Breaking Up: Easy Self-Care to Cope
I believe in self-care through the best and worst of times. Staying consistent with loving yourself through it all is what enables you to focus better, make more informed decisions, and cope better in times of crisis. This post was originally supposed to be about forgiving oneself. It also was supposed to go live on Tuesday. I guess life had other plans. I found myself writing this piece after feeling like no matter what, I couldn't release the emotions I had about losing someone I love. Through this post I found the utmost appreciation for my support system, and myself.
A few days ago my boyfriend and I broke up. He had been my best friend and love, but sometimes shit happens and things aren’t always as they seem. As I struggled to figure out how I was going to cope with this change, I felt my sense of self-worth deteriorating at a rapid pace. That is, until I remembered that the things I do for myself on a regular basis aren’t just for the good times, they’re for the bad ones too. The more effort you put into loving yourself, the less empty you will feel when someone leaves your life. This is for anyone out there struggling through a breakup, and also a reminder to myself that I have tools. We don’t have to suffer more than we need to.
My mind and body are strongly connected, forcing me to feel emotional reactions within my body, especially my stomach. For instance, I woke up this morning feeling like I had the stomach flu. I didn’t, I was just really upset. If you’re one of those people who eats everything when they’re upset, I WISH I could be like you. Seriously. If you’re like me, however, not eating actually might make your situation worse. If you don’t eat, your blood sugar stays low. This means it prevents your brain from thinking rationally and will definitely bring in a case of the hangries. You may find that you’re feeling way worse than you have to be, just because you’re not eating the way you normally do. It can also make it easier to send you into a breakdown. The less food you eat, the more unstable you can become. So please, eat something.
Surround yourself with high vibrational people who love you.
This one is so crucial. People handle breakups all types of ways, but the people who are there to support you make all the difference. Instead of those friends who just want to say bad things about the person or tell you how much better off you are, surround yourself with the people in your life who just want to see you thrive. I’m totally missing my friend Hannah right now, but she’s been doing the best job uplifting me and reminding me of the powerful and strong person I am over text and FaceTime. The thing about support systems and what makes them so great is not the nasty things they say about the other person, but how well they show you that no matter what, you are awesome, you will make it, and you will be a better person because of it. So call on those people who make you laugh super loud, make you want to get up and dance all crazy, but don’t shy away if you just need to cry to them for a bit. Though alone time is wonderful, human interaction will probably help you stay sane.
Find an outlet.
Outlets can take many shapes and forms, and not everyone will have the same remedy. Personally, I find journaling, meditation, and affirmations to be my primary outlets. My gratitude journal has been especially helpful in showing all that I have to be grateful for in my life, even without that special person in it. Meditating, though it’s definitely more difficult at the moment, has helped my brain stay a little less active through deep breathing. Affirmations allow me to change my thinking from one that’s catastrophic to one that’s a little more hopeful. These all help me feel a lot more connected and supported by the Universe. Another practice could be going to get lunch with friends and venting -- or just having normal conversation that’s not about the person you split with. Even a small form of exercise, like taking a walk around the block, can help clear your head. If you have a therapist, this would be a great time to have an emergency session.
Guess what? It’s going to be okay.
It’s so hard to believe sometimes when you’re no longer with a person you spent so much time with. It can be easy to look down on yourself, be angry, and lash out. Hannah read a line in a book to me last night about handling low energy moods with grace, instead of fighting them, because positive people know that this too shall pass. When I expressed my trouble with eating, another friend reminded me that I was worth feeding myself, and so much more. When it feels as though someone no longer wants us, we can be quick to feel as if we are no longer worth it. That is not the case. No one can define your worth or happiness, besides you. The love you have for yourself should never be dictated by how much someone else loves you. You are worth it and you are loved.
It’ll all be okay. It’ll all get better. This too shall pass.