1. Don’t get on any dating apps (no rebounds!) There are going to be many reasons why you want to find a new “someone”. During a break up, you experience a decrease in dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin the three chemicals that play a big role when you are romantically involved with someone. "Oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin are often referred to as our 'happy hormones' " (www.healthline.com). Due to this decrease, you will definitely feel off. It's natural to want to find a way to increase these "happy hormones" but dating someone new is NOT the solution. Your friends may tell you that you are “single ready to mingle”. I learned the hard way that this isn't the case. Not only are you in a very hypersensitive state, but there is so much more you could be doing! Now that you are not in a relationship, it’s time to uncover the potential your singleness journey holds and honor it. Singleness is a time for you to rebuild and transform yourself. It’s a time to let go of the false identities you built during your relationship. It is a time to get to know yourself and it requires all your time and attention. Don’t make the mistake that many do and give that precious investment on someone else. Not only will you just be suppressing a breakthrough that needs to happen but you will continue to rely on someone else to make you feel validated.
2. Do Learn and Reflect Everytime I went through a break up, I hit the books. I’d go to a coffee shop and I’d watch educational videos and pull out 4-6 books. All of it was on psychology, spirituality, relationships, singleness, inspiration, self-development, health etc. You name it! I knew that I had developed baggage that I was probably blind to so I would take out my journal and learn. I wanted to make sure that I detoxed myself from any insecurities, bad habits, emotional behaviours and beliefs that weren't going to serve me well. I wanted to unlearn the bad and learn the new in order to become a better version of myself. I reflected a lot and my focus was always on me. What I did, what I didn’t do, how I behaved and where I needed to improve. Being brutally honest with yourself is KEY.
3. Don’t numb your pain Whatever vice you use to numb your pain, don't. This only suppresses everything. Making it nearly impossible to really feel what you need to heal from. If you numb it all, how will you know what you need to break free from? Yes I know you will hurt, but you need to welcome compassion in this moment. Let me walk you through how I learned to become vulnerable with myself. First, allow yourself to feel what you feel instead of trying to be tough. If you feel shame, so be it. If you feel like a fool, or maybe you feel like you are at a loss, allow this to rise. Identify everything you feel and identify specifically why you feel like that as if you were asking someone. “Why do you feel shame”, and then answer accordingly. After you respond, reassure yourself why it’s normal and okay by pointing out how you felt about the relationship and why it hurt. Then hug yourself, I know, I know, weird right? But it works. I was always the tough one who swore I didn’t care and turned to anger as a vice to not feel my pain. This only suppressed everything and then I would feel empty in random times of the day because I wasn’t being authentic.
4. Don’t dwell on the past You are going to be so emotionally overwhelmed that you may dwell on the past a lot. You may start to overthink about it. The good, bad and the ugly. All of it will rise at random times. It’s important to be cautious and aware that this will happen. Dwelling on the past only distracts you from your precious present, not being able to unveil the beautiful mysteries life has for you. Surrender to what is and let go of what was. Life is like a river, taking you to your next adventure. When you go against the current, you will become more tired and you will remain stagnant. Feeling hopeless. When you go through moments of pain, whether physical or emotional because you will feel both, put your focus back on the journey ahead. Break ups make it seem like you have nothing to look forward to and you may feel like that as you read this but that’s not true. I know what it feels like to go through a hard break up and if I made it to the other end, so can you. When the past rises, say to yourself, “thank you for those bitter and sweet memories. Now I must focus on the journey ahead”. I did this every time, one hundred times a day if I had to.
5. Do build your singleship Building our singleship is when we build a concrete relationship with ourselves. Re-establishing our morals, values, standards and boundaries. Reminding ourselves of our priorities and the priorities we have dishonored. This is your time to build self respect and self trust. Maybe you did things in that relationship you weren’t proud of. Maybe you allowed yourself to be in a relationship where you weren’t respected, this takes a toll on your self esteem. Rebuilding your relationship with yourself takes a lot of moments of solitude. Silence may not be so pleasant in the beginning but it may be because you feel lost, this is a result of having dishonored your singleship. To have a strong relationship with yourself is to feel like you are your own child, always making sure you are honored, valued, happy, at peace and loved. Take care of yourself because at the end of the day, you have to live with yourself everyday.
6. Don’t have access to the Ex When you go through a breakup, you will experience withdrawals. Anthropologist, Helen E Fisher ran a study to see how the brain was affected after a break up. They found that the parts of the brain that light up are the same as a cocaine addict waiting for their next dose. Imagine, if that’s the case, your brain is going to create the same urges to reconnect with the ex. Understand this concept in order to rise above it. Control your mind, don’t let your mind control you. Make a verbal, mental commitment to not have access to the ex. Delete social media if you have to. Limit your phone usage and spend time with people you love and that love you. Feel this love you urge from non-romantic love. Give this love to yourself, you don’t need to wait for it.
7. Do Change Your Routine Break ups aren’t easy. Sticking to the routines you built with them or introduced them to doesn't help at all. As for me, something I always did was to change my routine right after a break up. This not only helps you emotionally but mentally. Studies have shown that when you are doing something new, you wire new neuron chemicals in the brain. This helps you focus on what you are doing vs overthinking about the break up. Why? Well, the new routine is going to demand extra focus from your brain because it isn’t familiar with the change. This also helps boost your confidence because you are witnessing new productive behaviour in yourself during an emotional break up. 8. Do Heal Connect to your peace. It’s going to be hard to heal from the pain but it’s necessary. People say time heals but that’s not necessarily the case. Time makes the pain feel distant but it’s up to us to heal. Yes, it’s a choice. I don’t know what your beliefs are but at the end of the day, we are all spiritual beings. You are going to need your spiritual beliefs more than ever at this point. I encourage you to look up different healing rituals. These all help you to commit in your healing journey. Ask your higher power to give your pain purpose and everytime you feel the pain, choose love. Send off love to that pain and person. In order to heal we must forgive, but we can’t forgive if we have nothing to give. To forgive is to be able to give peace to the pain, resulting in connecting to the peace that lives within. May Peace be with you.
I believe in the power of sharing our journey in hopes that others can take away any GOLD from one another. This is a snapshot of how I have used my inner compass to guide me through a vast of experiences.