Adult children leaving home is something to be celebrated. You’ve dedicated the last 18 (plus!) years to raising your family. Now, it’s time to shift that focus back to yourself. Many empty nesters welcome that change.
“Empty nesters are often my most mentally healthy patients,” shares James Kostek, DO, family medicine physician at Atlantic Health System. “They’re spending time out of the house, going to Florida and often living their best lives after putting themselves on the back burner for so long.”
It’s understandable, though, that this new phase of life can take a little getting used to. Some parents find themselves at a loss for what to do when their day isn’t filled with shuttling kids to school or practice, checking homework or attending school meetings.
“This is a great opportunity to start focusing on your health – for your family and yourself,” adds Mary Lare, DO, family medicine physician at Atlantic Health System. “Start small if you’re feeling overwhelmed. You don’t need to make major changes. The best thing you can do is start saying ‘yes’ to new experiences.”
Not sure where to start? Challenge yourself to try something new every day over the next two weeks. Ask a friend or loved one to join you. You’ll strengthen relationships and improve your overall health.
Take Our Health Challenge
- Sign up for a fitness class you’ve always
wanted to try.
- Call an old friend and catch up on what’s been going on with each other.
- Find a nearby walking path or trail and explore your community while getting some fresh air.
- Meet a friend for coffee for a fun and relaxing morning.
- Make a weeknight date with yourself, a friend or your partner.
- Be proactive about your health and schedule your annual wellness visit.
- Try a new healthy recipe
- Plan a day trip to a nearby town and change of scenery.
- Pick up a book that you’ve always wanted to read.
- Keep your eyes healthy with an annual vision screening.
- Find answers about that health issue that’s been nagging you.
- Put your health first and schedule recommended health screenings.
- Sign up for an event at your local library.
- Start a new hobby like art, photography or knitting.
Be Proactive About Your Health
Staying up to date on annual wellness exams and screenings is important. So too, are the occasional trips to specialists for that achy knee or any other health concerns that are nagging you.
A good night’s sleep often comes with challenges. A trip to the
bathroom or a partner’s snoring can quickly disrupt slumberland and keep you lying awake for hours. Check out these tips for improving your bedtime routine and sleep patterns.
When the kids have grown and are no longer at the family dinner table, making healthy meals for yourself can often take the back seat. Learn what to focus on to create nutrient-rich meals for two that will make dinnertime easy, convenient, and healthy.
Wellness is more than just skin deep, and each stage of life brings an opportunity to re-focus on your health. So, whether you’re in your 30s or your 70s, check out the health recommendations that will keep you living your best life.
The start of a new year is a time to refresh, renew, and revisit whatever brings you joy—and good health. That’s what "Back To You" is all about. Whatever your stage of life, our doctors and health experts are ready to help you get started.