This past summer was a hard one. I had recently ended a long-term relationship, and I am going to be honest, it sucked. Not only did I lose a boyfriend, I lost a friend and someone who I, at one point, pictured the rest of my life with. Looking back on that decision, I thank myself. It gave me the opportunity to wake up and realize what I truly wanted the rest of my life to look like. I had been in that relationship since I was 16, a time when you should be enjoying life and figuring out what you want. Chasing your dreams with your whole heart and only being concerned with yourself. I needed to grow on my own, and I am so thankful to myself for that opportunity.
Breakups can be daunting. Some end in total heartbreak like a dramatic movie scene, or with a mutual understanding that people can just grow apart. The bottom line is: they’re never easy, but they are necessary.
The most important thing to remember is to take care of yourself after a breakup.
There Is More Than One Kind Of Breakup…
Most of us have experienced a breakup at one time or another.
Breakups are defined as the separation or breaking up of something into several pieces or sections or the end of a relationship, this does not necessarily declare that it is only the end of a romantic relationship. Although they are often associated, there are so many more breakups we may have or will experience in our life.
Relationships are supposed to be mutually beneficial. You are supposed to support one another in every aspect of life, be their biggest cheerleader, loudest fan, and shoulder to cry on when they need it the most. They are your go-to and you are there, and not much should stand in the way of that. But sometimes relationships can become toxic. This may not be malicious or intentional, but if it becomes one-sided, this can put a strain on your life.
Cut that toxicity out!
Whether that be the breakup of a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a family strain, breakups are necessary for each person to take time to reflect on the relationship at hand. These may result in a drift apart, or if the stars align in the right way, a future reunion.
Recovering From A Difficult Breakup…
With every breakup comes the freedom to live your own life. It marks the end of a chapter, a time when you are at your most vulnerable. However, this is an exciting time and brings a beacon of light. An opportunity to shift your perspective and view life in a new way. A breakup signals a new beginning, and a rebirth of your ability to grow and love. You may have felt trapped for so long, so alone, and feeling drained.
Sometimes, the best form of self care you can do for yourself is to rip off the bandaid and stop the relationship in its tracks. End your dullness at the source. Though you may feel sad when you first lose this person, your future self will thank you.
Give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with yourself again, and rediscover who you are as an individual
What is Post Breakup Self-Care?
Welcome to single life! No it may not seem very exciting right now, in fact, you may quite literally feel the opposite. You’re sad, you’re scared, and most definitely you are questioning whether or not you have made the right decision. You are thinking to yourself “What if that was it, they were the person I was supposed to be with for the rest of my life, my soulmate?!” Can I be honest with you, and don’t be mad when I say this: this was meant to happen.
Maybe you are supposed to be with this person and one day you will find your way back to each other, but not right now. This breakup is meant to metamorphosize you in some way, and post breakup self-care is just the way to do that.
Post breakup self-care means prioritizing you and your needs. You are now an individual, only concerned with the things that make you happy in life and the goals you wish to achieve. Realize your self worth. This is your chance to deeply reflect on the type of person you are and who exactly you want to be. Dive deep, picture yourself in 5 years from now, where are you? Come up with a plan on how exactly to get there. Post breakup self-care also means beginning to recognize toxicity in your life and knowing when to cut it off.
It is time to worry about you and only you.
Some may think that breaking up is the hardest part, after that you are a free person. But I believe the most painful stage of any break up is dealing with the aftermath of the conversation. Coming to the realization that you may have lost someone in your life is a hard pill to swallow. You may not be able to text them or call them anymore, but understand that it is what is best for you at the time.
There is no need to rush your healing process, remember to take all the time you need.
But everything gets better with time, and you begin to heal as you grow without this person in your life. You may miss them from time to time and they will always remain an important part of your story and development, but they were just a chapter. Much like physical wounds, emotional wounds take care and attention, and each will heal as time passes on.
Like every story, characters come and go. Some remain for a long time, some the whole time, and some only for a few pages. But with or without them, your story still goes on.
Breakup Self-Care Ideas
Breakups and the emotions they evoke can be overwhelming at times. At the same time you are feeling sad, you may also be feeling relieved that it is over or like a weight has lifted off of your shoulders.
The first steps of self care are taking time apart, cutting off communication with your ex, and most importantly avoiding going through your camera roll (that’s a downward spiral waiting to happen).
Along with the healing process make sure you're taking time for yourself each day, checking off each of these boxes. Practice self care in the three main ways and do something that:
- brings you joy
- nurtures you
- helps you process your feelings
Get some fresh air on a walk in the park, spend time with friends and family, eat something healthy or treat yourself to something unhealthy, pet an animal, read a book or journal, exercise, listen to your favorite song, go to therapy, get your nails and hair done, do something to rejuvenate yourself.
Whatever is going to make you happy.
How to Help Someone Going Through a Breakup…
Okay, I see what you’re doing here…
Your best friend or sister just broke up with her boyfriend. Maybe it ended in this big blow out fight where she found out he cheated on her. Or maybe you are here because it was mutual, but the loss of the relationship hit her harder than expected. You don’t know where to start, how to talk to her, or what to do to fix it. Do you give her time to be alone and reflect, or make yourself available when she needs you?
Help her start by picking up the pieces. Encourage that post breakup self care or maybe give her a small reminder that the heart goes through many phases and this is just one of them. Whether it be a hand-written card or a piece from our Heart Phases collection, let her know you are always there for her.
As the pain of the breakup begins to fade and the wounds that were once so fresh begin to heal, encourage her to follow her new passions and chase after the dreams she made long before her relationship. Wish her luck on her new endeavors and her journey to find her own happiness. The most important thing that you can do during her healing process is be there for her.
How Long Does it Take to Get Past the Breakup?
The break up itself can be complicated, no matter how simple it may look on the surface. Sometimes it’s a clean break, no more communication – cut cold turkey and everyone is on the same page. Other times (now, this is what most breakups look like) it’s a bit messier. Regardless, even if things end in a healthy way, you’ll probably still be left with some uncomfortable feelings.
Getting past the breakup is where the challenge begins. There will be hard days when all you want to do is text them and call them, and then there will be good days when you feel empowered with your new independence. It’s a learning curve, but nonetheless you're learning.
Remember why you broke up and remember how everything happens for a reason. I know you’ve heard that before, but I truly believe that people enter and exit our lives with purpose, whether that be a lesson or a lifetime of love.
For more articles on self-care, read: