Get Out of the Empty Nest Rut

White huskies hiking in Inuvik, Canada.
Image via Wikipedia

Is your empty nest in a rut?

I read a story a long time ago about Sledding up in Alaska. It told about the sled dog routes that have ruts in them that are seasons and years old. Once a sled gets going in that direction it just isn’t an easy process to “jump the rut”. It takes some work of physically hauling the sled out of the rut.

We got to experience some ruts back in 2011 in Texas during a big ice storm some are calling the Texas Ice Bowl (since it occurred during the week before the Super Bowl). Some of us that had to get out and drive in it a day later had ruts in the roads. There was frozen ice on either side of the tires and when we needed to change lanes, it was a little treacherous as the car slipped and wavered. When we were back in the next rut, it was smooth sailing. Well, smooth is stretching it…it WAS an ice storm!

Sometimes we get into a rut in life and then when there is a big change or transition the change can feel very treacherous.

How to get out of the empty nest rut

A rut may be compared to a comfort zone. And the comfort zone creates an environment where we become too afraid to change.
I read an article by Gary Lockwood over at

An excerpt reads “Each of us has our own personal comfort zone. Some would call it ‘a rut’. Staying in our comfort zone can be very limiting. The world passes us by as we stagnate. If we are not learning, trying new things and growing, our jobs and businesses may be deteriorating. Make personal and professional growth a lifelong habit.”

This is also true with Empty Nest Moms! We were in such a comfort zone with our kids at home. Sometimes we actually love the “rut” we are in.

Then the kids leave home.

For some moms, this is literally an emotional ice storm! The kids left home and you had your tears, but now you are ready to move out of the old rut.
It really doesn’t have to be a scarey time. It can be a time of great and wonderful growth once you get over the rough edges and you dig into things you are already comfortable with.

Here are 5 ideas to help you transition through the empty nest rough spots and start melting the ice towards empty nest survival

1. What makes you smile? (Make a list)
2. What are some favorite things you enjoyed doing in the past when you had “time” to do it?
3. What activities do you do that you lose track of time – time “flies” when you are _____?
4. What are you naturally good at?
5. If you had to teach something to someone, what would you enjoy teaching?

Now you have a list of some things to add into your life – right now! There is no need to learn something new, you can just take some things you are comfortable with, but may have not had time for until now! See, the Empty Nest CAN be fun…it really can!

I hope you are inspired such as I to get out of your Empty Nest rut.

I even stepped out and decided to start doing some video blogging so this should be an interesting and fun “Rut Buster!”

Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who find they need to Re-Purpose and Re-Design their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at and on Google+ at +Kim.

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