Have you just gone through a breakup? Has single life been handed down to you like a dead fish on a plate? Well, it sucks… but it’s not the end of the world.
If you are still figuring out why it all went to shit from those dreamy first few months together, then here are five essential tips that helped me rise above those sleepless nights and re-discover the joys of starting out all over again.
1. Take time to process your emotions
Are you feeling lost, frustrated, angry, hurt, powerless, sad or a combination of all of the above? Does every song on Spotify seem like its directed straight to your weary heart? Wherever you go, a memory of you and your ex emerges from the archives of your mind only to release the flood gates to a river of tears which feel out of control.
Resist the temptation to reach out to alcohol, drugs or any other numbing substances that will only suppress your emotions. Society has taught us that sadness and tears equate to weakness, but this is a lie. In fact, the reason why you are feeling the way you are is because of your great physical and mental health.
Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to help deal with such a loss. Allow yourself to cry and scream. Never mind what the neighbours above might think because the process of shedding tears releases a hormone into the system which helps us to relax. The longer you hold in your emotions the longer they will stick around… just like that annoying drunk guest who won’t leave the party after it’s over.
Remember, it’s OK not to not be OK and don’t feel shy to turn to that BFF for some shoulder space. Emotions are our bodies’ way of dealing with change and the most effective way to release them is by expressing them. One way which has helped me release emotions is through writing. Whip out a pen and paper and allow your hand to run free. You will be amazed at what comes out. Soon your emotions will wash away just like your tears wash away the ink from those pages.
2. Move your body
We should never go for more than three days without exercise.
Our bodies were meant to move, so sitting down or lying in bed all day will not help. Go for a run, dance, join one of the many gym boxes that have opened up or attend a yoga class. There are many channels to help you get back into shape.
If you are feeling particularly down, take it easy on yourself. Give your body the time it needs and introduce gentle movement into your daily routine. Remember that developing a good habit is as infectious as starting a bad one and it won’t be long before you simply can’t go without that HIIT or yoga session in your day.
Moving your body releases oxytocin (‘the love hormone’) which is a hormone released during sex or moments of extreme joy, so exercise is the gateway to living a happier and healthier life.
3. It’s time to awaken your inner child
Remember those days off from school. What did you get up to? Did you dance ballet, play the drums in your parent’s basement or attend swim school? Whatever it was, now is a great time to revisit those activities.
By doing them, we ignite a part of our brain that relates to a time in our life when we were relatively carefree. Back then we didn’t have to worry about finding the right job, paying our home loan or getting over a recent addition to our list of exes.
Now’s the time to pull out those old dancing shoes from the cupboard, hit the local pool or tune up that dusty guitar. Immerse yourself in an activity that left your mum screaming that dinner was on the table! There you will find a stillness that has long been forgotten.
4. Ask yourself some brutally honest questions
How did it lead to this? If you’re wondering what went wrong, now is the time for some reflection.
Very often, we tend to side-step a series of red flags in a relationship out of a strong desire for it to work out. We bypass all those annoying traits and label them as insignificant because our newly found partner makes us feel so good. The problem here is that our commitment to the relationship is much stronger than our commitment towards our truth.
We ignore those nagging thoughts which start to pop up. However, our subconscious has a sneaky way of getting our attention and what used to be a little nudge here and there with time transforms into all out screams, fights and toxic behaviours or just a plain ‘Hell No!’. Ever found yourself doing things that were totally out of character? Saying things to your supposed loved one that afterwards left you thinking, “What the fuck did I just say?” That’s your subconscious mind taking matters into its own hands.
It’s time to sit down and have a chat with the vampire inside you. Ask yourself: what do you truly want to see unfold in your life? What is your ideal relationship? What sort of person do you want to be with? What is it that works best for you? Don’t be afraid to ask yourself the hardest questions and ultimately was your ex your ideal partner? Do you really want a boyfriend who bakes himself to sleep every night after work? Do you really want a girlfriend who can’t stand you spending some quality time with your best friends?
The key to a successful relationship is compatibility before commitment, and before you get very clear about what it is that you desire in your next relationship, you are likely to fall into the same pattern of your past failed ones.
Can you trust that there is a purpose to all these traumatic events in your life? Can you identify the lesson to be learnt from this recent experience?
Sometimes, if not most times, our expectations of the relationship or life in general does not match up to the reality of it all. We get depressed, angry and feel cheated. If for a moment you can allow yourself to shift your perspective to a place of wonder at the unpredictability of life and understand that an infinite amount of opportunities await then you are on your way to bliss.
You might not believe me just yet, but just as Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “You will see it when you believe it”, and not the other way around. So my final message is to dig deep into your heart and trust that there is something greater awaiting you. Your only job is to get clear with your heart’s true desires and clean out all the false beliefs about yourself. You might not feel great or think that you are good enough but that is all the bullshit society has led you to believe. I suggest a social media detox for a month or two because in today’s world, we are fed information that everyone is doing great and that they are drowning in happiness, which ultimately is all a lie.
Relationships are the Pyramid Stage of life’s festival. The acts don’t go on forever and sometimes they were just not worth the mud and the rain. However, every once in a while, a headline act comes along and blows your mind away. Take each turn of events in your life as an opportunity for growth. Re-align with your true self and the direction your heart’s compass is pointing you towards. Go for it. You have nothing to lose, I promise you. Only then will you find peace. Let lost loved ones go and if anyone is ever meant to be in your life, they will always find a way back.