Being a parent may have been an important part of your life, but one day, your child will leave home. You can adjust to life after your child leaves for studies, work overseas, or gets married.

When your child leaves the coop, you may experience a myriad of feelings ranging from sadness, loneliness, a loss of purpose and control, anxiety to depression. While getting used to an empty home can take just weeks for some, others may need years to adjust. Instead of dwelling on the grief, try to look beyond the moment and start preparing for a new you.

Here are some ways you can re-feather your nest:

1. Find New Challenges

Your parenting journey may seem to have abruptly halted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on something else. Now that you have more time on your hands, you can return to the workplace, try a new job, or even do volunteer work, such as being a Families For Life volunteer.

It can be the chance to tick off some items on your wish list, such as redesigning your garden, redecorating a room, or going on long hikes through Singapore’s different trails. Now is the ideal time to take on those challenges!

2. Indulge in hobbies and interests

Ease the sense of loss you may feel by reconsidering old hobbies or discovering new ones! When children came along, you might have given up on your passion for quilting, watercolouring, or learning the guitar. Now you can rekindle past interests, and with your child’s stuff out of the house, you also have the extra space to set up a mini painting or craft corner, a workout area, or a music space.

3. Connect with others

Caring for your child and tending to his or her needs may have left you with little spare time to meet up with friends. With an empty nest, you can reconnect with friends through social media, arrange to meet up for a meal, or catch up over the phone. Having social connections is vital for our mental, emotional and physical health. As social creatures, having a strong social network means a better quality of life and better overall mental and physical health. What’s more, if your social network includes friends at the same life stage, this will provide an immediate support group to share helpful tips and experiences.

4. Plan a Trip

Sometimes, a change of scenery would do the trick and help you overcome the loneliness of an empty nest. Take a vacation to another country and immerse yourself in a new environment. Soaking in new cultures and engaging with a new community will expose you to new things. This, in turn, can help you to disconnect and recharge, relieve stress and feel happier.