As parents, it is a confusing time when your kids leave the house. On the one hand, you are happy to finally have some peace and quiet and a bit more space around the home. On the other hand, you want to find ways to fill your newly found time. The good news is there are many things you can do to stay busy while also relaxing during these later years of life. That balance is a key to aging with dignity. Here are some tips for how you can make the most out of your time as an empty nester.
Start a business
Now that you have more time on your hands, this could be a good time to start your own business. If you have always had an idea for a product or service, think about how you can market it to the public and start to make money. The sky’s the limit! You could start a website, sell products you produce, or tutor kids on the side. Wherever your skill is, turn it into a profitable venture.
Once you do decide on a business idea, you will need to set yourself up for success by creating a detailed business plan. This expansive document should list every detail of your planned venture. It should mention what you plan to sell; how much money you will need to get it off the ground; where you plan to secure those funds; how many employees you may need down the line; how you plan to market your product; and more.
Going back to school to earn your teaching credential is a wonderful way to attain the latest knowledge of instructional methods, whether that be getting licensed to teach at the elementary or secondary level. Check your options. Online courses offer flexibility and affordability for getting you started on a new career path in teaching. Or you can start teaching right now. You have a lifetime of experience, so why not pass it along to eager-to-learn students?
Forbes Magazine notes that traveling is one of the best ways to relax, see new sights and soak in new cultures. When you travel, don’t be shy about talking to the people you meet. Try to forge a friendship. You never know who you will meet and where that relationship will lead. If you have countries to visit on your bucket list, this is the time to make your travel dreams a reality.
If you do decide to start your own business, maybe it’s one where you can run it from anywhere in the world, so long as there is reliable internet service. Maybe you start a website or sell digital products. That way you can travel all over the world while still minding the store. Just make sure to enjoy yourself!
Now that the kids are gone, it is also a good idea to get your house in order. One way you can do that is by decluttering your home, room by room. Find all the items you no longer need and discard or donate them.
Decluttering is good both for your house and your mind. When your home is cluttered, mandy subconsciously you feel like we are also losing control of our lives. As Psychology Today points out, decluttering is good for your mental health.
This is also a good time to clear your home of unnecessary paperwork. You can do this by scanning all your documents and putting them on your computer. Sort your files so you can always find what you need. Suppose you have large PDF files. If so, consider this option and try a free PDF page “splitter” tool. You simply upload your PDF, separate the pages, and then you save those documents with their own filename.
If you want to get out of the house and also make a difference in your community, then consider volunteering at a local charitable organization like your church, Goodwill or a church or community soup kitchen. This is a great way to help the people of your city, and you can get out and meet some nice people. It can be incredibly rewarding to help those in need, so why not give it a try?
There are numerous ways you can spend your years as an empty nester. The ones we’ve focused on here – volunteering, decluttering your home, traveling around the world, going back to school, starting a business – are just a few. The goal is to be both relaxed and fulfilled.
(Boston, Massachusetts-based Justin Bennett is the creator of HealthyFit.info, a one-stop shop for fitness and nutrition tips, tricks, and resources to help you sort facts from fiction.)