The Empty Nest Syndrome exists. It is not something you see in movies or reality shows. The syndrome is actually a tough transitional period and affects parents after their children “leave the nest.” Parents are hit with an avalanche of emotions about their child’s health or general wellbeing after they leave the family home. They usually worry about their health, bank accounts, schooling, relationship, and other common aspects of life.
“Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of loneliness or sadness that occurs among parents after children grow up and leave home,” reads an article in Psychology Today.
The Empty Nest Syndrome affects both men and women, and sufferers go through a terrible depression.
Parents deal with depression and insomnia, study confirms
The results of a recent study were published in The Gerontologist, and suggest that parents deal with stress after their kids leave home. Are You Sleeping? Dyadic Associations of Support, Stress, and Worries Regarding Adult Children on Sleep is a study conducted by a group of researchers from Penn State, Brigham Young and University of Texas at Austin.
The researchers worked on “the dyadic associations of support for, stress over, and worrying about adult children on sleep quality for husbands and wives.” According to the results, both women and men worry about the wellbeing of their children despite the fact they are already adults.
Amber J. Seidel, Ph.D., of Penn. State University, was part of the group, and she revealed a tiny part of the research.
“Current research on young adults suggests that parents and children are maintaining high levels of involvement,” Seidel explained. “Although parents and adult children have always maintained some level of involvement, we do see an increase in what is often termed ‘helicopter parenting’ and ‘landing pad’ children.”
Empty Nest Syndrom Sufferers Can “Survive”
Most parents are usually sad and lonely after their children “leave the nest.” However, there are a few steps parents can follow to make things easier for them, and get some decent sleep. Seidel encourages parents to take action instead of drowning in their sadness.
“It is important to remember that having stress present in our lives is not the problem,” she told CBS News. “It’s the inability to cope in healthy ways with the stress that is problematic and may lead to immune suppression.”
The following tips will help you “kill” stress, sleep better and stay healthy:
- Exercise regularly: Being physically active is important for your health. Exercise every day to lower your risk of developing a heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. This routine will help you feel much better and sleep like a baby at night.
- Write a journal: Keeping a journal next to you will give you peace and freedom. Put your thoughts on paper to ease your burden and avoid stress. This is a rather healthy routine, and expressing your thoughts will optimize your mental and physical health.
- Stick to a balanced diet plan: Pack your menu with healthy foods to sleep better at night and improve your health. This step will also help you control your weight and reduce the risk of developing a serious disease. Plus, it optimizes the function of your brain.
- Have some “you time”: Treat yourself or just read a book every day. Watch a movie or show, listen to your favorite songs or have a walk. It is like doing a favor to yourself. Make sure you have enough “you time,” because that’s the only way to stay healthy, relax and have fun in your life.
- Cut down on alcohol and caffeine: Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Living without caffeine is absolutely possible, and it will actually help you cope with anxiety and panic attacks. Think about that.
- Help your community: Get out of your comfort zone and help others. Leaving your home for a while is actually healthy and gives you enough time to socialize. In other words, you will be happier and satisfied. Simple as that.
- Talk to people: Should we add more? Invite your friends or cousins over coffee, and talk. That’s all.