How To Reclaim Your Life After You Have Suffered A Breakup
To some extent, you may already have had to make various changes in your life because of your heartbreaking situation.
Perhaps you’ve had to leave your house or flat. Or maybe you’re still in the family home, but fear that in order to make ends meet you’re going to have to sell it. Perhaps you’re in the process of buying-out your partner so that you can stay in the premises you shared.
Such practical changes are often forced upon us when a relationship folds. And, just as a widow may not feel too bad while she is arranging her husband’s funeral in the days immediately following
his death, you may have been so busy dealing with these practicalities that you’ve not had too many empty moments to grieve for your past.
But when things are sorted, you can feel very anti-climatic and lacking in energy – and it may suddenly hit you just how different your life is going to be from now on. So try to prepare yourself
for these feelings, and if they happen, do remind yourself that they are normal.
But what of other changes? Are they a good thing right now?
Well, in a bid to feel better, individuals have been known to make extraordinary lifestyle alterations at this time.
A woman I know – whose make-up and nails were always perfect, who had endless sets of matching lingerie, and whose idea of roughing it was to go to a three star rather than a five star hotel
– suddenly decided to back-pack round the world when her man left her.
None of her friends could believe it; and they cheerfully forecast that she’d come home before the month was out.
She proved them wrong. She travelled through the Far East not only handling the money, the language, and the insects – but also managing to survive with only two pairs of knickers! When she finally returned to the UK she was a very different person. She had triumphed.
It’s quite common nowadays for people to decide that the end of a relationship is a great time to go travelling. But despite the story I’ve just told you, my advice would be to wait a few months before you do it.
Certainly some people do derive great personal satisfaction from doing something brave and entirely different, and they are anxious to get going right away. But for everyone who copes, plenty don’t. The truth is that you won’t leave your heartache behind when you quit these shores. It will travel with you. For that reason, I believe that most adults feel better in the early months if they
surround themselves with all the support that normality can offer – usual job, usual friends, usual family, usual location and so on.
But I do think that if you’ve always planned to travel, you can cheer yourself up enormously by making detailed plans to get away after three to six months of being alone.
Many hurt people also consider holidays. Again, do be aware that your sadness may seem worse if you’ve got plenty of time to sit around in the sun and think about it. And don’t make the mistake of going somewhere that used to mean something special to the two of you.
There are companies who organise travel for single people, and I would strongly urge you to book with one of them if you do decide that you want to get away. But again I would leave it for a month or so.
One excellent break you can take at any time is to a health farm or spa. Here you can eat well and wisely. You can have treatments, and relax. And because no one is rushing off at the end of the day,
you’ll almost certainly find someone to talk to.
And do make sure to get a massage while you’re there. When we feel low and vulnerable we tend to find it hard to indulge ourselves. But as you probably know by now, I’m very keen that you should do just that.
Massage is an especially good thing to have when you’re miserable. It can be very heartening to have someone else’s hands all over your body. Touch is important to lonely or sad people. And of course a skilled operator will ease away all those knots of tension that have accumulated during these very sorrowful times.
So a short break at a health farm or spa can be a very good idea, but on balance, it’s probably better to delay any other decision on getting away from home.
What about moving house?
Well, apart from a house move that is forced upon you, I would urge caution. Maybe you’ve always hankered after a completely different life. You might quite suddenly decide that it would be great to live in the depths of Devon. Or, if you’re Irish but living in England, you may feel the call of your roots and get a real urge to go back to where you ‘belong.’
I’m all for people taking life by the scruff of the neck, but again I urge caution. Most people who are in the aftermath of a break-up are not thinking straight. By all means get a lot of information about what you’d like to do and start planning for it. But don’t actually implement your plans for at least three months.
Francesca had always wanted a dog, but had never owned one. On the very day her husband left her, she went to nearby kennels and bought herself a Labrador puppy.
There were of course bonuses to her purchase. Here was a little fluffy bundle for her to love, who would love her unconditionally in return.
But Francesca had lots of friends scattered through the UK who wanted to help her. As soon as they heard of her troubles, they were all keen to invite her to stay, but she quickly realised that not everyone would welcome her untrained puppy.
Also, she hadn’t anticipated what havoc a young dog can create while its owner is out at work. And when she was feeling really miserable, the discovery of another pool of puppy-pee in a corner, or the badly chewed corner of a favourite table, made her cry.
In time, Francesca did manage to house-train her Labrador, and she also found a retired neighbour who was only too pleased to walk the puppy during the day when she had to work. But she was forced to admit that buying a dog – without thinking through all the consequences – wasn’t the brightest thing she could have done when she was already under huge stress.
So, yes, you will want to make changes and there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t make very big ones until you’ve been on your own for a while and are sure about them.
As you begin to adjust to being single again, you will realise that you’ve got quite a lot of time on your hands: time that you would have spent with your partner.
At first you won’t be in much of a mood to use that time productively, but the day will come when you have more energy for new projects.
Plenty of newly single people, for example, decide to join a gym to lose weight and to enhance their social lives. This is generally a good plan.
To make it work for you, I suggest you shop around first. Don’t join the first one you see. Check a few out. And if you want to enjoy it, then join the best one you can afford – the one with plenty of space, good equipment, trained supervisors, a swimming pool, café on site – and possibly a beauty/hairdressing salon attached. A crèche is another great facility if you have kids.
Secondly, don’t take on too much exercise too soon. At my gym I often see new people turn up – often extremely unfit people at that – and right from the first day they insist on doing twenty minutes on the treadmill, sweating over huge weights and rowing for half an hour. Not surprisingly, their enthusiasm for fitness quickly fades!
If you give yourself too strenuous a schedule, then the day when you don’t feel like going – because it’s all far too much effort – will come very quickly.
So, start small. Do four minutes on the rowing machine, three minutes on the treadmill. Do lots of stretching and some not-too heavy weights, and restrict yourself to maybe fifteen minutes in the pool. Most good gyms will offer you an induction course. Discuss with the supervisor what you want to get out of going, and together work out some realistic targets. You can always increase your commitment when you feel up to it.
Also, don’t rush your sessions. Where before – if you belonged to a gym at all – you were probably racing through your programme because you had someone to go home to, now you’ve got time on your hands. So, enjoy it. Have a cup of coffee before your workout, or a glass of fruit juice afterwards. Get chatting to people. Make it an occasion.
But if a gym isn’t your thing, why not find out about dance classes, or consider going walking: if you join Ramblers (www.ramblers.org.uk) – formerly the Rambler’s Association – for example, you’ll never be stuck for something to do at weekends, or for someone to talk to.
You may decide on new projects that will improve your mind. Plenty of people opt to do an Open University degree. Again, beware of taking on too much too soon.
Evening classes are usually a good bet and because of the Internet, it’s never been easier to find out what’s on offer wherever you live. Public libraries are a good source of information too.
Book Groups have become very trendy and they are a perfect diversion for someone who loves reading and would like to meet others with a similar fondness for books. Your nearest bookshop may well have a notice board advertising local Book Groups, as well as details of book signings and Question and Answer sessions with writers.
Basically, you should aim to enjoy the extra time you’ve got to yourself. You probably won’t be on your own forever, so make this a productive period in your life for exploring your own interests and ambitions.
There’s hardly anyone – male or female – who doesn’t get into a bit of a rut when they’re in a relationship.
So when you emerge from a broken romance, this is a very good time to discover a ‘New You’. Most individuals lose weight when they’re unhappy – so that takes care of the weight question for many people.
But some sort of make-over usually helps you feel much better about yourself A new hairstyle, whether you’re male or female, can take years off you. And shopping for new clothes can do the same.
This needn’t be a huge expense. Nowadays it’s chic to get bargains in charity shops. Also, there are discount outlet stores all over the country where you can always get genuine bargains – if you’re prepared to give it time to sort through a lot of dross in order to find the finery that will show off the New You.
Sources And Citations :
How to mend a broken heart by Christine Webber.