You survived the bombshell of a relationship breakup. Now it’s time to take a few breaths (so to speak), pick up the pieces of your former self, and launch the new and improved you. No, not just like that. It’s a process. But you gotta start somewhere. Hiding under a blanket for the rest of your life, rehashing what might have gone wrong, or feeling like your life is over is going to get you nowhere but more misery.
You may not be ready to start a rebuild of yourself right this minute, but you will be sooner than you think if you don’t back-peddle.
Dash the Rehash
Try not to dwell on the past or overanalyze what went wrong; you’ll just be reliving them – heartache and all. But work through the grief and emotional pain itself, without all the details, without judgment, self-blame, brooding, and resentment … for as long as it might take. Don’t berate yourself because you want it to be over already. Everyone recovers at their own speed, in their own way.
No Pain No Gain
New beginnings are not always a walk in the park. Personal development means change. Change usually means moving from what was familiar to something that’s new, maybe a little scary. Do you tend to be complacent? Are you afraid of rocking the boat? Give yourself a nudge. When we enter uncharted waters we usually realize it was one of the best decisions we ever made. Sometimes when we ignore all the excuses for not trying something we thank ourselves later for an enriching experience, one that is often a stepping stone to more new and exciting experiences.
As you grow a new emotional “skin” the world looks different. When the world looks different you feel different; more alive with hope and possibilities. More quality relationships form – with friends as well as lovers.
Personal growth is a time of opportunity to readdress or redefine dashed dreams and goals, reassess how you feel about beliefs, adjust your attitude, dream your wildest dreams. Set goals you would normally think are unattainable. Dip your toe in and see how it feels. You can always back out – just try not to do anything too permanent until you’re surer. Visualize it in your head first. Try it on for size. Ever thought about:
· Go back to school
· Change career
· Taking up a new art, like acting or singing
· Take ballroom dance lessons
· Change your hairstyle, color
· Get back into shape (hiking, bike riding, aerobics)
· Enter a contest
· Take up a cause you believe in strongly
This Time’s For You
The breakup of a serious relationship or a divorce is a time for self-reflection. That means YOU, not the relationship. Now, there’s not that other person to consider. You are without the distraction of a significant other. That can be a very freeing feeling. You can now spend more time on yourself and with yourself.
Declutter. Remove photos and memorabilia and items that remind you of the relationship if it helps you move on. You don’t have to throw them away. Store them where you can forget about them, in a box in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind.
Toss out, sell or donate that old recliner, books taking up space that was his/hers that they didn’t want. If a space looks empty, fill it with things that are yours, that reflect you.
Rearrange the furniture. It might sound silly, but moving around the furniture in your house can help you see things from a new perspective.
A Little Help From Your Friends
Surround yourself with your true-blue friends and family … people who make you feel good about yourself, who love you. Call on a higher power.
Cry or shout if you need to vent, but don’t use your friends constantly as crying towels. They will grow tired of it like you’ve overstayed your welcome at their home. Allow yourself to get your mind off your troubles with them. Go to a movie, on a hiking trip. Join them in a yoga class. Have planned coffee or teahouse outings to break up the week and build better friend relationships.
The Silver Lining
When a relationship ends, it hurts. But breaking up is also the silver lining of the cloud, an opportunity to self-direct becoming a better version of yourself.