6 Ways To Thrive With An Empty Nest

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Empty Nest..it sounds sad.

 

One of the toughest parts of parenting is learning to live after your kids move out. You would’ve spent so much time with the hectic nature of family life that not having it can feel strange. Coupled with that are the wide range of emotions you could feel.

Navigating this can be tricky, but figuring out how to thrive with an empty nest doesn’t have to be difficult. Life after your children move out can be a much more fulfilling time, with there being multiple strategies you can use to make sure that happens.

It’s time to start a new chapter in your life, so why not make sure it’s a great one?

 

How To Thrive With An Empty Nest: 6 Top Strategies

1. Adopt A Pet

 

With your kids out of the house, you could feel like you’re not needed as much as you used to be. As natural a feeling as that is, it’s something you’ll need to work through. Perhaps the easiest way of doing so is by adopting a pet. You’ll have something to take care for while also finding something to keep you busy.

If you decide to take this approach, you should make sure they’re trained. That goes beyond making sure they don’t go potty inside the house. If you adopt a puppy, for example, you may need to get it socialized. You can click here to find out more about how that works.

Doing this not only makes sure your pet is trained, but can help you bond with it while keeping you busy. With a pet, you’ll have something that helps keep you fulfilled and gives you something to take care of.

2. Get Social

 

The social aspect of living with your family isn’t talked about too much. It’s a significant part of your daily life, however. Once your kids move out, much of that is removed by default. There are more than a few ways you can work around this, however. Getting as social as you want is the most obvious.

By getting in touch with your friends and planning social activities, you can make your empty nest feel less empty. That’s especially true if you plan meals at your home with groups of friends. Taking this approach can be beneficial because it fills your home with the laughter and sounds that it would have enjoyed when your kids live there.

Finding a balance that suits you can be difficult, but it’s more than worth figuring out. Once you do, you should find that life with your kids out of the house can be much more enjoyable than you thought. Though it involves effort, it’s well worth it.

3. Mix It Up

 

When you’re living with your kids, it’s not uncommon to have a routine. Meals will need to be cooked, clothes will need to be cleaned, and countless other things will need to be looked after. Once your kids move out, that changes significantly. There’ll be a large change in dynamics, so there should be an appropriate change in routine.

You should feel free to mix it up. Getting a pet can be a recommended way of doing this, but there’s also quite a few hobbies you can engage in at the same time. With your kids out of the house, you could find you have much more free time on your hands. Why not put that time to good use and start doing things you want to do?

You don’t need to focus solely on your day-to-day activities when you’re doing this. Think of what you can do every week or month that can help you feel better. Even arranging a weekly meal with your kids can be recommended, as it’ll help you feel as close as you were before they moved out.

Whatever takes your fancy, consider adding it to your routine.

4. Brace For When They Come Back

 

Just because your kids have moved out doesn’t mean they’re gone. They’re going to be back for the holidays, alongside more than a few visits before then. When it comes to holidays, however, things could get a bit hectic. Your house will be full of people, noise, and activity once again.

Since you may have been without this for a little while, you could be surprised by how stressful this may be. That’s especially true once your children have partners and start bringing them over for the holidays. Cooking, cleaning, and more will all need to be done.

As stressful as this can be, it can be welcome, as it can be seen as a throwback to when they used to live with you. While you’ll need to brace for this, it could be worthwhile to go through every once in a while. Remember to keep in mind that it’s only for the short term. That way, you might better appreciate it while it lasts.

5. Feel Your Feelings

 

You’re going to feel a lot of feelings as your nest empties. That’s a natural and understandable process, and there’s no shame in feeling them. Feel free to feel them so that you can work through them and get them out of your system. It’s normal to feel sad, confused, even unwanted when your nest empties.

As you feel this, remember that you’re still loved and that your children don’t view you any differently. Instead, they’re starting their independent life. Once you’ve realized and understood that, you can start the process of living your life without living with them. You’ll start to feel much more independent and freer than you used to.

While it can take time for this to happen, it’s a process you’ll need to go through. It could be worth speaking with a professional as you go through the process. Your feelings may be difficult to navigate, so having someone guide you throughout it can be highly recommended.

6. Remember That Parenting Never Ends

 

Once your kids move out, it’s understandable to feel as though you’re no longer a parent. That isn’t the case, however. Instead, you’re parenting from afar. You’ll still be involved in your childrens’ lives, but it’ll be done in a different way. Phone calls, texts, and video calls will all be common.

In the first few weeks of having an empty nest, it can be easy to feel as though this won’t happen. As you adjust to the new chapter in your life, you’ll find that it becomes increasingly easier. Once you do, you’ll see that life with an empty nest doesn’t have to be a negative one.

Hobbies To Engage In With An Empty Nest

 

Part of figuring out how to thrive with an empty nest involves figuring out what you’re going to do with your time. Finding some hobbies can be an effective way of doing so, as they help distract you from the changes taking place while you build a new life. You can go about feeling more like yourself again before you know it.

They can also help you make friends with people that share similar interests. If you get involved in them with your partner, they can help you strengthen your bond. It can be an effective way of navigating a life that doesn’t revolve around your kids or family life.

There are more than a few hobbies you can choose from, including:

  • Travel – If you’ve ever daydreamed about visiting particular places, then now could be the best time to do so. Even an extended trip where you visit a few places can be highly recommended. Not only will this be fun and enjoyable, but it could help you get through your bucket list.
  • Creative Writing – If you’ve always had a way with words, then it could be worth getting a bit creative and starting to write. Novels, short stories, poems, the world’s your oyster with this. It can be an effective way of keeping yourself occupied.
  • Reading – If writing isn’t your style, what’s stopping you from reading? The sheer volume of books and short stories on offer is virtually endless. The benefits of reading are well-known, with the medium being able to escape to a different world for a short time. It also keeps your brain engaged, which is always recommended.

There are more than a few hobbies that can help you thrive with an empty nest, with there being a host of benefits to each. While you’ll need to consider personal preferences and similar factors, there’s no reason not to think about a few of the above. Since you might have some extra time, there shouldn’t be anything getting in your way.

How To Thrive With An Empty Nest: Wrapping Up

 

Quite a few parents believe that having an empty nest means they’ll have a less rewarding or fulfilling life. That’s far from the case. Alongside getting through the process, figuring out how to thrive with an empty nest will make sure you enjoy yourself more than you’d expect.

There’s nothing stopping you from making this new chapter of your life a fulfilling one. What’s getting in your way?

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.