How to recover from empty nest syndrome

Table of contents:

How to recover from empty nest syndrome
How to recover from empty nest syndrome

The family nest is like a bird's nest. When the little ones learn to fly, they fly away because that's life. Hence, parents have to deal with the void created by the absence of their children when they fly away to build their own nest. However, for some, especially loving parents, it can be a difficult time of great sadness, which can easily lead to depression if the right precautions are not taken. This article examines both methods that help children move away from home worry-free, knowing they leave a solid foothold behind them, and methods to help parents better overcome the pain of separation.


Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 1
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 1

Step 1. First, you need to prepare for departure

If your children are planning to leave next year, make sure they know how to take care of themselves. Make sure they know how to wash clothes, cook, handle neighborhood disputes, use checkbooks, negotiate for good deals in stores, and how to appreciate the value of money. While some of these things will improve with practice, it is good to show them how to act in certain situations to avoid leaving them adrift. If necessary, you can also recommend websites, such as wikiHow, to delve into certain topics and find out how to do housework or deal with various aspects of life.

If your children decide to leave suddenly, don't panic. Accept the reality and be enthusiastic for them, offering the necessary support when they need it. It is better for them to know that you always support and love them, that you are ready to help them at all times, rather than being seen worried and upset

Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 2
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 2

Step 2. Put the terrifying thoughts aside

Better to treat this situation as an adventure. Your children will be full of emotion, out of their mind and terrified at the same time by the experience they are about to have. If your children are worried, reassure them by telling them that it is normal to feel this way because things we don't know are scary. However, help them by explaining to them that when they are immersed in their new routine, everything will become familiar, fun and successful.

  • Your "little birds" must know that your home will always remain their refuge where they can return in case of need. All of this will serve to strengthen your bond, develop a sense of family belonging and make everyone more peaceful.
  • If your children are uncomfortable during the first period, don't be happy about it. They will have to work hard and deal with a flurry of strong emotions as they get used to their new arrangement, so they will need your active support rather than your desire to get them back home. This does not mean constantly proposing that they go home or arrange things for them; let them learn to do things for themselves, including administrative or store fees. They will certainly make mistakes, but they will learn their lesson.
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 3
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 3

Step 3. Consider all the ways you can keep in touch with your children

When they leave, you will feel lonely and empty because you will no longer be able to chat with them at any time, as you always have. Keeping in touch regularly is vital to continue to have that sense of family belonging and to be updated on news. Here are some of the methods to consider:

  • Make sure they have a good cell phone with good reception and that it lasts at least a year. If they have already had a mobile for a while, you should at least change the battery. Buy a prepaid SIM so you can top up their credit without worrying about the cost of the call.
  • Agree on a day to call. While you may be tempted to call often, it will become a burden on them sooner or later, unless they want to, so don't expect too much. Respect their need to grow up and grow up.
  • Write some emails or text messages to share things occasionally. These are excellent means of communication with which you can express yourself without being overly emotional. Be aware that, over time, your children may not respond to you as often as they did in the beginning. This is also a consequence of their settling into a new world in which they have other relationships and many commitments, but it does not mean that they have stopped loving their parents.
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 4
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 4

Step 4. Understand what empty nest syndrome is so that you recognize the symptoms of the situation you are in

Empty nest syndrome is a psychological condition that primarily affects women, causing pain when one or more children leave home. It often happens when children go to a distant school or university (usually at the end of the summer or in the fall), or when they get married and go to live elsewhere. Often empty nest syndrome also coincides with other life events, such as menopause, illness or retirement. In particular it affects women because motherhood is always considered as their primary role even by those who work; it is a role that the mother holds with great responsibility for about 20 years. The departure of a child causes a feeling of redundancy, of bewilderment, of contempt and future insecurity. It is normal for parents to be sad and cry a little, after all it is a big change. However, it becomes a problem when you experience uncontrollable emotions that lead you to think that your life is useless, when you find yourself crying all the time and you are no longer able to hang out with friends, to go out, to continue the activities of the past.

Psychologists argue that the transition from mom to independent woman can last from 18 months to 2 years. So it is normal and essential at the beginning to feel bad, to get used to the lack and to rise again. Be kind to yourself and your expectations

Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 5
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 5

Step 5. Accept someone's help

If you find that you can't recover and feel drained, sad, or unable to return to your life after your children have left home, it's important to ask for help. You may be suffering from depression or a similar disorder that prevents you from enjoying life. Talk to a specialist. Cognitive therapy or other types of therapy in which you talk about your problems may help. Or maybe you just need to hear from someone that you are going through a difficult and important time, but over time it will pass.

  • Accept the pain. It doesn't matter what people say. If you don't, it will consume you slowly, so better deal with it even if you feel bad for a while. Embrace the pain and experience it.
  • Treat yourself well. Don't neglect yourself while you're sick. Go to a spa, to the cinema, buy your favorite chocolate, etc. Without a little pleasure the sadness will never cease.
  • It can be helpful to create a ritual where you face the situation and "let go" of your children to make them grow. "Let go" of your role as an active parent; it can be important and cathartic to make you turn the page. Here are some tips: take a lantern with a candle inside and let it flow into a river; plant a tree; cover in bronze some object that belonged to your child and so on.
  • Talk to your spouse about your feelings. You might have the same feelings and then it would be an opportunity to talk about it. They may listen to you and give you strength, which is important in making you feel better.
  • Keep a journal to document your adventure. Even praying or meditating can help.
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 6
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 6

Step 6. Determine your needs

If you are satisfied that you have supported your child on the right path, the problem will ease and you will begin to notice the big change in your life. How you perceive this change will affect your feelings and your approach; if instead you see it as a void, it will be much worse than trying to consider this change as an opportunity to start a new business and follow your passions.

  • Don't make a temple out of your children's room. If your children have not emptied the room before leaving, discharge your emotions by throwing away all unnecessary things! Eliminate the clutter, but still retain your child's memories.
  • Write down all the things you've promised yourself to do someday. Now is the time to act. Start at the top of the list.
  • Make new friends or cultivate neglected ones. Friends are important during this transition where as a full-time parent you find yourself at home with no children. Go out and make new meetings. There will be others in the same situation as you who are also looking for friends. Friends are very useful for doing activities together, pursuing some hobbies and for information on job opportunities.
  • Cultivate a new hobby. Take on an old one that you left out while caring for your kids. Anything will do, like painting, photography, woodworking, skydiving, and you might even go on a few trips!
  • Go to school or college. Choose a faculty that suits you at this point in life. Determine if this is a new path or if you prefer to continue the one you left out when you were young. Both are fine.
  • Restart your career. Continue where you left off or start a new one. Even if you are a bit "rusty", you have a lot of experience so after having refreshed the initial concepts, you will be in better shape than when you left school.
  • Consider volunteering. If you're not ready to work, volunteering is a great way to start over and get back to work. It also gives you a chance to experience whether something you like or not.
  • Participate in charity collections. It can be very rewarding to do something in your spare time.
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 7
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 7

Step 7. Rediscover love

If you are not single, you will have a spouse or partner. It could be a problem if your relationship was in crisis and only moved on because your children were around. Or, after having been parents for so long, you may have forgotten that you are also lovers. This is a good time to speak honestly and decide on the next move.

  • In case your kids were the only reason you stayed with your spouse, you may both now need to restore your neglected relationship, especially if you think it's redundant by now. Consult a social worker to assist you in this transition and help you be "alone" again.
  • Accepting that this is a difficult time could help you heal your relationship, forgetting certain uncertainties and problems in your relationship.
  • It can also help to change your mindset a bit towards your partner or spouse. After all, you have lived a lot together, you have had so many experiences since you met and while raising the children, experiences neither of you expected when you fell in love. As time goes by, you will realize what you like, what you believe in, and these discoveries may be more evident than when you got married. These discoveries could be an opportunity to recover from a neglected relationship.
  • Spend time with your partner and get to know each other again. Go on vacation together to regain important feelings, such as affection and complicity, by offering each other emotional support.
  • Give your relationship time to blossom. It can be an exciting and invigorating time for both of you.
  • Sometimes, none of these solutions work. If you think your relationship is unrecoverable, talk honestly with your partner and make a decision together to live better in the future.
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 8
Recover From Empty Nest Syndrome Step 8

Step 8. Focus on the positive things that will happen to your child when they leave home

Thinking about the benefits your child will have away from the nest will help you to accept the sense of loss when you evaluate the situation. While this is not to detract from your sadness and the transition you and your child are going through, it can still serve to see the bright side of things. Here are some considerations to make:

  • You won't need to fill the fridge that often. So fewer trips to the supermarket and less need to cook!
  • The romanticism of the couple will benefit. Now, you will have time with your spouse to be lovers and accomplices; take advantage of it.
  • If you did laundry for your kids, there will be less to wash and iron now. Don't do it for them when they get home for the holidays. It is an important step in letting them grow and mature.
  • Now you have the bathroom all to yourself again!
  • The reduced bills will help to economize a little. And the money saved can be used to take a vacation!
  • You must be proud that you have raised children who are now capable of living and raising on their own. Congratulations!


  • The relationship with your children will be different when they grow up and live alone.
  • At first it will be more traumatizing for the children - they will no longer have the parental figure to cuddle them. They may feel insecure, so spend time with them and talk about what's going on in their lives. Tell him you will meet again soon.
  • Parents prone to empty nest syndrome are those who themselves have had difficulty leaving home, those who have an unhappy relationship or an unstable marriage, those who have based their identity only on the parental role, those who are stressed by their parents. changes, those who have played the maternal or paternal role without working and those who think their children are not yet ready to take on their responsibilities.
  • It is a good idea to prepare for the "empty nest" before the children leave. So the transition will not be very painful and will show them that you are ready to accept life as they should.
  • If you want and are allowed, buy a pet. A pet decreases the need to have your children around.


  • In some cases, it's not your relationship that is in danger. Often, children who have had an overly caring mother are very anxious during the separation. Some cases are severe, based on parental behavior. You will therefore have some serious problems and you will have to understand how to deal with them in order to solve them. But you can do it together. Time makes things right, relieving the pain. Mothers know that their children will "fly" away. It's just hard to let them go. Basically, moms are afraid of never seeing their babies again.
  • It is important for children to understand that leaving home is like a stab in the heart for the mother. So they have to be patient with their mom. He'll be fine. Mothers will always see their children again. Yes, it hurts. But you have to let them grow. They want to have their experiences. All you can do is be there for them, listen to them and love them.
  • Don't make important decisions until you've gotten over the pain of empty nest syndrome. You may regret selling your home or moving in while you were sad. Wait to get better before deciding.
  • Do not make children feel guilty when they return for a visit. Don't ask in July when they'll be back for Christmas.
  • If you work outside the home, don't let empty nest syndrome affect your work. It might annoy your colleagues.
  • Have a backup plan if your kids aren't coming home for the holidays. Don't feel sad if they choose to spend time with friends.
  • It is important to be understanding as this is a normal occurrence in everyone's life. See a specialist because empty nest syndrome is considered the cause of problems and concerns.