Empty Nest Syndrome
and Midlife Stress

An empty nest

Experiencing empty nest syndrome is a difficult time in many people's midlife. It can be very difficult to watch children grow up and leave the homes they once inhabited.  This emotional upheaval often starts in the fall, as kids pack up and move on to college, or move on to professional careers.  Although you have been aware that this time would come, it often has sudden and dramatic effects on your life. 

You suddenly feel lonely, and un-needed, wondering how you are going to fill all of the hours in the day.  No more school lunches, or piles of laundry; no more overflowing grocery carts filled with foods quickly consumed by growing kids.  Next  to childbirth, this syndrome is one of the most challenging transitions for moms to handle. In addition, many women are handling the empty nest syndrome right at the same time menopause is occurring so they have the addition of  dealing with an empty nest and raging hormones.

A family of birds fill the nest.

There are many people who find it difficult when their house full of children becomes empty, as the children leave the nest.  Empty Nest Syndrome can be a very real and stressful time.

The Emotional Rollercoaster

The emotional feelings can catch you off guard.  Reality sets in.  What are you going to do with the extra Physical space now looming in your house and the emotional space aching in your heart?  How quickly time passes and what was once a bustling time can turn quickly into emptiness filled with feelings of sadness, depression and loneliness.

Feeling blue and sudden spells of tears catch you off guard. This is a normal part of transitioning into a new chapter in your life.  However, if you feel you would like extra guidance in dealing with your feelings which are sometimes overwhelming, visit this website with the Mental Health of America or find local counselors to speak with. Allow some time to grieve that the child-rearing days are over, but move forward and start thinking of new ways to use your time. 

 Use this new found freedom to become the person your children want you to be.  You are still their role model and now is a great time to connect with others.  Sharing your talent can be very rewarding for everyone. 

Preparing for the Empty Nest

If you have yet to experience an empty nest, but your kids are growing and will soon be departing, get prepared for the inevitable. Start to think about what you might want to do when you have more time and  less laundry.  Think about what new focus your might embrace with kids gone.

You may wish to reach out to others, spending additional time with family and friends.  You may volunteer more frequently or spend more time helping your aging parents. Use this period as a time of enrichment rather than dwelling on the empty nest syndrome aspect. Do you have untapped talent that you have been meaning to develop?  This may be the perfect time to engage in a hobby so you can use the creative time to enjoy things you didn't have time for before.


You have time to spend outside the home. Use it wisely. Enrich others and yourself by spending meaningful time with others who may enjoy your company. Because of the convenience of mobile phones, you are always able to stay connected with the children who have left the nest. So get moving. Get out and see what the world has to offer and what you can offer to others. Here are some resources to assist you in combatting the midlife stress associated with empty nest syndrome. Here is a great website to explore at emptynestmoms.com. There is also a great blog where you can participate with your own comments at EmptyNestExpat. Both sites are well worth the visit.

Replace Empty Nest Syndrome by Dreaming Big

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