How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome as a Single Parent

You did it! Your children are grown and have gone off into the world. But if you’re like many single parents, although single parenting was challenging, you probably weren’t quite ready to see your children leave home. You never really imagined that there would be a time when your children wouldn’t be the main focus of your life. You find yourself with free time and empty space. And, to be honest, you feel abandoned. What you have is an “empty nest.” So, what can you do to cope with Empty Nest Syndrome?

Discuss your feelings

Since your children left home, you may be feeling lost and lonely. Talk about your feelings with a friend. Vetting your feelings of sadness may help improve your mood.

Write

You can write about your feelings. Start a journal or a diary. In it, write about how you truly feel. Honestly express your feelings of loneliness and grief. The best thing about journaling is that you can write whatever you want without the fear being judged or criticized.

Pursue your dreams

Many single parents put their own dreams on hold in order to take care of their children. Now is the time to pursue your dreams and goals. If you have always wanted to go back to school, do it. Start simple. Take a college course or two to begin with. Do you enjoy writing? Go ahead and pen that novel you have been putting on hold. Start a freelance writing career. If you love to cook, take a cooking class. Go to culinary school.

Discover hobbies

Rediscover your old hobbies. Find new ones. Don’t just sit home and stare at into your grown children’s rooms. Get out and get going.

Physical activity

Exercise will not only help you get in shape, it can also help you deal with feelings of loneliness and depression. Exercise releases serotonin and endorphin into your blood system. Serotonin is a hormone in the brain that controls sleep patterns and mood. Endorphin is a hormone in the brain that acts as a natural pain killer. When endorphin and serotonin are released, they create a sense of well-being.

Mentor

If you love children, become a mentor. There are plenty of boys and girls who would love to have a helping hand. Schools and other youth organizations are always in need of help. Become a mentor to struggling youth.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and it can help you with your feelings of uselessness and isolation. It will give you a sense of purpose, and it’s also a wonderful way to meet new people and find new interests.

Stay in contact

Talk to your children often. Staying in contact with them will help to ease your feelings of loss.

Coping with Empty Nest Syndrome can be difficult for anyone. It can be even more challenging with you are a single parent. However, the tips listed above will help to make your transition easier.