Terminations of romantic relationships can be devastating, particularly when they are unexpected or accompanied by harsh behavior. However, it is important to remember that the end of a relationship does not have to signify the end of one's sense of self-worth or happiness. To aid in the process of moving on and regaining a sense of self, one may consider implementing the following 10 strategies for personal growth and healing.
1. Let Yourself Grieve
It is not productive to try and hide or suppress one's emotions in the immediate aftermath of a breakup. It is important to allow oneself to feel and process the emotions that come with it. This may include indulging in comfort activities such as eating ice cream and listening to sad music, or even crying. However, it is important to not get stuck in this stage, and to eventually let go of the emotions in order to move forward. Avoiding or denying feelings will not make them disappear, but rather prolong the healing process.
2. Write It Out
Writing can be a powerful tool for processing and expressing emotions. Whether it is through journaling, composing a letter that is never sent, or creating a piece of poetry or an essay, the act of putting one's thoughts and feelings into words can be cathartic and can aid in making sense of confusing emotions. It can also be helpful as it allows for a degree of emotional distance and can be a way to organize thoughts and emotions that might be difficult to convey in direct conversation.
3. Set Concrete, Achievable Goals
Checking off your task list gives you the satisfaction of small accomplishments. Start by setting easy objectives initially, such as "brush my teeth" or "throw out the garbage". This will help you develop a routine of feeling capable and motivated to achieve your goals. Once you're ready, take on more significant and long-term objectives, such as achieving your desired weight or earning the promotion you deserve at work.
4. Spend Time With Friends
Being alone can make it difficult to move on. You may miss the companionship, the daily text messages, and the excitement of planning things to do with someone. Spending time with friends can help to fill that void and prevent you from slipping back into old habits and contacting your ex. Doing things for your friends that you used to do for your ex, such as cooking, putting on makeup, or buying gifts, can also be beneficial. Remember, you don't need your ex to be a kind and thoughtful person and try to have fun.
5. If You Need To, Do A Healthy Amount Of Lurking
Ending a relationship can be tough, especially when you find it hard to let go of someone. I am not suggesting that you should stalk them, but social media can make it easier to keep track of someone's updates. Try to avoid obsessing over their online activity and location, but if checking on them occasionally, such as every now and then, helps to prevent drunk dialing at 2 am, it may be beneficial in the short term. Just remember that it's important to focus on moving on and not getting stuck on the past.
6. Do You
Being in a negative relationship can detract from what makes you unique. Depending on the level of toxicity, it can lead to distance from loved ones, friends and your true self. Breaking up is an opportunity to reconnect with your own identity and pursue the things that bring out the best in you. It's a chance to rediscover your passions, interests and live your life authentically.
7. Take A Break
Jumping into a new relationship soon after ending a previous one can impede your personal growth. Not only does it put the new person in the position of being a rebound, but it also prevents you from taking the time to heal from the previous relationship. A new relationship can provide a distraction, but it will not fix the problems that led to the end of the last one. It's important to give yourself time to heal, process and learn from the past relationship before jumping into another one.
8. Go On Solo Dates
It can be alluring to become reliant on others in your life. Empowering yourself to have fun and be content alone is crucial. It's important to not limit yourself to only do certain things when in a relationship. There's nothing wrong with going to the cinema or dining alone. It's important to never feel as if you need someone in your life rather than choosing to have them there.
9. Transform Yourself
It's important to be mindful and not make hasty or impulsive decisions, but making a tangible change can be a way to symbolize the start of a new chapter in your life. A physical change, such as a new hairstyle or color, or getting a tattoo, can give you the confidence to embrace inner changes as well. It's a way to celebrate your new self post-breakup and embrace the new beginnings.
10. Seek Inspiration From Others
Breakups can be difficult and can leave you feeling defeated. However, it's important to remember that you are not the first person to go through one and you won't be the last. It can be helpful to learn from others who have been through similar experiences. You can talk to friends and family, join public support groups or forums, read articles and books about famous celebrity breakups for inspiration and ideas on how to move on. Gaining different perspectives and learning from others can give you a better understanding of how to cope and heal from the breakup.