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Empty Nests: Dealing with Loneliness and Boredom


Tips for Emptynesters image

Very often, women who’ve devoted the greater part of their lives to their families suddenly find themselves quite alone and bored once their children move on to uni and their own lives. This is especially likely if they are single by that time, or in a relationship that’s unfulfilling in some way. Being suddenly alone is, in a sense, a form of bereavement and is often associated with depression and a feeling of being rudderless.

Few people are actually prepared for this kind of emotional upheaval, whatever they may think beforehand. Wallowing in self-pity won’t achieve anything, though, so think about what steps you can take towards your own happiness.

Explore New Interests

Most of us have spent decades “about to” learn Italian, get back to the piano lessons we had to abandon or start writing poetry. Perhaps we’ve even, on occasion, felt resentful against our children for preventing us from pursuing our dreams.

You no longer have this excuse – since that is all it is. Instead of whiling away the hours watching Eastenders, or making use of your Netflix subscription,  make a commitment to yourself to spend some time on learning a new skill. If this involves meeting new people, such as taking a pottery class, so much the better.

Go Back to Work

If you have take time out of the workplace to bring up your family, think about going back. Although work is supposed to be unpleasant by definition, you’ll find that having a job takes on a completely different tint, especially  if you don’t actually need the money. Attitudes towards women in the workplace may also have changed for the better since you last had a boss.

The experience of working as part of a team, where each member exerts themselves towards a common goal, can be surprisingly invigorating. If the normal daily grind doesn’t appeal to you, then look at volunteer opportunities, including those abroad

Take up Rambling

As we get older, it becomes ever more important to take some light exercise, and strolling through the countryside is a wonderful tonic for mind and body alike. Ramblers’ groups are comprised of some very diverse and interesting people, so the conversations on the trail and afterwards tend to be very stimulating.  Joining local groups leads to opportunities for walking weekends away …at home and abroad.

Talk to Someone About Your Feelings

Being abandoned is never easy, even if you know, intellectually, that “abandon” is too strong a word to describe your children going into the world on their own. Still, these emotions are real and should be sorted out instead of being allowed to fester.

In times past, most people could count on a social support network that simply doesn’t exist today. Fortunately, technology now also makes it easier than ever to talk to someone about whatever you may be feeling. There’s no shame in seeking answers outside yourself, an approach that has saved many people a great deal of heartache. Becoming an emptynester could open up a whole new world of opportunities!

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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