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?


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