and relaxation! During the initial stress stages, which many parents experience when their child goes off to school, rest will help put your mind at ease. Meditation is a great way to refresh your mind and body and can take as little as five minutes. Taking a break to recharge is a crucial first step in beginning this new chapter of your life.


Take Up a New Hobby


For the past 18 or more years, your child has been the center of most things you do. Now as they enter into adulthood, it is time for you to rediscover your passions. Hobbies have various benefits and many times have a positive impact on your mind and body. Taking a cooking class, joining a book club, or volunteering in your community are just a few examples of ways to embrace new passion projects you’ve put off for so long. Take part in your hobby with a friend or your spouse, or embark on a new adventure on your own - whichever fits your lifestyle best.  


Stay Connected


In today’s world, staying connected over long distances is easy. Keeping in touch with your children regularly while they are away is a huge help when it comes to adjusting to empty nesting. With texting, FaceTime, and social media, you can be in touch virtually anywhere. Set up a schedule of regular calls with your child before they leave, guaranteeing that you will have time to connect despite busy schedules.


Get Out Of the House


Without the kids around, your home will be quieter and may seem emptier and perhaps lonely. To help distract you from these feelings, make time for activities outside of your home. Dining out is a fun way to connect with family and friends. Whether a long-time friend is in town or the grandkids come to visit, AARP Members can turn everyday occasions into special memories when they check out the dining discounts available to them at popular restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse, Denny’s and Bonefish Grill. Going out to dinner with your spouse is a great way to spend one on one time and re-connect.  If you are dining alone, bring a book or magazine along for entertainment while you enjoy your meal.


Indulge in … well anything


Allow yourself the time to really dive into something for the simple reason that you want to. Indulgences can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. For example, kick your feet up and binge watch that Netflix series everyone has been talking about. If you have some more time and budget, plan that dream vacation you have always wanted to take. Now that you have more time and a more flexible schedule, indulging in the things you love is easier than ever.



These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.

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