How to Stay Positive and Motivated After Your Children Move Out

You might find it hard to stay positive and motivated after your children move out. Maybe you’re feeling lonely in your empty-nest. That’s totally normal. And that’s exactly why you need to be proactive about getting out of your own way.

So, go ahead and try out these practical suggestions designed to help you get out of a mid-life rut. When you do, you might finally decide that after the kids have flown the coop, your life couldn’t be better. 

woman without motivation

CONTENTS – In this article, you’ll learn how to stay positive and motivated as an empty-nester, including:

Best Ways to Stay Motivated in 2021

The empty nest is a time of mixed feelings for parents. 

On the one hand, it’s exciting to have more time and space for yourself. But on the other, you’re feeling a sense of loss that your children grew up quickly and are moving out on their own. 

You might find yourself feeling a little “blah” or downright depressed at times. When you do, it’s hard to move your life ahead and get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of you.

But that’s what we’re here to work through.

This article will give you ways to stay motivated after your children move out so that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Warning: This article is not intended to be medical advice. Please seek help from a mental health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at +1 800-273-8255 if you are in crisis.

Plan a Trip

A change of scenery works wonders.

That’s why traveling can be the perfect way to fill your time and stay motivated. 

Now is a great time to plan a trip you’ve always wanted to take or go on an adventure with friends and family members who also want to explore! 

Staying in one place for too long can lead to boredom, so getting out of town will help you avoid this slump. Instead of shuttering yourself in when you feel sad, go on a road trip with your best friends. You can play games, listen to music and eat snacks while you drive! 

This is the perfect way to make time fly by while exploring new places.

Related Article: Click here for the essentials plans for taking a road trip.

Take Care of Yourself

woman taking bubble bath

It’s important to take care of yourself – even more so while you are feeling a little overworked and underappreciated. 

The kids are gone, so there is no need to cook dinner or clean up after them! 

Rather than lament the empty dining table, recognize it for what it is: the perfect time for self-care. 

So go take that long bath instead of watching another episode on Netflix. 

You can also revisit hobbies you may have put aside to raise the kids and make time to reconnect with your spouse. 

Start a new hobby, one that gets you outside, like cycling. It offers many benefits for your physical and mental health, including promoting cardiovascular fitness and boosting your mood. You don’t have to worry about your fitness level too with power-assisted e-bikes to make up for that lack of stamina. You and your spouse can try cycling together and join communities to make new friends, go on group bike tours, and enrich your lives with new experiences.

Be sure to attend those doctor’s appointments you may have postponed in the past, like a visit to a reputable dentist near you, like West Grand Rapids Dentist for your teeth appointment. 

Taking care of yourself will help you be a better parent in the long run, and it also sets a good example for your children to follow.

Related Post: Learn to keep your skin looking youthful.

Create A Vision Board

mood board for empty-nesters

One of the biggest challenges to saying positive and motivated is not knowing what direction to take. I mean, when you could be and do anything now, it creates a bit of an existential crisis.

That’s where a vision board comes in handy.

A vision board is a place where you can envision how you want your future to be. You can make a vision board from pictures cut from magazines, hand drawings, digital images, journal entries, or whatever inspires you.

Consider and address the different aspects of your life, like your:

  • home
  • career
  • relationships
  • extended family
  • friends
  • hobbies
  • wardrobe
  • bucket list
  • other ambitions

Try not to put limitations on yourself and dream big!

Then, spend some time each day focusing on these images, how you will feel when you attain them, and who you will be to accomplish them.

This can be an immensely motivating exercise, as intangible as it sounds. That’s because having clear goals and a vision for the future helps motivate you to take action.

Rediscover Your Inner Child

write in a journal to stay positive and motivated

In the days following your children leaving home, it is entirely natural to feel a range of emotions.

You may find yourself feeling happy that they’ve grown up and moved on with their lives, which gives you new freedom. Or you may be feeling lost and a little sad about not seeing them every day or being able to watch them grow up. 

Whatever you are feeling, express those feelings as much as possible. You want to acknowledge how you are feeling so you can process what you’re experiencing and move on. That might mean making time to meditate, go for a walk in the woods, or find a quiet space at home, then perhaps even capturing your self-reflection on paper.

Your children leaving home can be an excellent opportunity to rediscover yourself by connecting with that inner child. Now that you have time to be “just you” rather than mom, you can be a little more introspective and redefine how you spend your time.

Related Article: Here is more reading on finding your purpose in life as an empty-nester.

Reconnect with Old Friends

mid-life friends sharing a wine toast

There are many benefits to reconnecting with old friends

One of the most important is that it can help you stay connected in a changing world where relationships may feel less intimate and fulfilling than they once were. 

It’s also an opportunity for personal growth, as well as mental health maintenance.

And, heck, who doesn’t love a fun and restorative night out with the girls?

If you don’t already have a girlfriends group, you can join or start a group of friends for a regular activity, such as hiking or cooking. 

You can also plan to have monthly catch-ups with your best friend from high school and keep up with close family members by sending cards on birthdays and Christmas. 

It’s never too late to start this process; you simply need to make the time and commitment to make it happen.

Final Thoughts on Staying Motivated After Your Children Move Out

We know it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your kids’ lives that you get into the habit of neglecting yourself and your interests—even your co-parent. But hear this! There’s no better time than now to start the new chapter the right way by embracing the future with a positive, motivated outlook inspired by these ideas.

Photo credit: Feature – Valeria Ushakova (Pexels), all others courtesy of Canva Pro.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.