How To Combat Empty Nest Syndrome

July 25, 2016


Perhaps you are entering a new stage in life. Maybe your kids are leaving for college. Or they have married. You have tried to stay busy. But you are chasing happiness.

According to Psychology Today, “Empty Nest Syndrome is a feeling of loneliness or depression that occurs among parents after children grow up and leave home.”

When my daughter graduated from High School, I began to experience a foreboding sense that life was about to change. A feeling of loss started to creep into my life. I knew I had to do something.

Stepping into the New


Trying something new is like trying on a new pair of shoes. You will never know how they fit until you slip into them and walk.


  • Art work
  • Crafts
  • Writing
  • Learn to sew, knit or crochet
  • Gardening
  • Exercise class

I had been a librarian at my church. During that time, I discovered Inspirational Fiction. Gilbert Morris became one of my favorite authors. His historical series called “House of Winslow” stirred a long buried desire to write. I’d been interested in writing since my early teens. I bought my first book about novel writing and dug in.

Develop new interests. Take an art class.  Perhaps get involved in a community project such as volunteer work. There’s something rewarding about doing for others. Most public libraries need volunteers.

My own experience began with learning how to navigate on the internet and then MS Word. It took time. Sometimes I experienced frustration. But eventually I was able to navigate well enough to begin my first novel. One step led to another, and I joined a writing organization. I made many new friends and received the encouragement I needed to develop my writing skill.

Utilize Extra Time

Use the extra time to spend with or spouse or friends. You may have friends going through a similar situation. Invite them over or go out to dinner. My husband and I found we liked to go out to breakfast occasionally.

If you’ve never been able to find time for prayer and meditation, this is the time to get started.

There was a TV commercial that showed a young man leaving for college. As soon as he pulled out of the driveway, his parents ran into the house and began remodeling his bedroom.  I’m not saying you should get that drastic, but if you need more space there is a vacant room.

You still may have moments when you feel blue. You can always send a text to your children. With time you adjust to the empty nest. I found that when my kids visited, I appreciated that special time with them. Have you experienced Empty Nest Syndrome? What are some things you’ve done to fill the void?


Journaling Benefits You Never Think of

June 20, 2016
QoR8Bv1S2SEqH6UcSJCA_Tea journaling 3

A popular method of recording thoughts about life events is journaling. But for some, the benefits may seem not worth the time. Let’s take a look at the advantages you may not have considered.

Why Journal?

“Journal Writing Is A Voyage To The Interior.”  Christina Baldwin

In keeping a history of events on paper or computer, there is a written record in which information from the past can be collected. Writing is self-expression. A study by Ullrich and Lutgendorf suggests “journaling about a personally experienced stressful or traumatic event may facilitate positive growth from the event.”

I began journaling as a busy mother of two. At first, my entries were only a few sentences scribbled in a spiral notebook. Gradually, I found I enjoyed writing something about my day. Inexpensive and colorful books for writing are plentiful in most stores. I bought a pink one and in a year’s time filled it full. With consistency, my content improved and became insightful and focused. Have you considered the benefits of journaling?
Why Journal?
In keeping a history of events on paper or computer, there is a written record in which information from the past can be garnered. Writing is self-expression. In recording the events of the day and lessons learned, I can reflect on my life and make discoveries about myself and my actions.


provides a timeline
• a record of answered prayers
• memories of special events
• helps in problem solving
• relieves stress
Remembering dates is not one of my strengths. Dates and events recorded as such can save be enormously helpful when the need arises for such history. When recording goals and successes, journal entries can help you track your progress. I recently joined a gym and I am journaling about my weight loss and energy level.
Journaling prayer requests and answers give a deeper appreciation of God. In times of discouragement, the record provides proof God is always at work. The reassurance keeps me from being fearful. Memories of how He used events to change me can serve as way to measure my spiritual growth.
A record of the day’s happenings refreshes the memory. It answers questions such as: How was I feeling? What was my reaction? Why did I feel that occurrence was necessary to record?

Reflection and Discovery

Michael Hyatt recommends asking 7 questions daily. I use : “Any disappointments”, and “What lessons did I learn?” These questions help me summarize my day and serve as a guide to help me understand myself and grow as a result.
Journaling can provide stress relief. Often the act of writing down a problem engages the mind to search for a solution. Playing quiet music in the background while writing your thoughts can be helpful.

The habit of journaling has become an important part of my day. Have you tried journaling? Do like it? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Why Accepting Gone Are the Good Old Days Can Be Positive 

June 6, 2016

Good old days jpg

Do you ever long to go back to the past? What do think causes us to think about the “good old days?”

Technology and newer methods are replacing the old ways of doing things. But is that a good or bad thing?

Recently, I experienced an overnight hospital stay when my daughter had her baby. The changes in protocol were amazing. No more going to the viewing window to look at my granddaughter. The healthy infant no longer stays in the nursery. Mother and baby room together. Everything for the care of mother and baby was contained in the private room. Gone are the days of sharing a room with another mother.

I had the pleasure of holding the baby and rocking her when her mother was resting.  A deceptively streamlined glider has replaced the sturdy rocking chair. Unfortunately, the glider squeaked and wobbled until I gave it up for the sofa.

Changes for Safety

As I inspected the baby’s tiny feet, I found a security device attached to her ankle bracelet. What a surprise! Although it looked cumbersome, it served a purpose. Sadly, infant abductions have necessitated the use of the devices.

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin


Thinking back to my early nursing years, I remember the old adage “Gone are the good old days”. Yes, there were many good things about the way we used to do things.  I for one, enjoyed the hands on care but consider the improvements.


  • Our culture’s changing needs
  • Better techniques for controlling infection
  • An increased need for safety and security

Wishing for the good old days is counterproductive. Instead, think of the advances in the last one hundred years. The National Institute on Aging cites one reason people are living longer is “victories against infectious and parasitic diseases.” Other reasons include better sanitation and nutrition.

Some things haven’t changed. Our need for safety, security and unconditional love remain. The basics are still the same regardless of advancement in technology.

I admit I enjoyed this topic. It brought to mind many of the advances in the last hundred years. What are some things you appreciate today? Please share them in the comments.