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Life after empty nest

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10 Simple Tips for Coping With Empty Nest!

Is there life after empty nest? Yes! For any baby boomer women, empty nest can represent a sea change in life when kids leave home for college, the military, or just to go on with their lives…a feeling of loss and uselessness can overcome you like a wave of misery. Sometimes it feels like you have no purpose, as though now you’re an empty shell. But take heart – empty nest syndrome can and should be a temporary event! There most assuredly IS life after empty nest! Even though you may feel adrift, believe it or not, this is a time in life when you can look at things through a larger lens. The opportunity presents itself to get out of your ‘safe’ zone.

Here are 10 tips for coping with empty nest…not a complete list by any means, but some basic suggestions for ways to help you move forward with an eye on growth and discovery!

  1. Clean your closet and re-stock your cupboards. Not just for aesthetics sake (spring cleaning is a few months from now!), but give your wardrobe and your pantry a critical review. How long since you’ve worn it? When did you buy it? Maybe…just maybe…you’re in the market to upgrade your fashion sense! Now is also the time to upgrade your diet – out with the teenager food…in with the artisan crackers, organic fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish if you aren’t already!
  2. Change your hair style. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a salon treatment, expensive products or anything like that. Just experiment with a new cut, color or style.
  3. Consider your current career path. Is it possible this could be the time to look at moving in a new direction? Whether you like it or not, you’re probably going to have more time to yourself now; more time to devote to challenging yourself in your profession or trade.
  4. Explore your creative site! This is a great time to think about trying some of the things you’ve wanted to do for a while! Remember some of the cool stuff you did before you even had kids? Thought about making a quilt? A gourmet cooking class? Oil painting? Redecorating your home with paint, paper, stenciling?
  5. Start a business? Baby boomer women entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with. If you have the idea, the energy and the drive to give it ago, take time to explore the details and who knows…you may be off and running! There are many baby boomer women who have been able to turn empty nest into a business success!
  6. Get a pet! This can be a lifesaver for some, a bad decision for others! Melding pets and empty nest is a decision not to be taken lightly…think about what your lifestyle dictates. Dog or cat? Large or small? Long hair or short? Will you be the only one caring for it?
  7. Read. For pleasure. If you’re group-minded, a book club might be fun, informative and a much-needed adult activity!
  8. Reconnect. How long has it been since you lingered over a long lunch with your friends? Looked up an old school mate? Spent some serious quality time with your spouse or partner?
  9. Exercise. Nothing is better for your health – mental and physical – than exercise. Cardio and strength training are so important as women enter menopause.
  10. Volunteer. Nothing – absolutely nothing – gets you out of yourself more than helping others.

Think about what you used to do. You remember…back in the Stone Age before your kids were either a) born or, b) started becoming the centric focus of your life! (Not that they still aren’t, but it’s time to get to know that old/new you!). What were your hobbies, interests? Even though the idea of women’s midlife crisis and empty nest may be legit, you’re on your way to an exciting chapter in your life. Yes, your life is changing – admit it, embrace it, and move on. Your kids, your spouse, and most importantly YOU will be proud and delighted to discover what is possible during life after empty nest!

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