Updated: Sep 28
“Proven Tips to Create a Joyful Life in an Empty Nest"
"When I walked up to my door, my stomach tightened, I started to shake and I was scared!”
It’s that time of year when some of us have kids that have started school. Maybe you dropped your youngest off at Kindergarten this year or maybe you dropped your youngest off at college or maybe they just moved out because it was time. Regardless, this unique experience allows time for reflection and can even be transformative. At least it has been for me…
As you can probably guess, I just dropped my daughter, also my youngest, off at college and to say the least, it’s been surreal.
I am lucky to have a rock solid loving relationship with my daughter. I also have a son that left the nest last September.
We are close.
Being a single mom, the three of us have been through heavy life together and as such, have created a bond between us that is rare, beautiful and filled with love.
Our home is a reflection of that love as well.
So, after I dropped off my daughter and we shared our hugs and our teary goodbyes, I took the 3-hour drive home with butterflies in my tummy in anticipation of what was to come when I walked in my home.
“What would it be like now without my kids home, with my last one no longer there?
My mind had gone to that place many times over the past months, knowing this time was coming.
I thought I would be lonely, alone.
I expected this to be the worst experience of my life.
I would catch myself and stop the cycle, but those pesky thoughts crept in there.
BUT, you know what happened?
NONE OF THAT!
When I walked up to my door, my stomach tightened, I started to shake and I was scared!” Feeling so many feelings.
I put my key in the front door, took a deep breath and walked in.
I put my suitcases down and stood there for a long time, eyes closed, knowing that a new normal would begin as soon as I opened them.
I heard the scuttle of my new kitten and my cat in the room and opened my eyes and there I was,
in my home feeling…
NOT so sad,
and NOT ALONE!
Over the weeks since, I sat in silence and introspection. I journaled, and began to unveil the secrets to why I was not feeling those overwhelming feelings I thought I would.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have had moments of tears, feeling lonely or sad, missing them, but surprisingly the moments are fleeting and I find myself doing pretty darn great!
What I discovered in my search for why, is that despite my crazy mind thinking those untrue thoughts of that future, that never happened,
I was intuitively preparing myself for the upcoming transition.
Funny thing is that I have been using these tools most of my life and I use them everyday.
I teach them to my clients as well.
I am happy to say that they work in practice!
Secret 1 to creating joy in your life in your empty nest or any nest.
SECRET 1: GET GROUNDED AND STAY GROUNDED
Starting your day off with any kind of ritual that gets you grounded first thing in the morning is a golden practice. There are many techniques and tools to get grounded but my favorites are breathing and meditation.
This can be as simple as taking 3 deep slow breaths.
My personal favorite is the 5x5x8 method for about 2 minutes.
5 counts to breathe in by filling your tummy with air (diaphragmatic breathing)
5 counts hold
8 counts to breathe out as slowly as you can.
Key: Try to breathe out more slowly than you took your in-breath.
This immediately lowers your cortisol levels and raises your testosterone levels so you can get grounded and have more clarity.
You can do this in the morning and throughout the day when you find your day getting cray, cray!
I am also a big fan of the Box Breathing and tactical breathing techniques that the Navy Seals are known to use. Great practices! If it works for them, it will work for you.
GET QUIET (quiet your mind)
This is a powerful practice, if you can stick with it. There are many ways to find your quiet, so try some different techniques and see what resonates with you.
Ways to Get Quiet
Breathing (a great way to begin)
Going outside and connecting with nature
And many, many more…
Meditation is the most commonly known and the most avoided tool for getting quiet however, more and more people are starting to understand the life-changing benefits of a mediation practice and are giving it a try. I highly suggest you do the same.
There are 3 primary types of meditation practices
or a combination of the 2
There are lots of apps these days to get you started. Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer are probably the top meditation apps used right now.
I am also a big fan of Deepak Chopra and the meditations he recorded with Oprah Winfrey. They are wonderful guided meditations with each series having a different focus.
There are too many to name but any of the well-known meditation experts have programs you can purchase and there is a LOT of free stuff on YouTube.
However, I can’t end this blog without mentioning my personal favorite, Mindvalley. Mindvalley was started by Vishen Lakhiani and has grown into the largest personal growth company in the world. You join a membership and can have access to not only meditations but personal growth classes and workshops on a wide variety of topics ranging from health to wealth.
I hope these tools are able to get you started in creating more ease in your empty nest and your life!
Ready to Take the Next Step?
If you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed and want to get clarity on your most important life goal, let's chat. I'm offering a FREE clarity call where we'll identify the chief obstacle getting in your way and map out a plan to overcome it.
Tune in next week for Secret #2 of how to navigate life changes with ease! This is Part 1 of a 3-psrt series.
Sending gratitude and joy,
Chief Wellness Warrior @ Inspired For Life!