Parents can prepare to be "empty nesters" by shifting the focus from their children to themselves by re-evaluating their hobbies, interests, and social activities. Also, parents should realize the extra time they will soon have to engage in these activities. Then set some realistic goals for their "new life." If not, you could very easily fall in to the midst of empty nest syndrome. I've had friends fall victim to the extreme loneliness, one to the point of clinical depression. Also, I would recommend an exercise regimen of some sort to keep you positive. Like any other adjustment in your life, you should be prepared.