Empty nest syndrome: Tips for Coping

Empty nest syndrome isn’t a clinical diagnosis. Instead, empty nest syndrome is a phenomenon in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home.

Although you might actively encourage your children to become independent, the experience of letting go can be painful.

If you’re experiencing feelings of loss due to empty nest syndrome, take action. For example:

  • Accept the timing. Avoid comparing your child’s timetable to your own experience or expectations. Instead, focus on what you can do to help your child succeed when he or she does leave home.
  • Keep in touch. You can continue to be close to your children even when you live apart. Make an effort to maintain regular contact through visits, phone calls, emails, texts or video chats.
  • Seek support. If you’re having a difficult time dealing with an empty nest, lean on  close contacts for support. Share your feelings. If you feel depressed, consult your doctor or a mental health provider.
  • Stay positive. Thinking about the extra time and energy you might have to devote to your marriage or personal interests after your last child leaves home might help you adapt to this major life change.

Keep going.

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