Empty nest syndrome for university parents
This year parents are experiencing a higher level of empty nest syndrome for children who are going to university. If parents have had their children living with them throughout the pandemic, this transition is likely to be a tough one. So what can parents do to make the change a positive one and not be crying into a cup of tea every night? Here we give some tips and practical advice to cope and even thrive with an empty nest.
Talk to people in the same boat
You won’t be the only one feeling sad that their child has flown the nest. Often comfort can be found in speaking with other people experiencing the same feelings as you. There will be other ‘empty nesters’ who will help to reassure you that your feelings are completely natural and that you’re not alone. There are support groups such as Family Lives who give great advice on their forum and confidential 24hr helpline.
Re-connect and rediscover relationships
It’s important to keep your diary full and make plans with friends and family in the first few weeks especially. This will help keep your mind and body busy leaving little time to dwell on things. Perhaps there are friendships that took a back seat while you prioritised your children and their needs. If that’s the case now is the perfect time to re-connect and meet with old friends and new ones. This also stretches to partners and husbands where often, relationships take on a new dynamic when children leave the family home.
Try new hobbies
With more time available to pursue hobbies and sport maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try but not had the time for. Keeping active instantly improves your mood, and keeps you moving – helping with empty nest syndrome. Keeping fit is also something you could share with your children when they’re home visiting from university.
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