Five Tips to Overcome the Empty Nest Silence

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The empty nest silence is deafening. Sometimes the sound of nothing is so loud, it feels like my eardrums are going to burst.

When I tell my friends that I am alone for the weekend while my husband and our son take a quick trip together, they cheer for me. They cannot imagine what having all that time to themselves would be like. I’ll get there eventually, but for now I want to tell them the silence can be painfully lonely. I want to tell them I have far too much time alone these days and how I am trying to embrace the silence. I still long for the days of a loud house full of noise, laughter, bustle, toy explosions and just…people.

Empty nester mom on sofa

Do I Really Have to Do This Empty Nest Thing Again?

I really felt proud of myself for getting through that first year of empty nesting. I picked up a lot of techniques and habits that helped me transition in a positive manner. But if I’m honest, I felt off the entire year. So when my son came back home for the summer, it was truly the best reward for sustaining all the worry, anxiety, and sleepless nights from that first year. I felt like myself again.

Not only was it summer break, but it was a break from empty nesting. A break from the silence we grew accustomed to the past year. I didn’t realize how much I missed the thunderous trampling of feet, the gentle slamming of cabinet doors and appliances, the thumping bass from his room and car, and the infectious laughter from Facetiming his friends.

But as the summer comes to a close, I find myself fighting the impending empty nest silence when he goes back to college. Experience tells me I can get through this again. It’s part two. The sequel. I already know my role. Now I just get to play a more seasoned character. I got this…or do I?

My heart feels conflicted. It’s so happy for him because he cannot wait to go back to college. I’m so grateful for that. But my heart is also fighting the the painful thoughts of not seeing him again for months. I don’t want to start over with all those feelings again.

So this year, I’ve decided I’m taking the lessons I learned from year one and I’m adding a few more creative techniques to my tool belt. I hope this will help you as you begin your empty nesting journey.

Five Ways to Overcome the Empty Nest Silence: Part Two

1. Connecting and Sharing with New College Moms and Empty Nesters

I wish I would have had someone with experience to walk me through the transition. I had a lot of encouragement telling me it will be fine, that it will be okay, and not to worry. It’s nice, but I needed someone to guide me through the hard days, the anxious feelings, and the grief I was feeling.

In the past year, I have discovered that connecting and sharing my experience with new college moms on private social media pages has been my best therapy. There is something very healing about using my own story to help another through theirs. We are not alone in this. Connect. Build community and trust and be willing to lend a hand and heart to others. It will help mend yours.

Empty Nester Mom connecting with other moms online

Your purpose is not the thing you do. It’s the thing that happens in others, when you do what you do.

Jade Simmons

2. Focusing On My Health

In a world focused on being busy, I could feel guilty for all the extra time I have. But I don’t…any longer. I use the time to take care of me. Working out is my daily medicine. It is my fuel. It is my lifeline to overcoming most difficulties and it is my weapon to happily welcome being middle age and adjusting to the empty nest silence.

3. Sending Random Cards Daily

I started a project a few months ago to get outside of my own feelings. I challenged myself to send a handwritten card to anyone and everyone I could think to write to. I found these sweet and funny (punny) cards on Amazon, then made a list of everyone that popped into my mind. Every morning, I write to someone. It started with people I know — family, friends I haven’t seen or talked to in a while, people that have made an impact on my life, and people I admire.

Sunshine Cards

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I especially love these Punny Greeting Cards these Thinking of You Cards and and I know you will too. So check them out if you want to start your own Random Card Challenge.

Creative Cards

The notes are short, but genuine. I write exactly what my heart feels. The ulterior motive is simply to send a little sunshine to someone every day. The impact has had a profound impact on me from the sweet texts and messages of pure delight I get in return. I plan on continuing this until I run out of names or addresses. So if you’re waiting on your card, it’s either coming or I need your address!

4. Embracing the Empty Nest Silence

I’m discovering that silence can be a beautiful thing. I’ve started to take my mornings outside and sit with myself, my coffee, my journal, and my devotionals.

Empty Nest Silence - Woman Reading Book

And I finish most evenings watching the sunset from my backyard. It’s given me so much peace. Creating a new habit built around the silence has made me appreciate it and eventually I’ll begin to crave it once again.


5. Staying in Creative Joy

I had a conversation with my husband recently and I told him how much blogging and connecting with others gives me so much joy. He simply told me to do more of that. Smart man!

Tapping into your creative joy goes beyond finding another hobby, or trying a new class or skill. Your gifts are part of your DNA and regardless of what it is, do the thing that sparks your creative joy. It will give you a sense of purpose and will take your focus on what you lost and place the focus on all you can gain from simply being your creative self.

Are you a mom that has recently sent your kids off to college or are you a recent empty nester? Do you have any other tips you’re using to adjust to silence? Comment below and be sure to subscribe to Beautifully Between to never miss another post. I would love to connect with you!

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