How to Cope with the Empty Nest

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Coping with an Empty Nest

Words from Ellen Neiley Ritter, Ph.D.

Take care of yourself! You’ve taken care of everyone else and you now need and deserve to take care of yourself. Pamper yourself, listen to your body—if you’re tire, rest and recharge your energy; if you’re feeling stress, do something relaxing.

Go with the flow! Don’t rush through the process or become impatient with yourself if you’re not moving forward as quickly as you or others think you should.

Avoid black and white, catastrophic, or negative thinking. As hard as this time may be, believe in the power of positive thinking to make a difference in your perceptions, behaviors, and ability to cope. 

If you get stuck, if you find that the journey is too much, reach out to others and get the help you need.

And most importantly, remember that you can not only survive but thrive this difficult transition!

* * *

For mothers an empty nest is one of the most, if not the most, difficult experiences of motherhood. She has spent years nurturing and caring for her children and now they don’t seem to need her anymore. What is she to do now?

It can become a time of renewal and yes, even adventure in her life. She will have to make some shifts in her thinking, however.

Most of the time when children leave home it is for college, a place of their own, or marriage. These can be times of celebration. Mothers can and should accept this transition as a mark of success on her part.

If you are a mom preparing for or experiencing an empty nest I encourage you to reach out for a hand along the way.

Ellen is committed to helping women not only survive but thrive during this difficult period. With a Ph.D. in Family Psychology and certified as a Seasons of Change Transition coach, she helps her clients to move beyond the sadness and create purposeful, filling lives. She is the Dean of Students at the Institute of Life Coach Training (ILCT).

My husband and I have six grown children between us and our nest was empty soon after we married. I was so fortunate to have a honeymoon period to occupy my mind or I would’ve had a much more difficult time. I don’t handle death or departure well. And my heart goes out to all mothers, especially single moms, who are making this transition. I hope you will consider life coaching to get you through to the productive time of life this can be.

Gail in purple speaking with hand gesturesGail raised three children as a single mother before she remarried. She has experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years she knows a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. She is the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. She is a Certified Professional Coach and her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. Her book, Living Learning Loving is available on CreateSpace, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble online.

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