I’m no shrink, but I have been through enough relationships to know when it’s time to take a break from break-ups.
Whether we’re the one who got ditched or the one doing the ditching, breaking up is ‘heart’ to do, here’s a list of suggestions to get your heart’s spirit back up where it belongs, in no particular order,
- Get lost! If you aren’t in a position to take a trip to Machu Picchu and do a lengthy hike to the top of a world famous archaeological site, take a road trip the next town over and do some ‘I’m a tourist in the next town over’ exploring.
- Get real! Write yourself a pep talk letter, purge all those second (and third and sixth) guessing yourself thoughts that are rattling around in your noggin as to why you miss him already. Type it out, or better yet, get a piece of fancy (preferably recycled) paper and hand cramp the old fashioned way until you’ve made a case for yourself. Save it as a reminder!
Get fresh air! A walk, a bike ride, a motorbike ride, a hike—go where there are no exhaust fumes.
- Get a motorcycle licence. Seriously, this is so mid-life crisis, and worth it! Even if you never get an actual bike, it still works. Trust me!
- Take yourself on a solo date. Yep, all this ‘so getting out of my comfort zone’ stuff will pay off in pumped up self-esteem. Leave the pumps and pearls at home if you don’t want to feel like a dork, go for low key. But then again, if you’ve got the cajones (that’s Spanish for balls) then go for it, girl!
- Have a kitchen sock hop! Crank your favourite tunes and dance your pants off. If you live alone or with open-minded persons, pants are optional, as in dance in your PJs. Kitchen is a suggestion: any smooth surface that’s risky business, sliding-friendly will do. Be careful on counter tops, there is a drop off.
- Watch comedy! YouTube, Netflix, SNL, SATC, old classics, new favourites; off-side/on-point; whatever works to get your funny bone vibrating.
- Speaking of vibrating, just sayin’, it’s a good release! (Just don’t think of the ex!)
- Hello bubble bath! This is not water-saving friendly but sometimes to save ourselves we must waste water. Add candles and organic and/or locally made chocolate and/or wine and you’ve balanced the books (in my book).
- Write it out! And up. Journal the blessings you have in your life. Find something, anything, every day. There is always something!
- Right it out! If you’ve done wrong, (with your ex or anyone else) make amends. You don’t have to get back into a not-meant-to-be relationship just because you’re owning up to errors.
Give. A smile, a ‘hello’, a helping hand, a granola bar to a homeless dude or dudess. Any act of kindness gives back more than it costs.
- Meditate. No, not medicate, meditate. If you’re old hat, you know what to do; if not then just do your best and give yourself a break, or a stretch: spa tunes and focusing on breathing into those tight spots gets your mind off you-know-who. Be gentle, go slow.
- Yoga. If you’re a newbie, take a beginner class. It’ll guarantee at least an hour of not thinking about the ex, or anything! It’s like active meditation.
- Read! Grab a good novel and escape for a few hours, or days if need be. A warm cup of tea makes a soothing companion. Type A? Get a selfie then, as in self-help non-fiction. (Anything Karen Salmansohn works for me, light, fun, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that type thing.)
- Relax. If you can afford a spa day, do it! Get your besties together for a ‘spoiled brats and proud of it’ event. Bonus points if there are enough of you to do an impromptu non-birthday/Xmas/occasion re-gift exchange.
- Girls’ night in. Usually, when we’re fresh out of an intense love affair, the last thing we need is to be reminded of what/who else is out there for us right now. I’ve found more satisfaction hosting a wine and whine and cheese gabfest with my closest gal pals.
- Volunteer. Even if you’re not much of a joiner, it feels great giving back. It can be a one time thing or an (insert scary music) ongoing commitment. Or offer to help a friend/family member/co-worker with something, anything. This helps fill those hours that used to be spent with ___.
- Unfriend! I know. But unless you’re both perfect, emotionally adjusted, high-level practicing, spiritual beings, his Facebook page is just a place to get sad, not get over it. For now.
Backspace/Delete. As in – don’t drink and dial, or email, or tweet, text, or sext, or Skype!
- No sex! (With the ex.) Though the old redneck saying, “The fastest way to get over someone is to get under someone (else),” it was probably a man who started that (no offence guys). Chill out, there’s no rush. Refer back to number eight and take matters into your own hands.
- Hobbies. Hopefully, you didn’t abandon your passions, but either way, get back to those things that you do for fun that bring you joy. (Note: overeating cupcakes does not bring joy.)
- Health check up! Still in good standing? Or too much sitting around moping? Nourish your mind, body, spirit by starting with a check up from the neck up: adjustment attitude, exercise, and eat right (preferably not upright).
- Learn something new. Nope, not about what went wrong, you’ve already over-analyzed that to within a hairs breadth of death! Take a workshop, class, or crash course in Spanish, knitting or whatever.
- Create! We all have an artistic side, so why not explore what that is for you? You don’t have to quit your day job (unless you are so inspired) to delve into your form of art. Find your personal expression, be it painting, writing, acting, dancing, singing, petit pointing, etc!
- Closet cleanse! Out with the old! Donate, consign or exchange, (Hello, girls’ night in!) whatever you haven’t worn in the last year.
- Wear it out! What’s that? There are a few articles you haven’t worn but can’t seem to part with? Make up an occasion. This could be the girls’ day/night out #20.
Talk to Strangers! Focusing on others takes our minds off us and our ‘poor me’s’, which makes both feel better. Anywhere works: Grocery store, coffee shop, used book store (where you’ll be buying all those ‘heal me now‘ bibles.)
- Use the ‘call a friend’ option. Sometimes, this is the toughest one. Reaching out to our female friends when we’re sad can be two steps beyond our vulnerability comfort zone. It also brings us closer together, and proves women’s true nurturing spirit. A two way gift!
- Pray. If you’re lacking in #29 (gal pals), there’s always the Big Guy… as in: Collective Consciousness. We are all spiritual beings connected by universal energy. Sometimes, throwing up our hands and asking the sky for strength, serenity and (returned) sanity is just what the soul needs.
- Bonus: Cry. This might come first or it might come last, but all endings are emotionally challenging, even the ‘thank-Buddha-it’s-over’ ones. Tears cleanse. Having a solid sob session helps release the spirit so it can restore and soar again. (Repeat as required.)
Namaste! (And love, hugs, and tissues.)
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Ffion Jones / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Jeffrey White/Pixoto