What is an Empty Nest Syndrome?
Empty nest syndrome is a psychological condition that affects parents, usually the mothers, when their children leave home. Empty nest syndrome is usually common in autumn, when a large number of students go to college and universities. One main reason why mothers are always associated with empty nest syndrome is due to the menopausal stage most women experience. And based on this, empty nest syndrome has more impact on stay-at-home moms compared to working moms; working moms have more chances to vent to others what they really feel and somehow feel comfort at the end of the day.
This is the most common symptom seen in people who are experiencing empty nest syndrome. Afflicted individuals show excessive crying, withdrawn from normal, routine activities and duties, from friends, decreased energy and lack of interest, difficulty sleeping, and persistent sad mood.
Affected individuals may feel that they are useless
Most parents, especially stay-at-home parents, have their focus on their children when they are still with them. Their day-to-today activities evolved around their children that when they leave home, these parents feel useless already because they will not be doing the same thing anymore, they don’t have their children to serve, and they think their world had stopped when their children left.
Feeling of emptiness
Most parents feel their marriage is empty because they don’t have their kids to share their time with. Of course when people get married, to plan to have kids is one of their highest priorities. Now when the time comes that they have to leave their homes, parent would surely feel bad. Some of them resort to experience the empty nest syndrome if they can’t cope with the situation.
Empty nest syndrome cannot really be considered a medical disorder, but it is just used to describe the feeling parents feel when their children leave home.
Dealing with Empty Nest Syndrome
Despite the fact that this condition is not an outstanding medical disorder, various studies and research have been conducted to somehow address the symptoms parents may feel when they come to a stage in their parent life when their children have to leave them for something better. It may be for personality development, for a job, for a college education, or maybe for starting a new life. The following are the ways on how to deal with this:
It helps to talk to someone with regard to our problems and frustrations. The same is true when parents experience depression and sadness when their kids leave home to lead a new life on their own. Counseling is one good way for a person to cope with whatever anxieties and worries he or she may have been experiencing.
It is better to keep yourself busy on something so that you won’t remember the sadness of the situation. Immerse yourself in things like sports activities, cooking, meet with friends, etc. These are psychologically therapeutic to the mind and the heart. As soon as you have set your mind to feel good about the situation, it will manifest in your appearance the look of calmness, beauty, and being content.
In the absence of the children, now it is about time for you to see other people. For example, in the village where you are living, if you are not used to joining clubs and meetings like within the homeowners’ association, then this is high time for you to do so. Perhaps you might need to befriend a neighbor that you seldom talk with. Or maybe go out with officemates after work and talk about anything interesting.
Keep in Touch
In the advent of high technology, keeping in touch with loved ones is no longer a problem. The Internet has linked so many people around the world, and families are not an exception. For example, people who work in other countries make it a point to meet online. This is of course done virtually with the help of the Internet. Exchange of communication such as email, text messages, phone calls, and the use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter are just a few of the numerous ways on how to keep in touch.
Always maintain a positive outlook in life. Instead of dwelling on the negative side of things, why not look at the brighter side of everything? For instance, your children left your home for something that they want to do for themselves; instead of feeling bad about it, why not think of it as an opportunity for you to do some things you’ve been wanting to do for yourself. What about planning a trip for both you and your husband? Or maybe for you and your friends? Aside from this, being alone now would also help you discover more things about yourself. Most importantly, you would have some more precious time for yourself and your husband. This is a breather of the routine parenting duties that you’ve been doing for fifteen or twenty years already. You can just look back and take a glimpse of what have you been as a mother or as a father . Indeed, this point in a parent’s life is something one has to take lightly and positively.
As what they say, prevention is better than cure. All of those who have children should be prepared to the fact that someday, children will come and leave you and create a new life on their own—away from their parents. This is a cycle, so this is not going to end. The only and the most practical way to address issues such as these is to help ourselves accept that this is going to happen sooner or later. One has to acknowledge that children will not need parents forever in their lives. Of course they seek help from time to time, but not every day. In addition, anticipate times like this to happen so that you can also plan your life ahead. At least when the situation is there in front of you, you will never be overwhelmed of the situation and be able to accept it as it is.