Over and over I am reminded that what gets us through painful times is a friend.

We know that, but when we are hurting we isolate. We don\’t pick up the phone and ask a friend for help. We want to be the strong one.

So I suggest you make a list of who you feel uplifted around? Who are you yourself with? Who is cheering for your happiness?

Most of us play the role of supporter. We feel vulnerable when we reveal ourselves. Surprise is, we become closer to the friend who we speak our pain to. Being vulnerable and even sharing a “secret,” bonds us.

Here\’s my take. We are already feeling horrible so what is there to lose if we say everything that is crowding our head and heart? A friend is just like you…a person who listens and honestly wants the best for you, neither jealous nor self centered, a person who is able to be present and not putting their agenda on you. They know you are not them. You have shown them you can be trusted.

If you don\’t have a friend near by, use email or the phone. Don\’t wait all day for the pain to pass, reach out early. Don\’t let the part of you win, that says, it will pass, get over it, or whatever sabotage enters your room. Being vulnerable, awkward, is actually normal.

We have forgotten how to put our needs first and receive the compassion and nurturing we deserve. Sounds trite, but over and over, I hear this to be true.

What we know in out heads, we forget to bring to our hearts. Believe it or not, we think to much rather than reaching for a hand. Just reach and call out to someone. Kleenex wouldn\’t exist without us and Kleenex is a good thing.

  • Focus on you.
  • Value your life.
  • Give yourself time to be in the new role.
  • Give your children time to be in their new role.
  • Get outside.
  • Take 10 breaths to shift into a better feeling.
  • Baby steps, in the initial stage of this major change.
  • Give back when you have given nurturing to yourself first.

Email me if you are interested in an online Journaling class/group: natalie@emptynestsupport.com

One thing journaling can do is add a way to become introspective. Journaling surprises you about you. Writing what\’s up, what do you need today and what little shift in perception would help you right now, unfolds parts of you that have had to be dormant during the fuller times of parenting.

I and others have had many “ah ha” moments through journaling…here is one biggy: you waited to see if he, or the children, or the friend would be available, rather than planning a fun Saturday for yourself, and therefore, you were secretly angry with “them” for not making time for her. One woman shared that she had no idea, until she did the journaling exercises that she wanted to go back to school to be a landscape artist.

  • Call a friend
  • Start your journal
  • Enjoy this summer

Take care,


Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.