How to Take Care of Yourself After a Bad Relationship
Breakups are never easy, but the dissolution of an especially bad relationship can introduce a host of complex emotions that can be challenging to maneuver through. After a relationship ends, self-care is an important part of the recovery process. It’s crucial that newly single people find ways to nurture themselves and practice the same kindness and compassion you would afford a friend going through a difficult split.
For tips on how to make the most of the period after a bad breakup, these suggestions can help to see you through your post-relationship period.
Set Personal Goals for Yourself
The end of any relationship feels heavy because it signals the end of a future you once had counted on for yourself and your partner. This grief, even if ending the relationship is in everyone’s best interests, can be overwhelming at times. It’s important to remember that while your future is more uncertain, it’s still bright.
Give yourself things to look forward to by sitting down and setting some attainable goals for yourself. Your goals can be as simple as a self care list that you complete on a weekly basis or as complex as a move across the country. Determine what it will take for you to achieve these goals, and try to do at least one thing per day to bring you closer to the future you envision for yourself–no matter your relationship status.
Spend Time Alone
One of the hardest parts about a breakup is the loss of companionship. It can be difficult to transition from always having a plus-one to bring along to flying solo everywhere you go. When a relationship has you feeling like you were put through the ringer, it’s important that you take time completely on your own to heal. Spend some time writing down your thoughts and feelings, investing in your own hobbies, developing soothing rituals and rediscovering everything there is to love about you.
Reach Out to Your Support System
Your friends and family were there for you before and during your relationship, and they’ll be there for you after, too. Utilize your support system in whatever ways you need. At times, it may be most helpful to call a friend and use them as a shoulder to cry on, and at other times you may be in need of a distraction by way of a fun activity or night out.
Sometimes being social is exactly what you need, even if you don’t feel like it at the time. If things are really tough, you may have to force yourself to participate in some social things with your family and friends so you don’t unintentionally isolate yourself. Always remember that your friends love you and know what you’re going through, and it’s okay to show up in whatever state you’re in at any given time.
Block Your Ex
Whether you permanently block your ex or you temporarily mute them, giving yourself a little digital space can be good for your healing process. Reminders of your relationship can be confusing, hurtful, sad and even desire for the life you shared together. Either you or your ex may feel tempted shortly after a breakup to reach out to the other one, but this can sometimes prolong the length of time it takes to fully get over each other. If you do eventually feel safe and secure enough to unblock or unmute them, do it in your own time.
Learn Something New
A breakup frees up a great deal of the free time that was once spent with your ex. With all this extra space in your schedule, it’s a good idea to use these moments to invest in a new hobby or skill, or to spend some time acquiring more knowledge about a subject or idea you’ve always wanted to learn more about. Creative hobbies can be especially good things to take on, as the act of creating can keep your mind off things for a while or give you an emotional outlet to work through some of your thoughts and feelings. A creative outlet is a great way to reconnect with your inner world, even if you participate in the new hobby more for the process rather than the product.
Look For the Positives
Bad relationships really take a toll on a person, which can make it hard to keep your chin up. No matter how, why or when your relationship ended, there is always a silver lining or two. When you look for the positive aspects of a situation, whether it’s that you have more time and energy to spend on work or that you’re free to find a relationship with a better match for you, it can relieve some of the accompanying stress and emotional burdens that come with a breakup. You’re starting a new chapter in your life, and, while that is daunting, it's certainly something to celebrate, too.