Ten ways to stay strong and healthy after a big break-up
The end of a relationship is downright difficult, even if you are the one who ended it. Kay Moffett and Sarah Touborg, authors of Not Your Mother's Divorce, offer some tips to get you through.
1. Take pride in the small accomplishments: "I went to work, I answered the phone, I sent a fax." Try not to dwell too much on The Future, but rather take one day and one moment at a time until things in your life stabilize.
2. Start a journal (if you haven't already) so that you can record your chaos-inspired poetry, rants, speeches to your ex, new philosophies on life and love, etc. You may produce some of your best thinking to date. Really.
3. Rock out the new routines. The early period after a break-up is a great time to discover (or rediscover) what makes you tick. Explore the hobbies you love but haven't had time for whilst with Mr Wrong.
4. Fast-forward six months or more. Although it may feel like you are never going to enjoy life and/or find someone to love again, keep in mind that you are in an altered, "post-break-up" state of mind right now and that, with time, you will return to a happier and more stable version of yourself.
5. Reach out and call someone. Let all your good friends and family know you are single again and to invite you to anything and everything. It's important to marshal your social network at this time to keep you afloat and give you the support you need during the rough patches.
6. Do the things your ex loathed and relish doing them! Watch "The Bachelor" if he hated it. Blare that Beth Orton song if he thought she sounded whiney. Do whatever you couldn't do when he was around and do it with a little jig because you can now do it all you want!
7. Get into shape. Avoid the self-destructive tendencies that can arise after a break-up, such as drinking too much and going out all the time, and instead use the new time you have on your hands to get fit. Exercise can allow you to feel like you are taking care of yourself and becoming strong.
8. Indulge in little pleasures. Go for it, get a mani and a pedi. Draw yourself a bubble bath every night after work, get a twice-weekly massage, or do whatever feels like the most delicious guilty pleasure you can think of. It's important to rediscover your immense capacity for joy during this period.
9. Cleanse and purge. Now is also a great time to embrace your inner cleaning lady and scour your place from floor to ceiling -- symbolically, this can do wonders for the spirit.
10. Be phenomenally accepting of yourself. It sounds trite, but go with the flow. Break-ups are always difficult and heart-breaking, and you're bound to feel off-kilter and act a little strange some of the time. Learn the critical importance of forgiving and having deep and abiding compassion for yourself. Keep the faith that things will get better and saner with time.