If you have just had your last child leave home, then you may be in for a complete overall of your own life. The days of hauling them from one activity to the next and helping them earn top grades may be over. You can definitely take pride that you raised an individual who is prepared to meet the world now on their own, but many parents feel some sadness that this time has seemed to race by so quickly. If you are experiencing empty nest syndrome, then here are some ideas that might help you.
Chances are that you are feeling many raw emotions right now. Just as with other forms of grief, everyone experiences different emotions, and you may feel like your on an emotional roller coaster. Take the time to journal about your feelings. Let yourself cry and feel the pain. Above all, accept the emotions that you are feeling. Then, create affirmations of acceptance that you can repeat each time that you start to get emotional.
Your support network can be a powerful ally as you go through the empty nest syndrome. Be careful, however, not to rely totally on another individual, like your spouse, who is also going through the raw emotions of the empty nest syndrome. Instead, find a best friend who you can talk to who will not be judgmental. Talking to an individual counselor in Orlando can be a powerful tool as they can suggest activities to help you through this period.
Even though you may find it hard to believe right now, your child still needs you to be their parent. Sure, your role may change, but you will always be an important part of their life. Think for a moment of the struggles that you had with your own parents when you first stepped out on your own. Accepting who your child is now can powerfully impact your relationship. Be careful not to enter into a dominance tug-of-war because the child always wins by pulling away. Finally, you will be demoted as your child develops their own relationships, so concentrate on finding other activities that are important to you.
You must keep in touch with your adult children. Make comments on their social media posts. Let them see you moving on with your own life. Plan light-hearted activities that everyone will enjoy. Over time, most people find that they develop a unique meaningful relationship with their adult children.
Experiencing the empty nest syndrome is not a mental disorder. It is something that most people go through at some point in their lives. It can be excruciating, but taking part in individual counseling in Orlando at Orlando Thrive Therapy can help you succeed.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.