Breakups are hard. Let me repeat that, BREAKUPS are hard (at least they are most of the time). Regardless of whether or not it was “time to go,” or the “relationship was toxic,” or you “fell out of love,” just because we know it is best for us to end things, it does not mean it is easy to say good-bye! You may have been on the receiving end of another persons decision or maybe you were the one who initiated the breakup, either way, most people agree that the ending of a relationship can be complicated. One undeniable fact is that after a breakup, things change!
I have been on both ends of a breakup and I can honestly say, neither was comfortable, joyous, or easy. Usually, when we make a decision to commit to another person, share our body, our space, family and friends, open up our heart, and be vulnerable, we do not anticipate or desire that the relationship will come to an end. From my own personal and professional experience, working with clients who start therapy after a breakup, it can shake up your world and have you questioning your self-worth and identity!
Different people bring out different versions of who we are and within those dynamics there is so much rich information. We learn about how we love and want to be loved, we learn about our shadow self, our wounds, triggers, and our strengths. When I meet people who have recently experienced a breakup, I invite them to breath deeply, roll up their sleeves, give themselves a hug, and begin an examination of all that surfaced as a result of that relationship, from its beginning to its end.
How did you behave in the relationship?
Did you honor yourself? If so, how?
Were you sacrificial? overbearing? insecure?
Answering the questions above is helpful. Processing your breakup leads to more self-awareness and allows for healing and the opportunity for growth.
Self-Love Affirmation: “My experiences do not define me, they inform me and inspire me to grow.”
The most important thing you can do for yourself after a breakup is GRANT YOURSELF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND COMPASSION. You will need your love at this time. You will need to not judge, not blame, and not feed into any narratives that make you feel unworthy or unlovable. Only you determine your worth and you are absolutely, 100% worthy of love. How can I say that without knowing you? Because as a human being, you are inherently worthy of love.
As soon as you know the relationship has ended, even if you feel powerless or as if your agency has been taken from you, be empowered. You get your power back by making a decision to deepen the relationship that matters most, the RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF! You do not need anyone else’s permission to love yourself. Will you do that for yourself? Will you give yourself permission to focus on your healing, your wants, and your needs?
YOU BE YOUR REBOUND RELATIONSHIP!
Begin your Self-Love Journey Today!
Your Self-Love Journey will provide you with more clarity of how you show up in relationships and why.
Your Self-Love Journey will help you understand your love languages and how that plays out in relationships.
Your Self-Love Journey will support your healing of childhood wounds (your inner child).
Your Self-Love Journey will familiarize you with your attachment style.
Your Self-Love Journey will teach you what unconditional love truly is and once you learn to extend it to yourself, you can extend it to others.
The quote by Matt Kahn, “People can only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves” helps us understand that in order to connect deeply with others, we have to first be able to connect deeply with ourselves. After a breakup, you have an opportunity to get raw and meet yourself deeper than ever before. Look yourself in the mirror, gaze deeply into your own eyes as you say to yourself, “who are you really?” and “how do you feel?”
Through the pain of loss, we encounter wounds that require acknowledgment and healing. Emotions get to be named and validated. The vision you had for your future with your ex gets to be mourned. In order to let go, we can not run from the pain. If we dismiss and compartmentalize it, the energy of the breakup will still live within us, blocking our ability to fully heal and open our heart to love again. Sometimes we rather avoid the uncomfortable emotions because confronting feels hard and hurts. Looking in the mirror takes courage. I encourage folks to be courageous. Keep asking yourself questions, and keep answering them honestly. If you truly want to let go and move on, you must first validate what comes up for you and then give yourself permission to release it in order to allow something else to come in and become a part of your life. You are in the process of creating the life you desire.
However, I have met people who are not ready to let go yet. Honestly, there were times in my life when I struggled with letting go to ideas, people, and habits because I was so attached to them that the thought of letting them go felt like too much. If it feels uncomfortable it can be tempting to practice denial, avoidance, and distraction. Most of the time we are subconsciously practicing avoidance as a way of protecting ourselves. When the relationship ends, especially if you were blindsided, accepting the breakup can take time.
If you find yourself struggling, please consider leaning into your friendships and/or working with a therapist to support you with your grieving and healing process. Each breakup effects people differently and it is not uncommon for people to experience low mood, a depressive episode, anxiety, or adjustment disorder after a life transition. Some breakups are traumatizing. Your life changes after someone important to you leaves. That part is inevitable. Change is inevitable. Learning to accept and let go is a necessary part of your healing journey. In order to heal, you must love yourself fully. Every particle, within every crevasse, every shadow that you rather not see. Every part of you gets to be looked at and once you truly see yourself, forgive yourself, and nurture yourself, you will absolutely fall in love! Use the following 7 self-love do’s and don’ts after your breakup, to support you on your journey.
DO’S & DONT’S
AFTER A BREAKUP…
1. DO ENLIST SUPPORT – Friends, family members, or a therapist. After a breakup, it can be helpful to talk with people who can hold an emotional space for you. Be discerning with who you ask for support, you want to ensure that will not provoke you or feed hate, anger, or negativity. Identify what you believe you need, and then ask for it. Do NOT stay isolated!
2. DO BLOCK, UNFOLLOW, or MUTE YOUR EX on social media if you are being triggered. The days and weeks following a breakup are usually the most difficult and seeing what your ex is up to can be extremely triggering and hurtful. Taking a break from social media all together can sometimes be even more beneficial but at the very least, stay off their account. Do NOT stalk them on social media to find out what they are doing or if they are dating someone new. Once it is official and you are no longer a couple, it can feel like a loss of control. Often people try to regain what can feel like control by stalking their ex on social media platforms. Remember, social media usually shows you what the person wants you to see (not the full picture) and if you are obsessing over them, you can not possibly be focused on yourself.
3. DO BEGIN SAYING POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS and focus on your strengths. After a breakup the negative self-talk can get pretty loud. People begin to blame themselves, feel unwanted, unworthy, and unvalued. It will be crucial that you double down on compassion, self-love, and positive affirmations. You can reach out to those who care about you and ask them to name 5 things they love about you but that is not enough. How you feel about yourself matters. Identify 5 things you like about yourself and write them down. Then create affirmations or look for some online that are specific and can counter any negative self-talk or insecurities. Example: If your self-talk sounds like, “they didn’t value me anymore, I am unwanted” your positive affirmation can be: “I determine my value, I am worthwhile, and deserving of love.” Do NOT feed into negative self-talk or self-judgment.
4. DO CARVE OUT TIME DAILY TO GET TO KNOW YOURSELF. Take the 5lovelanguages quiz, find out your attachment style, and begin exploring how those things came to be and how they show up in your relationships. Compassionately explore the reasons why you do some of what you do. Do NOT avoid or dismiss your needs. You deserve to be understood, allow yourself time and space to understand yourself more.
5. DO CREATE SOME NEW RITUALS/ROUTINES and make sure they are healthy! If you do not already have a morning and evening ritual in place, create them. Especially if your ex was a part of those routines in the past. The way you begin and end your day makes a big difference in terms of productivity and overall mental health wellness. A breakup can create a feeling of instability. If nothing else, we recognize that some things have changed and change can be uncomfortable. Creating rituals can help you feel grounded and safe. Create a morning ritual that includes something just for you. It can be meditation, tea or coffee and sitting quietly or reading a book, watering plants, yoga, making yourself a healthy breakfast, creating a journal entry with a daily intention. An evening ritual can support you with getting a restful nights sleep. Winding down at night with restorative yoga, a warm beverage, a warm bath, reading, and an entry in a gratitude journal can make a huge difference. Do NOT wait until the last minute to think about your day, idle time after a breakup can be triggering and lead to endless mental chatter. Do NOT stay up late reminiscing or allowing negative thoughts to spiral. There is a higher likelihood of having interrupted sleep when we are not intentional around how we prepare our mind and body for sleep.
6. DO KEEP THE THINGS YOU LOVE/ENJOY ABOUT YOURSELF that you may have mainly done with your ex. Sometimes we have so many memories attached to an activity that we did with our ex that we only associate that activity with our them. It can be anything from baking cookies on Friday night, to going for a run on a Sunday morning, to visiting an art exhibit once a month. Identify whatever it is that you enjoyed doing, and give yourself permission to continue to do it. It may look a bit different, it may trigger you at first, but if there was an aspect of the relationship that you appreciated and miss (and do not involve your ex needing to be a part of) find a way to keep it. Bring it back in. Different relationships expose us to different things and we meet different parts of ourselves in the process. Sometimes we miss who we were in a relationship, or things we did in a relationship MORE THAN WE MISS THE PERSON. So take some time to dig deeper with this one. I personally found this exercise to be one of the most enlightening discoveries after my breakups. I would miss discovering new restaurants, going out dancing, sitting and having deep conversations, eating healthier, ex…Did my ex really need to be involved? Nope. It does not mean you will not miss them or that you will not have memories while engaging in the activity. However, in time you can actually take something that was once considered an “us” thing and make it a “you” thing that you can either keep for yourself or share with others. Do NOT shut down, dismiss, or eliminate anything from your life that brings you joy just because it was once something you did with your ex. Your ex is gone, you do not have to punish or deprive yourself of something just because you used to do it with them!
7. DO FUN THINGS! Even if you do not feel entirely up to it yet, identify new things that you think you may enjoy. Remember, you are getting to know a different version of yourself. Have you ever admired something someone else was doing but you never tried because you told yourself that you are “not that type of person?” Perhaps it is going to the gym, joining meetup.com and finding a group that interest you. I am huge on doubling down on self-love when needed and to me that looks like finding like-minded people and doing things that make me smile. Hiking, swimming, painting, dancing, reading, and learning a new language. Actually anything that seems like fun to you. You get to DO FUN THINGS! Do NOT prematurely shut down a new experience, convince yourself you will never have fun again, or punish yourself by getting bought into the idea that you don’t get to be happy. You do not have to put your happiness on hold. You are allowed to do fun things!
Rather than giving energy to your “life after the breakup journey.” I encourage you to give your energy to your “Self-love NOW Journey.” Let your love for yourself heal you. Double down on self-love and self-compassion and set the tone for how you want to and deserve to be treated. Focus on being the best version of yourself and being the love you want to attract. Be what you want in a partner. You be loving, you be warm, you be forgiving, you be patient, you be passionate. You be what you want and the good old law of attraction will surely bring you people and opportunities that will match your current vibration.
I am hopeful this blog offers some support to you at this time. If your heart is hurting, if you are struggling, and if you need help, please reach out for it. We all can use a little extra support at different times in our lives, today you may be the one that can use some extra care. In the future, you may be the one to extend help and support to someone else. That’s part of my story, I have been hurt, I healed with support and self-love, and now I support others. This moment is part of your story, how will you write your next chapter?
If you would like further information and tools, my new workbook, “After the Breakup, a Self-Love Workbook: A Compassionate Road Map to Getting Over Your Ex” is currently available on Amazon, Target, and Barnesandnoble.com. It can help you normalize your feelings, name your emotions, body sensations, love language, attachment style, etc. The chapters walk you through processing the breakup. Part I “The Power of Self-Love After a Breakup” is an introduction/normalization of breakups and the concept of self-love. Part II is filled with tools, information, mindfulness exercises, relatable stories, and practices for you to take with you on your self-love and healing journey. Sending you so much love…
Self-Love Affirmation: The energy of love flows through me effortlessly, releasing all blockages with ease.