Well, here you are: The last kiddo has left home and you’re feeling pretty blue. Maybe you’re worrying all the time. You’re probably a little lonesome (or a lot). If you are struggling with empty nest syndrome, the good news is you are not alone. Most parents experience at least some of these feelings in varying degrees. Here are five suggestions for coping with empty nest syndrome and finding your groove again.
The Empty Nest Is Actually Full—of Emotions
According to GoodTherapy.org, empty nesters may experience insomnia, anxiety and/or panic—as well as feelings of extreme grief, isolation/loneliness, guilt and purposelessness. They may even lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Psychology Today notes that “…parents often struggle with a profound sense of loss, not just because they miss their child, but because their very identities have been significantly impacted.” In other words, if your parenting role has changed so dramatically, who are you?
In two-parent families, empty nest syndrome is at least a team experience—one partner can offer support and empathy when the other is struggling. For divorced, widowed or single parents, however, there may unfortunately be an even greater sense of isolation and loneliness.
Five Ways to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome
1. Participate in Activities That Include Others.
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, we all need friends. If you’re already involved in a community group, don’t stop now! If you’ve been too busy, go ahead and sign up for those art classes, start a band, look into university extension programs, or join a new class at the gym. The excitement and energy of taking up a new hobby or learning something new is a real balm for feelings of loss, and being around other people can help stave off social isolation.
2. Find New Ways to Feel Valued and Needed.
One of the rewards of parenting is the feeling of being important to another person. While nothing will ever replace the love between a parent and child, you can find some fulfillment in helping others. Look for a volunteer organization that aligns with your values and sign up! Offer to read books at a nearby school, or hold babies in the NICU at your local hospital. Sign up to work at a local food bank or community garden. Or use your skills to help others—knit blankets for hospital patients, teach home repair skills… the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
3. Embrace a New Adventure.
If your time and budget allow it, why not enjoy all that traveling you put off during the busy parenting years? Some empty nesters even decide to sell their homes and travel full-time! While that might not be the right choice for you, having a trip to plan and look forward to (and then enjoy) can be very therapeutic.
4. Embark On an Encore Career.
If you’ve reached retirement age, becoming an empty nester might inspire you to re-enter the working world. Encore careers can take on many forms — a coaching or consultative role in your former industry, professionalizing one of your skills (such as giving art lessons), or even joining the staff at a nonprofit. These “second-act” jobs can be a great way to recharge your spirits, stay engaged and extend your retirement income.
5. Discover the Benefits of Homesharing.
Sometimes an empty nest means you’ve got unused space in your home. Homesharing offers a wonderful way to put that space to work and have some company around the house. In homesharing, your renter (or “housemate” pays rent or does household chores (or a combination of the two) in exchange for living space.
Some homeowners find housemates by asking around among friends and neighbors, or by advertising in the community, online or on social media. Silvernest uses unique roommate-matching technology and other tools to make homesharing simple and worry-free. We’ve helped build happy homesharing agreements between people of similar ages or across generations.
There’s Hope Ahead.
Those “empty nest” feelings are normal and natural. While you’ll always miss having your kids around, the most intense emotions usually ease with time. However, if you find yourself too depressed or anxious to fully participate in your life as you once did, please seek out professional support. A trained therapist or, if need be, psychiatrist can help you work your way through this transition to a brighter future.
Silvernest is a one-stop-shop online homesharing platform that pairs boomers, retirees, empty nesters and other older adults with compatible housemates for long-term rent arrangements. Through these creative living situations, homeowners earn extra income (about $10,000 a year), remain in their homes longer, and keep isolation at bay, while renters pay far less than market rent. Both enjoy companionship and the efficiencies that come with sharing a space.
See the original article here: https://blog.silvernest.com/you-are-not-alone-empty-nest-syndrome-is-common.-heres-how-to-cope
As we are knocking on the door of yet another new year, the Age Safe America Team would like to wish you and yours a very Happy, Healthy, Safe and Prosperous 2017. Today the emphasis on “aging in place” has reached a tipping point and the conversation has gone from avoiding hospital readmissions to asking how can we avoid preventable falls, serious injuries, and the hospital altogether. This year please make plans for yourself and your loved ones to Invest in Your Safety, Comfort, Independence and Longevity!
Age Safe. Live Well.
The Age Safe America Team
September is National Falls Prevention Month and we will be bombarded with information about fall prevention and the scary statistics of fall risk among older Americans. At Age Safe America we know the harsh reality that a fall changes everything!
Falls have become epidemic in America and are now the leading cause of death due to injury for those over 65, and account for 40% of all nursing home admissions. Falls are also the leading cause of injury related emergency department visits for older adults, the major cause of hip fractures, and responsible for more than half of fatal head injuries. Nearly half of all seniors sustaining a fall DO NOT resume independent living.
For the person who takes a fall, they become more nervous about experiencing it again. Their gait and speed of walking changes and even the smallest, imperceptible changes can lead to another fall as our bodies adjust to the new reality. The family members of someone who has taken a fall find themselves a little more concerned and guarded about the fall itself. Sometimes, they leap to conclusions and take unnecessary actions, while well-intended, are not always good solutions.
As with so many things in our lives, prevention is worth a pound of cure-thanks to Benjamin Franklin. There are seven simple exercises that we can do to improve balance and strength to reduce the risk of falls.
The exercises are:
- Heel lifts- stand with both feet flat on the ground. Raise your heels and stand on your tiptoes. Hold for a second and lower back down.
- Toe lifts-stand with both feet flat on the ground. Raise your toes in the air until your weight is on your heels. Hold for a second and lower your toes.
- Leg lifts-stand straight and lift one leg off the ground. (Hold onto a chair or other support, if you need). After 10 seconds, lower your leg. Switch sides and repeat.
- Heel to toe walk-Slowly walk forward placing the heel of one foot directly in front of the other. Look ahead a bit if it helps keep your balance. Repeat for 20 steps.
- Backward leg lifts-stand straight with feet shoulder width apart. Hold on again if you need to do so and lift one leg behind you and lower it back down. Switch sides .
- Sit to stand- sit in a sturdy chair and place both feet on the floor. Stand using only your legs and slowly sit down again. You can hold your arms out in front of you or cross them.
- Wall push-ups- place your hands on the wall at chest height with your fingers pointed up. Keep your back straight and slowly bend your elbows to bring your body toward the wall. Then straighten your arms to push away from the wall.
Starting with a few repetitions at least twice a week will show benefits in balance and strength…and confidence!
A comprehensive home safety assessment performed by a trained Age Safe Advisor Member, along with some low-cost modifications can serve to effectively reduce falls and fall-related injury for older adults.
Age Safe. Live Well.™
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
At Age Safe America we say, A Fall Changes Everything!
Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury for those over 65. Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions. 50% of those admitted never return to their prior level of mobility or independence; and 25% will die within one year of an injury. And most of these falls happen in the home.
A fall can change one’s life in an instant. Resulting in broken arms, shoulders, legs, hips, spine, and pelvis, falls can cause one’s living situation to change from independence in the community, to needing caregivers in the home or care in a facility. Mobility is at least temporarily reduced, leading to other less desirable health outcomes. Anything we can do to lessen or eliminate these risks improve the safety and well-being of our loved ones. They will be able to remain independent longer, avoid some of the side effects of immobility, and enjoy their later years.
Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Fall Risk:
- Begin a regular exercise program.
- Review your medicines regularly.
- Have your vision checked annually.
- Make your home environment safer.
- Wear sturdy, nonskid shoes at all times.
100% of ER doctors agree that an annual Home Safety
Assessment is important to keep seniors safe at home.
Age Safe. Live Well.
Age Safe America takes health and fitness seriously for the millions of Americans now over 50. Exercise, nutrition and hydration are key to keeping the body strong and enjoying a long and independent life. This year for the 23rd Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day Fritzi Gros-Daillon Chief Advocacy Officer for Age Safe America will conduct the Health and Home Safety presentation for the San Diego event which is taking place at the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park.
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, an estimated 100,000 older adults at more than 1,000 locations will participate in local fitness activities throughout the country as part of the 23rd annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day® (NSHFD), the nation’s largest health promotion event for older adults. The common goal for this day: to help keep older Americans healthy and fit. Always set for the last Wednesday in May, National Senior Health & Fitness Day is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for older adults.
Organized as a public/private good health partnership by the Mature Market Resource Center (MMRC), Senior Health & Fitness Day will offer fitness activities for older adults at more than 1,000 locations including hospitals, park and recreation departments, senior centers, health clubs, retirement communities, houses of worship, health departments and other community locations. The event is always held on the last Wednesday in May as part of Older Americans Month activities.
Programs will range from small group exercise demonstrations in community senior centers to walking tours and health fairs. Most programs include an exercise or physical activity component, as well as information about senior subjects.
“Older adults at all levels of physical fitness are encouraged to participate in National Senior Health & Fitness Day,” says Patricia Henze, NSHFD program manager. “Our goals for Senior Day are to make exercise fun, to increase awareness of the benefits of a regular exercise program for older adults, and to encourage all older adults to take advantage of the many health and fitness programs offered in their communities.”
The 2016 event theme, “Improve Your Health for a Better Self!” was submitted by Heather Ries-Mueller of Mequon, Wisconsin, from among nearly 1,000 entries.