Well, the day you were dreading has finally come. You and your partner have broken up. There are a multitude of thoughts running through your head.
When will you stop hurting?
Was it your fault?
Will anyone love you again?
How much ice cream can one body consume in one sitting?
Although none of this feels likely right now, there will come a time when the pain of the breakup goes away, and you will fall in love again. Your self-confidence will be at its lowest right now, but it will improve with time. Here are some tips to help it improve a bit faster.
First of all forgive yourself. Let go of any guilt or self-blame for the part you played or imagined you played in the breakup. What has happened is in the past, and hating yourself for anything will neither change what happened nor guarantee it won’t happen in the future. You should learn from your mistakes, yes, but you don’t need to have the lesson over and over smacking you in the face.
While you’re at it, forgive your ex (and any third party who may have been involved). This one is a lot harder than it sounds. I don’t mean you have to tell them in any way that they are forgiven, it doesn’t necessarily matter if they know this or not. What you are doing is letting go of anger and hate, and of the life you wish you’d had, and open yourself up to future love and happiness and the joy of a new life.
Live in the Now
Mindfulness is an awesome tool, and if you’re not already familiar with it, look into it a bit. It is a form of meditation that allows you to focus on something present (like your breath, or the pressure under your feet) while teaching yourself gently to bring your mind back to focusing every time it wanders.
Mindfulness rests on having no judgement about yourself or your thoughts. It encourages you to accept and ‘sit with’ your thoughts or feelings but not be affected by them. It teaches you that things like regret or worry don’t exist in the present moment, and are just thought constructs which you can control.
Get Active and Discover New Fun
Do things that you enjoy and that you are good at. If you can’t think of any or don’t want to do old activities anymore then you need to find some new ones. Exercise even a tiny bit if you can because it will release endorphin that will improve your self-confidence. If you get sunshine on your skin while you’re doing it then even better. Tell several close friends that you need to be taken on activities and not to let you bail. Even if you don’t want to get out of the house tell your friends you need them to plan things at your home such as movie nights, cooking lessons or playing Carcassonne. You could make a pact with someone to try something new every week. You need to create new happy memories to build a new happy self.
The best thing you can do after a breakup is just be kind to yourself right now. Only do what you can manage, as you certainly don’t want to struggle with the above tasks and then find a new reason to lower your self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who love you and make sure they remind you just how lovable you are. And soon enough you will believe it.