With the kids away on their own adventures, it’s time to have fun with this new chapter in your life.

After years of having kids around the house, having an empty nest can be a very strange feeling. Many new Empty Nesters are caught between feelings of excitement and enthusiasm as well as anxiety and a bit of the blues. The good news is you’re entering a new chapter in life that is full of possibilities and promise!

Here are 8 awesome ideas for things Empty Nesters can do to stay busy, have fun, or simply unwind.

1. Start journaling or sign up for a creative writing class.

Journaling and writing are both very relaxing hobbies that are also incredibly rewarding.

Regular journaling is a fantastic tool for relieving stress and gaining better insight into who you are as a person, as well as who you’d like to become. For Empty Nesters experiencing worry and anxiety, daily journaling can really help.

Creative writing can be equally therapeutic, but also just plain fun! You can find creative writing classes to help you get started on online learning platforms like Skillshare. Check out some of these options for courses that will inspire your creativity.

2. Take back regular date nights.

If date night was suffering when the kids were home, now is the time to take it back! Whether you’re enjoying time with your spouse or you’re meeting new people, regular date nights are an important aspect of maintaining healthy relationships.

In addition to the classic dinner date, try out some new ideas too. Maybe you grab a bite to eat from a food truck and enjoy the sunset at a park. If you’re feeling adventurous, see if you can solve an escape room at Conundrum Quest, who are currently offering online challenges. For couples who are into arts and crafts, take a class in glass art at MoltenWorks.

3. Improve your cooking skills and expand your tastes.

If you find yourself having more time for meals, consider learning new cooking or baking skills. Not only is cooking a great way to stimulate your mind, but it also is a pathway towards improving your health if you focus on nutritious meals and recipes. Experimenting with different cuisines can also expand your taste buds with new foods you never thought to try before.

YouTube is a great source for cooking videos, whether you’re looking for recipes or you need to sharpen your cooking techniques. You can also take a local cooking class, such as at Whisk in Bellevue or Urban Table Culinary Arts in Kirkland.

4. Reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Check-in with your old friends and see how they’re doing. If you’ve grown close with families of your kids’ friends, they’re likely going through the same empty nest feelings as you are. Meeting new people and making new connections is also a great way to stay social.

Here is a fantastic article with advice on how to make new friends as an adult.

5. Reorganize and decorate your home.

With messy teens out of the house, you have the perfect opportunity to do a complete overhaul in your home. Create a plan to do a total declutter and reorganization session. You might even remodel your kids’ old rooms as guest rooms or into a hobby room for yourself. Afterward, you might choose to redecorate and bring a fresh new look into your home.

Aside from being functional, reorganizing and redecorating can be very healing exercises. You might find that revamping your home helps you transition to this new chapter in life more easily.

6. Join a club or volunteer at an organization.

Joining a local club and volunteering are both great ways of staying busy while exploring areas in your life that you’re passionate about. It’s also a great way to meet new people in the area.

The best way to find local clubs and volunteering opportunities is to think about what really interests you and how you’d like to spend your time. Hop onto Google and search for that type of club or organization with ‘in Redmond, WA’. Another really helpful site for clubs is MeetUp.com.

7. Adopt a pet.

Loneliness is a very common symptom of an empty nest, and one of the best solutions is adopting a pet. Pets, especially cats and dogs, lower our stress levels and ramp up our happiness in unique ways. Having a dog can also encourage you to walk and spend time outdoors more.

If you’re interested in adopting a new pet, take a look at local shelters like Motley Zoo Animal Rescue or use Petfinder.

8. Be sure to take care of your health.

Kids leaving for college and moving out is often an eye-opening moment for Empty Nesters when it comes to age. Although age is nothing but a number, it is important to remember that as we get older, protecting our health becomes even more important.

While you’re planning all of the fun new things you’re going to try, don’t forget to call your doctor, dentist, and other healthcare providers to book your semi-annual preventive healthcare exams.

You can take the first step by scheduling your next dental appointment at Duvall Dental Center.

Make sure your smile is ready for those vacation photos and get-togethers with friends by booking a visit with Dr. Tyler at Duvall Dental Center. Not only can we help get your oral health back on track with preventive and restorative care, but we can also help you with cosmetic care to really put the finishing touch on your smile.

You can schedule your appointment by calling our office, filling out our online form, or requesting a virtual consultation.