Remember when everyone was looking at your kids and telling you “enjoy it, the time goes fast” and you thought to yourself, ‘no it doesn’t, I’m overwhelmed’? Then you blink and you’re about to become an empty nester. 

When much of your life has been defined as a parent, it’s hard to adjust to a “new normal” without your kids at home. If you’re struggling to cope with living without your children at home, these tips can help. Here’s some suggestions..

Let go of the anxiety and trust in yourself that you did your job.

It can be an easy trap to start worrying about everything, such as their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Rather than focus on what can go wrong, trust yourself that you gave them the tools to be okay.They will have failures, but this is the time they will learn, invent and figure out things on their own. 

Redefine your identity.

 Invest your time, energy and pursue your passions. You may need to think about what those are. Serve your community through ways you are passionate about, whether it is volunteering at an animal shelter or working on a society garden. Practice self care, self love and lift your mood with the things you love to do.

Stay busy and stay connected with your loved ones.

Staying busy can “distract” you from feeling lonely. Connect with your friends weekly to socialize and make it a point to exercise regularly.Join a recurring class or club, like a book club or art society where you’ll get to meet and connect with people on a regular basis. 

Schedule a time weekly or biweekly to connect with your kids virtually. Try doing video chat or FaceTime calls to be able to see your children in real time. Once you see they are doing well in their lives,  slowly your confidence will begin to increase and your worries will start to fade.

Seek support for what you’re going through.

It;s natural to feel lonely at first and be a little sad. Understand that this can be a tough transition and give yourself the space to feel it. But if you find you aren’t able to snap out of it, seek external help. This could be reaching out to friends or your spouse or a professional.

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About Anika Nayak

Anika Nayak is a freelance journalist from Tampa, Florida specializing in health and wellness. Her work has appeared in ArchDigest, Business Insider, Elite Daily, HuffPost, Insider and many more.

View all posts by Anika Nayak