AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —Graduation season is here, that means that kids will be leaving the house, and for some parents, it means having an empty nest.

Belinda Palacios has some tips to help that transition.

· 7 tips to help with the transition:

o Self-Compassion which comprises mindfulness/ common humanity/ self-kindness. Its okay to feel sad and to do things to comfort yourself (walk with dogs, call a friend, go to the spa, begin to use the gym membership, etc.)

o Gratitude. Feeling grateful for what you have will always lift a mood. Raising your kids to have the capability and motivation to forge a new chapter is a job well done for us as parents.

o Prioritize Positivity. Sometime we as humans have a bias to the negative and will linger in adverse thoughts. Helpful to engage in regular activities that make us feel good. Also having the time to do things with friends, spouse, and other family can be freeing.

o Reach out. Good relationships is the biggest determinant for happiness in our more mature years. Get with other friends/ family who are also empty nesters and plan dinner, movies, other activities.

o Exercise. Can be one of the greatest benefits to mental health. Getting in to an exercise habit can ward off other things that might not be healthy for you when you have time on your hands (watching excessive TV, over eating, etc.)

o Mindfulness. Pay attention to the present moment and experiences. Rather than longing for the days our kids were little focus on their successes where they are at and anticipating the next visit.

o Be Compassionate. Acts of kindness are good for others but also good for us. We have had a lot of years caring for our kids and

choosing to show kindness/compassion to strangers has benefits (reduced stress, more resilience, and feeling of happiness).