The family and marriage therapist tells NBC 4 Washington empty nest syndrome may be met with depression, anxiety and even marital problems. In the beginning, parents are elated to have the house to themselves, but that feeling may wear off soon after. Bloch says it’s typical for parents–both mothers and fathers–to be overcome with sadness, loneliness or loss of identity.

Bloch advises empty nesters to embrace their newfound freedom and explore things they’ve been missing out on, whether it’s career, travel or a hobby.