With your children finally off to college, are you faced with an empty nest for the first time? With a newly quiet house and kids far away, your newfound freedom may be throwing you for a loop. This new time in your life may be forcing you to face some unexpected feelings. Will life be boring and empty now that everyone's gone? It certainly shouldn't be! Now that you have a lot more time to yourself, you should look at your empty nest as an opportunity to do everything you always wanted but never had time to do. We spoke with Dr. Carin Rubenstein, Ph.D. in social/personality psychology and the author of "Beyond The Mommy Years," about handling a new empty nest.
"Empty Nest Syndrome is the idea that women are devastated, depressed and in despair when their children leave home, unable to fill the void that their children leave behind. But mothers who feel this way are a small minority, usually women who are already suffering from depression, about one in 10, according to the research I describe in my book, 'Beyond the Mommy Years.' Most mothers feel a sense of loss when their children leave, of course, but that grief rarely lasts longer than a year or so," Rubenstein says.
More from YourTango: Just A Click Away: 20 Gorgeous Wedding Dresses You Can Buy Online
Dr. Rubestein suggests investing your newfound time in new and exciting ways. "Figure out who you are, other than a mother. What else gives your life meaning? Answer this question to fashion a new identity for yourself. Revive your marriage, go on dates, talk to each other, plan outings that you'll both enjoy, have fun together. If you enjoy your career, then concentrate on expanding it. If not, look for a second-act job that will revamp and re-inspire your work life. Rediscover the women who matter to you, be they sisters, neighbors or old pals. Get together on a regular basis to see movies, discuss books or shop. Give back; do good outside your home by refocusing your nurturing impulses elsewhere," Rubenstein says. Fox News iMag: Denise Richards: Explaining Charlie's Addiction To Her Kids
Here are some more tips from iMag on spicing up your empty nest.