With high school graduation behind you, you may be joining with others around the
country world who are facing the looming empty nest. Today I’m sharing tips for empty nesters! These tips will help you as you try to figure out how to not just survive but how to thrive in your empty nest.
Recently, I had the opportunity to share a shorter version of these tips on Good Morning Texas. Aside from wishing I’d worn something brighter and more fun 🙄😂, I had a great time! You can check out my interview HERE or view it below. (NOTE: You’ll have to adjust using the slider below it to get it centered.)
Let’s dive in and elaborate on those tips, shall we?
1. Finish Strong
The last thing you want is regrets! Trust me, one of the keys to feeling good about sending your son or daughter off is to be able to rest in the assurance that you did your very best to prepare them! You’ll want to utilize the summer before they leave home to get them ready.
The first thing to do is to remind your son or daughter that these are your last few months together and that you will be using this time to make sure they are equipped to leave the nest. Next, ask for their patience and explain that this is something you need to do as their parent. Do not be dissuaded by their reaction!
Then, if you haven’t already, show them some simple how-tos in the kitchen, laundry room, and cleaning departments. Have them handle things like making medical appointments, picking up prescriptions, and filling out the associated paperwork. If you can send them off with these skills, you will feel like you’ve equipped them to handle real-world situations.
For more on this topic, check out the post 10 Essential Life Skills for College Students & Young Adults.
2. Set Appropriate Emotional Boundaries
Without a doubt, you are feeling a complex mix of emotions as you face the empty nest phase of your life. That’s completely understandable! After all, it is a big life change.
But, who else is facing a big life change right now? Your child!
Just as you have feelings of uncertainty about life as an empty nester, your son or daughter has similar feelings about leaving home. Be there to listen and offer reassurance. You want to be able to spend your son’s or daughter’s last few months at home encouraging them and letting them know they are equipped and ready to deal with what the next step in life will bring.
Remember that you are the parent. Act like it! Do not impose your own emotions onto your child. They are already overloaded! You do not want to increase your son or daughter’s anxiety by imposing your own emotional neediness onto them. Instead, seek out a support system for yourself. Consider your spouse, a close friend or family member, a life coach, or a professional counselor.
For more on this topic, check out the post 8 Practical Ways to be a Great Parent to Your Adult Kids.
3. Plan For Life as an Empty Nester
Make a list of things you’d like to do that you might have put off in the child rearing years. Would you like to travel? Return to the workforce? Learn a new skill? Explore the possibilities and find something that excites you!
Take a pen to paper and make a list or spend some time journaling. Make lists of things you want to do, projects you want to take on, people you want to spend time with, and places you want to go. My husband and I made a list of other couples we enjoyed spending time with and committed to going to dinner with one of them every month.
Set some goals for your empty nester years and put a plan into motion to meet them. This new season of life brings with it an opportunity to rediscover and reinvent yourself! I decided that I wanted to grow through this season of life, and it was in that spirit that I started Empty Nest Blessed.
You may find that you need to play catch up in some areas of life you set aside when the kids were your primary focus. How’s your health and fitness? What about your marriage or other key relationships? Does your house need some attention? Give yourself some time to deal with those things. But once you’re ready to move forward, you need to be intentional about making decisions and looking ahead. So how do you figure out what’s next in your life? The choices can seem overwhelming, but there is a step-by-step process you can follow that will point you in the right direction.
For more on this topic, check out the post A Step-by-Step Plan for Finding Your Purpose in the Empty Nest.
4. Plan a Getaway!
I highly recommend that you make travel arrangements for a trip sometime within your first month or two as an empty nester! It will give you something to plan for and look forward to during that initial period of adjustment.
Whether you go with your spouse, your sister, or your best gal pals, you need to celebrate the close of a significant chapter in your life and anticipate the joy of what is to come during the next season.
For more on our favorite getaway spot, check out the post Sanibel Island Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Play, and Stay.
Feel like you need more help? I want to come alongside you as you adjust to the empty nest! Click HERE to learn more about me, and HERE for additional resources geared specifically for new empty nesters. To read more advice on life as an empty nester, you can check out the post Thriving Empty Nesters Share Their Best Empty Nesters Advice.
Also, you might want to consider signing up for the Empty Nest Blessed email list, so you’re notified every time I have a new post — on the empty nest — or other aspects of life as an empty nester! Here at Empty Nest Blessed, I talk about everything from parenting adult children and marriage to fitness, travel, beauty, and fashion.
I hope that sharing my journey will encourage you. We’re in it together, my friends!