Monique West, LCSW-R
How to heal from a break up: 3 Steps to a more whole YOU
Breakups can be heart wrenching and emotionally draining. After a break up it is not uncommon to feel persistent sadness and guilt. Examining your role in a break up and the ways in which the break up is affecting you can be tremendously healing and liberating. The risk of moving on from a break up without properly healing can lead people into:
another unstable relationship
bringing past emotional wound into a new relationship
expecting your new partner to 'answer for' or 'make right' your experience from your past relationship
low sense of worth and generally feeling unlovable
Using a healing stepped process can help you move to a peaceful place of emotional freedom. Spending time in your own healing can help to:
improve your sense of worthiness
deepening your awareness of your stuck issues in relationships and moving to healthier choices in future relationships
resolving your emotional wounds and improving your emotional health
feelings of being more centered and grounded
You can begin this process by taking some time to pay attention to your feelings and acknowledging that this is a process:
1.) Take some time to take inventory of your emotions
Remember that after each break up there is a time of mourning and as with ending there comes a myriad of emotions and feelings. Expect very confusing feelings of relief, sadness, guilt, despair and hopelessness. Remember that these emotions will come in waves and they are temporary give yourself permission to experience them without minimizing or pushing them away. Invalidating your feelings will undoubtedly make them stronger and more persistent. Consider keeping a journal, vlog or voice memo of your feelings and thoughts as they come up. Try not to justify or rationalize your feelings; allow them to just be without judgment.
2.) Avoid rose colored glasses
The pain after a break up can cause you to begin to downplay the reality of your relationship that led to the break up. It is easy to start to romanticize the relationship and justifying your partner's character flaws. Spend some time to acknowledge truthfully to yourself the main issues in the relationship and who was responsible for particular breakdowns in the relationship. Give yourself devoted time to list out all the ways the relationship was not healthy for you and re-read this list as many times necessary in order to remind yourself of why you are better off without your ex.
3.) Spend some time exploring hobbies or trying something new
When we are in relationships we usually get caught up in nurturing our relationships and at times we lose ourselves in the relationship. After a relationship has ended it is best to consider reconnecting with estranged friends, exploring activities you've always wanted to do or re-engaging in neglected hobbies. Consider volunteering to an organization that has a mission that is important to you, hiring a personal trainer or attending a fitness class to get you closer to your fitness goals or joining a local meetup group to meet new people and expand your interest points.
Breakups can be gut wrenching and emotionally taxing but when you have mindfully gone through the process you may come out a more whole and secure person. Relationships are a reflection of our values, needs and standards you owe it to yourself to strengthen the relationship with yourself!