Breakups are easily the most traumatic experiences if you’ve invested years upon years of time and energy into a relationship. The first step towards that type of emotional recovery necessitates acceptance that you will simply not be well for quite a while. Some individuals may feel apprehension about this after a breakup since they do not want to become a burden upon their social web.
1. Rediscover the fundamentals of you
Loving oneself means knowing oneself. When we enter intimate relationships, we tend to compromise certain aspects of what makes us unique for the sake of a harmonious co-existence. This is something completely natural. However, many individuals go a step too far and forget who they are without the significant other.
A certain level of ‘identity rediscovery’ is thus unavoidable, and it lies at the very core of what self-love represents. Ask yourself crucial questions: What makes me unique and productive? What is the difference between how people see me and how I see me? What do I enjoy doing most and does that define me?
These are all fundamental questions that might lead you to further ‘experimentation’ with mindful habits. The important thing is to stay proactive and to try new things – which easily leads to the following method of practicing self-love…
2. Do a makeover
Now, wait for a second: this is not a shallow recommendation to change your entire appearance by any stretch of the imagination. This tip is all about finding pleasure in altering small things that are meaningful and adding new elements that make you feel better. Remember – it’s all about showering yourself with tokens of love.
Naturally, if this entails the complete style-makeover packed with a new haircut, it’s your rodeo. If you don’t want to commit to a new look yet you want to try new things, there are even hacks for that. For example, cool magnetic earrings are a pretty non-committal way to give them a test-ride before you decide to punch new holes in your ears.
Of course, ‘makeover’ is an umbrella term that can stretch pretty impressively, so it can be something that entails the acquisition of new habits. These can be represented in more intense workout sessions to chisel your body, or enrollment in a new online class that will change your outlook on life. An intellectual change also reflects on your physical appearance.
3. Enjoy new activities (that are only for you)
Intellectual and physical evolution does not happen overnight and they require a willingness to go into the realms previously unknown. The upside of this is that breakup has already made the first step for you – you are already exploring an undiscovered country.
However, this is something that you didn’t control. Have agency over what occurs to you and give new activities a try. Maybe you shouldn’t merely go to the gym; maybe you should try your hand at a martial art. What activity for creative expression has never crossed your mind? Have you painted before? Created collages and mosaics?
There is a whole world of opportunities out there; just remember that this new set of activities should be all about you and for you. After all, you need to nurture your spirit and find equilibrium within you.
4. Take a cue from character arcs in movies – want vs. need
Keep in mind that you will never reconfigure your life and find equilibrium if you keep doing simply what you want. If you were perfectly honest with yourself – what you deeply want at this stage in your life is to go back to the way things were, which will not happen. If not that, then you probably want to indulge in your worst impulses to shut off the pain.
While indulging in certain hedonistic practices (an occasional glass of wine, beer, a party, gourmet excursions and just wasting time) is warranted, what you want is not necessarily what you need. Take a cue from the third tip and scrutinize for constructive activities, with far-reaching results and prospects for self-betterment.
It can be hard to pick habits with long-term benefits right now, but it is a choice that pays off manifold as you get out of the rut. If you find it hard to retain discipline, choose at least one activity (for example – working out) that will show compiling results as months drag along.
5. Vulnerable is good
Now, let’s go back to a matter implied in the beginning. A need to reaffirm ‘you are fine’ to your closely-knit group of friends can look like a sensible thing to do, but closing yourself off to the communication of your true feelings can have a harmful psychological effect.
Showing vulnerability to those that know how to listen and empathize is a more effective way to blow off some steam than to simply indulge in short-term hedonism. Furthermore, it reestablishes the notion that you are not alone in your suffering – since this is the ordeal that pretty much most people have gone through before, at least once. It lessens the mental impact of the breakup.
In other words, communicating your truth is the cornerstone-practice of self-loving.
Even the most self-assured individuals lose some confidence during the breakup period. However, this doesn’t only pertain to love-related matters. Loss of élan reflects in every sphere of existing, so to remain functional, both for your own sake and the sake of others, you need to instigate the 5-step mourning period as soon as possible.
Its length is natural progress that differs with each individual, but knowing where to begin can at least aid your productiveness. Fundamentally, every rediscovery of identity after a breakup has to begin with practices of self-love.