Breakups suck, but sometimes they motivate us to do things and think in ways we never did before. Here are 10 ways you can actually benefit from a breakup.
REDIRECT YOUR NEGATIVE ENERGY
Trade male bashing for some sweating — we mean glistening, for us ladies. Dr. John Trent, head coach of StrongFamilies.com, says exercise is therapeutic on many levels and even simple things like walking or running are a positive way to deal with emotion. Even though you may not feel like getting up off the couch after a breakup, you will feel better once you do. And you’ll look more hot and fit than ever before!
TAKE TIME FOR EXTREME SELF CARE
People tend to beat themselves up after a breakup, says Heidi Frei, life coach of Heidi Frei Coaching & Consulting. Rid yourself of “I should haves” – you know those phrases that circumvent your thoughts, like “I should have left him earlier” – and instead surround yourself with people who love you. Don’t worry about what other people think. Make the best decision for yourself.
LISTEN TO YOURSELF
Frei notes one of the biggest problems women have after a breakup is not putting themselves first. To resolve this unsettled feeling, she recommends beginning a journal. Writing down the thoughts your former partner didn’t listen to and allowing yourself to focus on them now, can be restorative. Learn to say “yes” when things are good for you and “no” when things are bad.
TREAT YOURSELF LIKE A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR WOULD
If you can’t treat yourself with love, how will someone else? Frei says it’s important to “treat yourself like you want your ideal partner to treat you.” Buy yourself flowers for a special occasion, pamper yourself at the spa or plan a fun weekend getaway.
MIND OVER MATTER ISN’T SO
Dr. Trent says rekindling positivity after a breakup is simple, although not easy: “Understand that you cannot out-logic emotions.” That is thinking something shouldn’t bother you despite your emotional reactions, like negative feelings when seeing couples in public, even though you “should” be over it. Fill your mind with constructive thoughts, and don’t fret when logic seems anything but rational.
PLAN AND CONQUER
“If we don’t set our schedules, somebody else will set it for us,” declares Dr. Trent, which is what has happened in most breakups. This may be difficult emotionally, so he recommends choosing one goal at a time to work toward. This may be to make it through the day, travel or earn a master’s degree. Frei emphasizes rewarding yourself for accomplishing goals.
TAKE TIME TO GREIVE AND START WITH A CLEAN SLATE
People heal at different paces. Allow yourself time to feel, cry. “Clear up reminders,” says Frei, by purging things in your living space that remind you of the person. Don’t get involved in a new relationship too quickly, which may transfer feelings from your old relationship to the new one; rather, “take time with friends to get rid of the loneliness feeling.”
ENRICH OTHERS THROUGH VOLUNTEERING
Volunteering is a great way to achieve self-actualization while helping others. The caveat: People may not feel like volunteering. Regardless, Dr. Trent believes “actions dictate feelings, not the reverse. When we begin to take actions that are positive… that generates positive feelings. Not the opposite.” Take the first step, and the feelings will naturally follow.
Relationships are often filled with many compromises. Create a vision board by cutting out pictures and words from magazines that are meaningful to you in a relationship, or print your own, and paste them to a poster board. This constant visual reminder will fill your mind with positive energy and remind you what can be achieved each day.
SORRY, JERRY MAGUIRE – YOU DON’T COMPLETE ME
Contrary to the popular movie line, Frei says, “Love isn’t about somebody completing you; we’re all complete.” Develop your weaknesses so you don’t search for them in a partner and sacrifice good qualities (kind and loving) for the one strength you’re fixated on (someone who is good with money). Positive qualities attract positive people. Focus on developing yourself verses finding satiation in another.