What Is Empty Nest Syndrome?
Has your child grown up and is ready to leave home? You are constantly thinking about it and feelings of sadness and depression flow throughout your body? You might be vulnerable to the Empty Nest Syndrome. It’s a psychological condition that is relatively new and not described in many medical books. It’s characterized by exaggerated regretful feelings that parents have when children leave their home and “the nest” is emptied. Mothers are usually more vulnerable of developing ENS.
We are not talking here about the child leaving for a summer camp or a weekend at their grandparents. Empty Nest Syndrome can occur when a child is leaving for college or when he gets married and leaves his parental home to establish his own family.
Don’t get me wrong here, it’s perfectly normal to feel sad when your child leaves the nest. It’s also normal to have moments of sadness every now and then, when you burst into tears because you miss him. However, Empty Nest Syndrome sufferers do this every day. They isolate themselves from their friends and work colleagues; start feeling useful or consider that their purpose in life has ended.
How To Deal With ENS
Single mothers are most vulnerable of developing the Empty Nest Syndrome. A harmonious couple can handle the situation much better. However, in some cases couples can also go as far as filling a divorce, just because they forgot how to spend time with each other, because they where busy for the past decades, with raising their children. This is why ENS should be treated seriously.
Here are a few tips that will make your life easier:
– If you isolate yourself at home you risk to aggravate ENS. Instead, discover hobbies and other challenges that will help you fill your newly found spare time. For example, start going to the gym, organize bike rides or jogging sessions with your friends. Go for trips in weekends, discover new places and keep your mind away from your sorrow.
– Thanks to technology in the 21st century it’s very easy to remain in contact with your loved ones. Internet free video calls via Skype, FaceTime or any other similar application make it very easy to keep in touch with your child no matter how far away he is.
– If distance is not to big you can plan regular visits and see your offspring.
– Stay positive and devote to your marriage. Rediscover your pair and start spending time the way you did it decades ago, before you had children.
– If everything described above doesn’t help seek the help of your loved ones. Share your grief, lose the burden. You’ll surly find some close friend that already experienced ENS and can be seen as an example.
– You also shouldn’t be ashamed of reaching medical advice. Consult your doctor if nothing else helps.
Empty Nest Syndrome prevention can start from the first years of your marriage. If you provide a good education to your children and develop a harmonious family they will never forget you and visit their parental home as often as possible.
Having more than one child also helps. Because when the first one leaves the nest, you will experience the grief but still have his younger sibling to care for. When your last child will fly away, you should be strong enough to handle the situation. Also, having more children means that you will get visits more often.
Plan ahead. Once you know the approximate date of your child’s departure start finding new goals and discover new challenges at work and at home, that will prevent you from having too much time for suffering.
Consider the good things offered by this new stage in your life:
– having more time for yourself
– having lower expenses
– being able to enjoy your hobbies
– having additional time for going out with friends