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Professional Insights: Overcoming empty nest syndrome

by | Sep 17, 2023 | Business, Featured

Your kids have moved out, and your home is just yours.

Now what?

For many people, being a parent is an integral part of their identity. You might find yourself wondering what to do with yourself now. You might feel sad or depressed. A child moving out is a loss of sorts. It’s natural — and healthy — to grieve that loss.

Make sure to give yourself as much time and space as you need to process all this so that you can move forward. Try catching up with old friends or making new ones to fulfill your social needs, and don’t feel guilty about being sad — the grieving phase has an expiration date, and it’s followed by relief.

Finally, you have the freedom to put yourself first. Sure, you miss your kids, but now you can do what brings YOU joy. All those projects you’ve been putting off, that fishing trip or spa day you’ve always wanted to take — it’s all waiting for you.

Moving from sadness to relief to joy is a complicated process, and the new you that emerges on the other side may not have the same needs or wants as the old you.

No surprise, then, that empty nesters often turn to the housing market to find a home that better suits their new lifestyle.

Downsizing has a few inherent advantages, and the most obvious is cost. Smaller houses cost less to buy and less to heat and cool. The money saved by downsizing can be put to better use — visiting the kids (and grandkids, if you have them), paying for college, traveling, finally buying that big-ticket item you’ve always wanted.

You may find yourself happier when you don’t have to walk past now-empty bedrooms, and you can create a memory wall or corner in your new home with family photos and memorabilia. This also could be a good place to have a comfortable chair and a laptop for Zoom or FaceTime calls with the kids.

No home can slow the passage of time and make us immune to the perils of age, but a new home could provide features that significantly improve your quality of life, such as single-level living or wheelchair accessibility. Homes in 55-plus communities also may offer amenities such as landscaping or pools, along with allowing you to live in proximity to people around your age.

When you’re facing empty nest syndrome, it’s important to weigh your options and decide what’s most important to you. There will be pros and cons either way, so focus on the things you value most. It’s normal to miss your old house after you move, so allow yourself to grieve, but focus on the good memories you had there and the ones you’ll create in your new home.

For more information on empty nest syndrome, visit betterup.com/blog/empty-nest-syndrome.

Thinking about moving and want to understand the process? Feel free to reach out.

Kim FoemmelKim Foemmel
Foemmel Fine Homes
1 Lumber Street, Suite 207C
Hopkinton, MA
(508) 808-1149

The advertiser is solely responsible for the content of this column.

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