It’s a break-up. It hurts. It will hurt for a while. Remember, ALL pain is temporary. There are things you can do to help lessen the blow…
- Besties. Research is very clear: the largest buffer to stressful life events is adequate social support. Spend time with people you love, but more importantly, who love every nook and cranny of you, even heart-broken or not-at-your-best you. If you’re crying on the floor, ask someone to join you. Eventually, you’ll get off the floor.
- Box it. You have memories and mementos all over your home (photographs, movie tickets, old t-shirts, etc.). You do not have to throw them all away. There may be points in the future where you want to revisit this time in your life. It doesn’t mean you have to look at them now though! So, box up that sh#. Literally. Find a large plastic bin or two, with lids and go through your house. Maybe make a cocktail, invite over some friends, and box everything that reminds you of him or her. Put it in the box and duct tape it shut. Under no circumstances are you to open it back up… so don’t have that third cocktail. If you don’t trust yourself not to open it, give it to your besties.
- Bleach it. Now that you have boxed up mementos, there is healing to be had in cleaning and reorganizing your space. Spend some time cleaning, reorganizing furniture. Decorate your space the way you want it, in a way that makes you feel calmer, comfortable, and safe or in a way that emphasizes aspects of your personality you have been suppressing in your toxic relationships.
- Burn it. There may be memories and mementos you never want to see again. Perhaps it’s time for a goodbye ritual where you burn these over a campfire or in a fireplace (safely of course). Alternatively, find a new scent. Aromatherapy can be another way to renew your space. Pick out a scented candle or incense or another scent that appeals to your senses and makes you feel calm, energized, or at peace. Experiment to see what you like and what appeals to YOU. Try different scents in your space and mindfully notice how it improves your mood and perspective.
- Buy it. Now is the time to spoil yourself (but only if you have extra money to spend!). It does not have to be an exorbitant purchase– but buy something just for you. I know men and women who have bought themselves “divorce presents” whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a new vase for flowers, a gym membership, a new computer, concert tickets, and, well, even new lingerie or new linens and bedding to replace those you spent time in together.
- Body by Breakup. Now is a great time to start focusing on exercise and incorporating an exercise routine into your daily schedule. Exercise can decrease painful feelings including depressive symptoms by as much as 30 to 40% or more without medication. It makes you feel good about yourself, inside and out. You don’t need to start by running marathons – just by starting with a 10 to 20 minute walk outdoors we can kickoff a healthier, less toxic life. Self-care. Self-care. Self-care.
- Beautify. Focus on improving the way you feel about yourself. Could be a new hairstyle (but do try to avoid any DRASTIC changes during this time you may regret later – we’ve all been there) new makeup, new clothes, a day at the spa. Anything that makes you feel good and helps improve the way you feel about YOU.
- Block them. Meaning block him or her (on Facebook, on your phone, on other social media). If you are unable to communicate without it causing you unnecessary emotional pain and/or he/she continues to mistreat you, there is nothing wrong with temporarily blocking him or her from being able to contact you until you can move past this painful time in your life and get your head straight. It’s not selfish, it’s not playing games. But, be transparent about it “I’m going to block you – not to hurt you, but because I need some time to think clearly and some space from having you in my life right now.” And, stick to it. That means, no unblocking after a few cocktails imbibed during the boxing up his/her shi# night.
- Bed someone else... albeit safely. This may not be the most socially acceptable thing to say, but you’ve heard the old adage – the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. The attention and affection from a new lover can be a beneficial distraction. Just be careful that you aren’t numbing or avoiding your pain and grief by continuing to resort to a series of lovers and a rotating door of distractions while not addressing the core issues that contributed to your heartbreak in the first place. And, while you may enjoy exploring this newfound sexual freedom, do be safe sexually and while selecting your partners.