Tips for Embracing the Empty Nest
Are you an empty nester? Congratulations! You’ve just entered a new phase of life that can be both exciting and unnerving. It can be difficult to know what to do with your newfound freedom, but there are plenty of great ways to make the most of this time. To help you along the way, Enjoying Aging has put together some ideas for empty nesters looking to maximize this next stage of life.
With the kids out of the house, you now have more freedom and flexibility to go on vacation whenever and wherever you want. Consider traveling abroad or taking a road trip through parts of the country that you’ve never had the chance to explore before.
From the Grand Canyon to Alaska and Hawaii, the US offers some of the world’s best travel destinations. If you enjoy driving, America has hundreds of state and national parks, and camp grounds that accommodate everything from tents to lavish RV’s. Driving across the country can be a great way to meet new friends, or find solitude off the beaten path in an RV adventure. One of the best things about driving through America is that you can go from state to state without worrying about needing a passport or language barriers.
Cruising is a favorite for many travelers and offers a wide variety of options. From large cruise ships, to private yacht charters, to multi-country European river cruises, traveling on the water can be one of the most enjoyable vacations you’ll ever experience.
International travel can introduce you to new ways of life, breathtaking scenery, or witness thousands of years of history. Traveling is a great way to explore new places and experience different cultures, but it also gives you some much-needed rest and relaxation away from home.
Learning a New Hobby
Now is your chance to try something new! Even if it’s something small like learning how to knit or paint, developing a new hobby or skill can give you purpose, keep your mind active, and even lead to amazing opportunities down the line.
A new hobby doesn’t only refer to arts and crafts. A new hobby can be anything you want; it can be learning a new type breathing exercise, or have you heard of super brain yoga?
While there’s nothing wrong with building a train set in your garage, what about a new hobby that will help keep you healthy like the newest craze sweeping the nation, Pickleball. Finding a hobby that keeps you in better shape both mentally and physically can benefit you for years to come.
Decluttering Your Home
Without kids around all day, now may be an ideal time for decluttering your home and getting rid of things that you no longer need or use. This will help open up space in your home for whatever new activities you decide to take on in this new phase in life.
For many empty nesters it’s a prime time to declutter your home by downsizing to a smaller, more manageable, home. When planning your next move, whatever that may be, keep in mind that this is your time to shine, and while memories can be good, clutter is bad. Get rid of it and move on to a simpler, happier time with your new life.
Going Back to School
If there ever were a time in your life when going back to school made sense, it would be now. With online classes becoming more popular, earning a degree online has become increasingly accessible and convenient for empty nesters.
Earning a degree online can provide the opportunity to switch careers and make career advancements for more financial freedom. Plus, if you focus on programs that provide certifications and a diploma, you can double down on your skills and credentials. Whether you’re reviewing IT certification programs, an accounting degree, or even a master’s in education, there’s something for everyone.
Take advantage of having more free time by socializing more with family and friends. Have dinner parties with close friends and family members who live nearby, or plan weekend trips with those who don’t live close enough for regular visits. Making solid connections with people who share similar interests will keep loneliness at bay during this stage in life.
Consider spending some time volunteering at local organizations that speak to your passions and interests so that you can contribute meaningfully toward making positive change in society, as well as get involved in something bigger than yourself. Volunteering is a fulfilling outlet for empty nesters seeking meaningful engagement outside their home.
Starting a Business
Empty nesters looking to start a business have many unique advantages compared to those entering the entrepreneurial world early in life. With time and financial freedom, you can devote more attention to building and growing your own business. You already have the life experience and an established network and have a good handle on balancing work and family responsibilities. You also have access to greater resources like savings or pension income, making starting a business easier.
Living Your Dream in Your Golden Years: How to Become a Senior Entrepreneur offers insights into how to make this dream a reality. If this is something you’ve always wanted to do don’t wait, and stop making excuses, jump in with both feet and have the time of your life.
There are many ways empty nesters can make the most out of their lives during this phase. Whether it’s traveling, learning a new hobby, going back to school, volunteering, or starting a business, any avenue is worth exploring! Ultimately, being an empty nester presents many opportunities — use them wisely so that you can enjoy every moment!
A special thank you to Sharon Wagner at seniorfriendly.info for contributing this article.
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