From an energetic standpoint, having the storm that is a teenager no longer in the house makes a huge, huge difference. Where there was so much in the way of emissions and noise across the levels and layers there now is silence.
I would posit that the energy body really doesn't know the difference between this person having moved away, or actually died - this is why the empty nest syndrome is a bereavement related energetic problem and not to be taken lightly.
It is is little wonder that parents, and especially the mothers who have had close relationships with their children, feel stressed and depressed after they have gone - no matter how much the benefits in savings, less stress, less hassle and more freedom.
In fact, other people telling such a person that "they should count themselves lucky" can exacerbate the feelings of loss, depression, and not knowing now how to structure the days in a different way.
For this reason, the first choice of aromatherapy essential oil for the empty nest syndrome is actually Rosewood.
Rosewood is THE first choice for major bereavements. My memnonic for Rosewood is "Soul Love" - the soul cares not for distances of time or space, and the soul connection remains, even after a person has moved away, or died. Unfortunately, we get too stressed to feel that connection; and Rosewood helps us to calm down and restore our balance so we get to understand that our children have simply "moved in space" and all is well with the greater world.
You can read the whole Rosewood story here.
What I have found most useful is to put the Rosewood essential oil on a handkerchief and carry it around, close to your heart if possible. The energetic emissions from the Rosewood act on the heart center and calm and stabilise it, so even if you're not doing anything, it is there to help and back you up.
Bereavements come in waves and are triggered by thoughts and things you see, hear and feel in your environment.
An "empty nest" house is filled to the brim with reminders of the "lost child" at every turn - whether it is finding a trainer behind a couch, or having a reflexive thought like, "Wonder what he'll like for dinner tonight ..." or simply the absence of sound and activity, the silence.
- All these things trigger waves of powerful emotions of sadness and loss, sometimes emotions you can't even define, and it is in these moments you have to take control fast, or else this kind of stress will break down the energy system and real depression can result, as well as psychosomatic illness and immune system failures.
This is when you get your handkerchief out and hold it to your face and breathe deeply, concentrating on the scent, and the path the energy takes beyond simply going into your nose, into your lungs, into your head.
Blow out the breath through pointed lip and breathe in deeply again, until you can feel the wave of emotion flowing away, out of your body, and you feel calm and steady again.
The second essential oil I'm going to recommend is one you should mix with a carrier such as grapeseed oil (or in a pinch, any oil you have and including sunflower oil for cooking) and massage yourself with it all over.
This is simply Pine essential oil. It has a powerful action of healing holes in the aura, smoothing the ruffled feathers of the bird sitting in the empty nest, if you pardon the expression. Pine is powerfully uplifting and it helps people grow up. There is a definite thing about "growing up" some more when you make that step from being a parent, to being the parent of a fully grown person who has moved away.
Many people don't take that step and simply sit in their empty nest, waiting for the grandchildren to arrive, so they can recycle themselves as pretend-parents again, and go back to the happy times of parenthood. This, needless to say, doesn't work, seeds conflict with the real parents in the future, cannot lead to anything other than disappointment in the long run.
So we need to grow up some more, and Pine is the perfect remedy for that.
You can read the full Pine story here.
Pine does something else, namely to calm a person down and give them access to their own inner wisdom.
If you are a parent then you know that it is absolutely the hardest job on Earth. You have learned so much in doing that all these years, it is veritably frightening! You know all the answers and if you met your own best friend having the problems you're having with the empty nest, you would be full of good advice!
Pine helps us be our own best friend and reminds us what we know and what we can do.
So find some quiet time, mix up some Pine with a carrier oil, take all your clothes off and oil yourself all over, smoothing out those ruffled feathers, letting the Pine embrace you, soothe you, hold you together.
It's a wonderful thing and you will emerge stronger, happier, and profoundly relieved, plus you will notice that even after the very first application, the waves of sadness start to recede noticeably.
Now we come to the third essential oil for the empty nest syndrome, and this would be Lime.
A part of the empty nest sadness is the idea that we are now not young any longer, that the productive part of our lives is over and old age is now threatening over the hills like a storm cloud.
The truth is that we are all children inside still, and in that way, we are always young - much younger than most of us think we are, in fact.
Not being a constant parent all the time now allows for a re-emergence of the child within, gives room to play games, to have fun, to not be constantly burdened down by the enormous responsibility of looking after the wellbeing of another human being.
There is a lot of relief and joy and hope in that, and I believe the conflict that sets up with the sadness at the loss of the child causes a lot of the worst empty nest depression symptoms - a stalemate of emotions in a tug of war comes into being that exhausts a person into depression and illness in the end.
Yes, we can be happy and enjoy this new in-life incarnation.
Yes, we can let the child within come out to play, we can move forward and seek new experiences, and we don't have to feel guilty about it. It's a part of life itself, a present we were given for all the good work we've done for all these years.
You can read the Lime story here.
Lime is a very friendly, very uplifting essential oil. I use it neat to rub between the palms of my hands and hold it to my face, feeling it being absorbed into my hands, up my arms and into my neck and shoulders, releasing tension and burdens we don't need to carry any longer, lifting heavy burdens and making us feel lighter, brighter and younger.
You can also massage Lime into the soles of your feet for a similar effect and feel your steps becoming lighter, and more energy flowing out of your feet, old energies you don't need to hold on to any longer, which is quite wonderful.
Lime's relatives, such as Lemon Verbena (which is particularly good for fear and worry!), good old plain Lemon, and the most wonderfully uplifting Lemongrass make for excellent scents to spray around the place, to let pools of stale and sad energies dissipate and be replaced with the bright, fresh wind of change, to help us step expectantly of many good things into the new.
And finally ...
Everyone has their own favourite aromatherapy essential oils, that have become personal guardians and protectors, healers and friends in a real and very powerful sense.
You know what your own best friends amongst the aromatherapy oils are.
For me, this is Tansy, Sage and Elemi.
Allow yourself to lean on your best friends. Carry them around with you and USE THEM.
Don't let yourself sink into or under the waves of sadness; let them flow through you, don't hold on, and look to the future.
Be proud of yourself that you did indeed manage to raise your children so they did fly away - you've done an amazing job, words cannot describe just how amazing a job you've done.
Stay steady, don't do anything drastic, and with the aid of your own strength and common sense, and some of our powerful good friends from the aromatherapy kingdom, you'll soon find that your empty nest isn't an empty nest at all - it's a nest, and YOU are in it!
Wishing you all the best, and with my best blessings,
Dr Silvia Hartmann
Author, Aromatherapy For Your Soul