When the kids finally fly the coop it can be an exciting and nerve-racking feeling. Empty-nest parents may worry about their kids or feel lonely because they’re no longer apart of their child’s daily life. Fortunately, a little physical and spiritual cleaning can help parents alter their lives.
Relieving Empty Nest Stress
Believe it or not, cleaning and organizing can actually help if you are experiencing the empty nester blues. The more physical clutter you have in your home (such as a junky children’s room) the more mental clutter you may experience, including stress and depression. So, throwing away old junk, clearing your child’s room, and organizing your home can be therapeutic for your empty nest stress and sadness.
Tips for Empty Nest Blues
Listed below are four Mindful ideas for establishing a fresh start as an empty nester.
- Approach the cleanup with gratitude. Objects, whether it’s an old stuffed animal or your kid’s science fair award, can hold a lot of memories and can be difficult to throw away. Use this cleanup session to be grateful for the memories and good times you have shared with your child. This gratitude can help you overcome the stress of empty nest syndrome.
- Turn your cleanout into blessings. As you clean up, set aside any objects that can be used by others. Gently used toys may be needed at a local daycare center. Old clothes and shoes can go to Goodwill. You can turn old objects and precious memories into blessings for others. This will also boost your mood and self-esteem, which can help relieve empty nest stress.
- Reclaim the space. With your child gone, you can finally reclaim their old room for yourself. Turn the space into the library/study you’ve been dying for or create a meditation/workout space that can nurture your soul and body. This room can serve as your own personal altar your fresh start and the new you.
- Use your newfound gratitude as motivation. An empty nest is a perfect time for focusing on the perks of an empty nest, including rediscovering yourself and your relationship with your spouse. And you can use your newfound gratitude as motivation for change. Clean out your own room, start investing in your own happiness, nurture your mind, and take some time to relax. You deserve it!
Cleaning up and starting over is just one way to overcome your empty nest syndrome. If you need more help or if you’re experiencing further stress, consider these empty nest stress tips from Dr. Kathleen Hall.