Empty Nest Syndrome, have you heard about it? Recently when I was scrolling through the Instagram reels, I came across a post about Empty Nest Syndrome. I was intrigued by the post and started surfing about this syndrome. Here is an account of my encounters online.
We often see households where after the child leaves the home, the parents get sunk into a sea of grief. All of a sudden, they feel like they have lost it all. Most of the time, they are clueless about ‘what’s next. They start doing the same work over and over again to kill time. When a child leaves the nest, whether it is to live on their own, embark on a college career, or form their own relationships, parents may feel lonely, sad, and feel grief. Often parents find it difficult to part away from their children, though they wish for their children’s well-being.
The extreme pain that many parents experience when their children leave the nest is referred to as empty nest syndrome. Women, who usually provide primary care for their children, are more prone to suffering from this illness. Generally, the sadness of empty nest syndrome passes unnoticed because moving out of the house is thought of as a normal and healthy event. This is unlike the loss experienced when a loved one dies. A grieving parent may find it difficult to get sympathy or support.
However, there are no proofs available that suggest Empty Nest Syndrome as a clinical disorder.
The emptiness that is created once a kid goes is felt by the parents. They become more worried about the well-being of their children. They are always checking their phones and apps for calls, updates, and messages from their kids. When they don’t hear from their children, they grow worried. They are always concerned about their child’s safety and are concerned about their youngster living alone and far away.
The parents suffering the grief might retreat from the world for a while while they adjust to the massive changes in their life. However, this grief is short-lived. As months pass by, the parents might get adapted to the new life. A life that is free of everyday commitments to their children. Also, some find it less stressful as they have ample time to focus on themselves. Self-care starts finding its place in the lives of the people who were only concerned about their children’s lives and their well-being. At this phase of life, the couple can spend quality time with each other which will help them to reconnect and rebuild their relationship. Taking a trip, socializing with others, paying attention to the body signals, doing stuff that has been at a halt for so many years due to commitments, etc, can help in finding oneself again after their children have found their ways to lead their lives.
People tend to focus on bad feelings, however, this moment in their lives may also bring forth fresh opportunities. They aren’t burdened with the responsibility of caring for and raising another human may reconfirm who they are, determine what they want to do with the rest of their life, and devote their time and energy to their own hobbies or jobs. As mentioned earlier, self-care can help a lot.
We live in a technological era. Physical distances are never an issue to get connected. Many mobile applications are designed to shorten the distance virtually. Therefore, staying connected is not going to be a big deal anymore.
Your loved ones and friends whose children have recently moved out of the house will understand how you feel, hence feel free to open up to them. Get in touch with a mental health provider or your doctor if you feel depressed. Seeking help is highly appreciable.
Staying optimistic throughout this phase is crucial. When you feel low, do something which can keep you driven. It’s a great time to work on yourselves and fulfill your dreams be it small or big. Use your time properly for yourself and think of the wide spectrum of opportunities your child has gone to grab. Always remember, “This too shall pass.”