The 6 R’s for Battling Empty Nest Syndrome
Who knows what this is? I have heard of it before but never really understood how debilitating it could be. I am here to tell you that Empty Nest Syndrome is real and it can be as serious as any other form of depression especially if it is compounded by major life changes.
We have had a lot going on in the last three months with moving, not having a place to call home and our children leaving the nest. We had a foreign exchange student, our daughter and our son living with us for the last school year. We knew everyone would be leaving in the summer but had no idea how that would really feel when they left about the same time.
Not only was the nest empty, the nest was not stationary because we moved into an RV. I had a huge hole in my day-to-day life that was not being filled by work, dogs or even my honey. I began to realize that this hole was familiar; it was the same emptiness as when we tragically lost our son to suicide. The Dallas Morning News said Arnold Palmer’s death left a void. Anyone’s death leaves a void! Void is defined as “completely empty.” That is how I felt.
If you have ever been depressed, you know that feeling. This was not my first dance with depression so I was not completely lost or over whelmed. I knew what it was and why I was feeling what I was feeling, however, that didn’t make it any less real or painful. I didn’t want to be alone and I didn’t have much energy for work. Here are some things that helped me:
- Recognizing it for what it is.
- Respecting it and giving myself permission to mourn.
- Remembering that I was not alone.
- Rekindling friendships and connecting with others.
- Rejuvenating by reading, walking and/or meditating outside.
- Reaching out to my Life Coach.
Love is always the answer. When we love ourselves enough to give ourselves grace, compassion and empathy, we are able to heal and come back stronger, wiser and more loving for ourselves and others.
I would love to serve you in the process of getting on the other side of any struggles you are having in your life.