Relationships end for many, many reasons. Some of those reasons are more painful than others. However, any kind of break-up is a form of loss. It’s a major change in your life. You are transitioning and this reality demands your attention. So, no matter what the break-up details may be, self-care must be a top priority.
Let’s Start with the Core Four
The following four practices make up the foundation of self-care. Start with:
1. Healthy eating choices
Your mind may be fixated on comfort food. Your body, however, needs the healthiest fuel you can find. Eat regular meals. Practice portion control. You are what you eat. Focus on the quality of your food to improve the quality of your mood.
2. Regular sleep patterns
Everything is harder without enough sleep. A tired you is an angry you and an angry you is an unhealthy you. Guard your sleep patterns.
3. Consistent exercise routine
Curling up under the covers for a few months may be your first choice. That’s okay. Ponder it and let it pass. What you really need is movement, activity, and an outlet. Exercise offers all of that and so much more.
4. Stress management
The world doesn’t stop because your heart is broken. Your daily responsibilities remain amidst the pain. This usually raises your stress level. Find a relaxation technique that works for you. For example:
9 Ways to Make Self-Care a Post-Break Up Priority
1. Create some distance
If your break-up was amicable, create some distance. If it was ugly, create some distance. You’ll both need lots of space to process and grow.
2. Get your stuff/return their stuff
If you put this off, it can get pretty complicated later. This act provides some closure. It also helps you create some of the distance mentioned above.
3. Seek out friends you trust
Some friends may feel caught in the middle. Others will be there for you without worrying about taking sides. Seek them out.
4. Don’t be in a hurry to heal or to rebound
Life is not a Hollywood romantic comedy. Heal at your own pace. Also, resist those urging you to “get back out there.” Take some time to appreciate being with yourself for a while.
This could be old school pen and paper. It could also be writing letters or emails you’ll never send. Maybe you’ll keep a blog and air things out there. What matters is that you give words to what you’re feeling.
6. Do not fall into the social media trap
Stalking your ex is not a productive choice. Obsessively checking their social media pages will not help you heal. Passive-aggressive posts will only feel good for about ten seconds. Long story short: Social media is not a form of self-care.
7. Focus on non-romantic relationships
When you’re part of a couple, you have less time for friends and family. Now that you’re single, reignite those connections!
8. Do things YOU like to do!
What did you feel you sacrificed during the relationship? Reading a juicy fiction novel for fun? Did you miss it? What are you waiting for?
9. Forgive yourself…and your ex
This may be the toughest step of all. But moving on is not possible without some form of forgiveness. If it’s not happening, consider getting some outside help.
As you know, some break-ups hit you harder than others. If the grief and loss feel too complicated, there’s one more self-loving choice to make. Find a counselor and begin one-on-one therapy. Sometimes self-care means asking for help.
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