Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Living in an Empty Nest? 5 Ways to Sweep Up the Egg Shells

Being an empty nester can make you feel as though you don’t know how to fill your days. You went from being a parent full-time to having to find ways to occupy yourself. Here are some of the ways that you can stave off depression and find yourself again.

Reestablish Your Relationship

For a large part of your relationship with your spouse or partner, you had to focus on the kids. Now that they’re out of the house, you can focus on redeveloping your relationship with your significant other. You may rediscover why you fell in love with them in the first place, or even learn how to reconnect on a new level. Schedule date nights, leave your partner love notes, cook meals together. Simple acts will help reignite the passion your relationship may have lost during the demanding years of raising children.

Consider Traveling

Having the kids out of the house could provide you with the perfect opportunity to travel and see more of the world. Not having to worry about lugging around all of the things that kids require to keep them entertained would make traveling much easier. It would also provide you with the opportunity to reconnect with your spouse or revitalize your spirit. Just because you’re an empty nester doesn’t mean you need to spend all your time in the nest.

Invest in Your Education

Most parents spend a large majority of their time taking care of their kids. This often leaves you putting yourself last when it comes to doing the things that you want. Investing in yourself could include you going back to school and continuing your educational pursuits. It may open up more doors for you in the workplace in which to reinvent yourself. You may not be the average college age any longer, but that shouldn’t hold you back from increasing your knowledge and enhancing your skillset.

Remodel Your Home

Your home has probably taken a backseat to the way that you want it to look because of the destructive nature of children. An empty nest can provide you with the opportunity to remodel your home. For example, basement remodeling could be one place in which you want to focus your efforts, because maybe the majority of your children’s rooms were in the basement. You could transform any of these areas into a craft room, a home theater, or whatever else your heart desires. Home remodeling will revitalize not only your home, but also your spirit.

Connect with Your Kids

While your children may no longer be living with you, this doesn’t mean you can’t maintain or strengthen your relationship with them. Take time to call your kids, reminding them that you still care about them and their wellbeing. Schedule time to visit, or ask them to visit you. Up until now, the relationship you’ve had with your kids has been largely about helping them develop into responsible individuals. Now that they’re on their own, however, your focus will need to shift. Since they are now adults, strive to treat them as such. Prove to them that you trust them, and respect their decisions. Most importantly, show them you’re genuinely interested in their lives by asking them questions.

You don’t need to fall into the trap of depression just because you’re an empty nester. Use these tips to keep yourself occupied and focused on your own needs. You still have a lot of life left in which you can take advantage of opportunities and shape yourself in positive ways.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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