It hit me like a lightning bolt. I felt a tingling sensation rush through my toes, into my legs, up my spine, and into my eyes. Sprawled on my made bed, tears ran down my smiling cheeks. A moment of pure stability. I felt such an overwhelming sense of relief that I couldn’t help but laugh. I was single. And, I was totally okay with that.
During the third week post split, I started to find my independence. I became less reliant on the support of my friends and family, the pit in my stomach started to subside, and my anger towards him had diminished. I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I felt like myself again. It was clear to me that the breakup was the right decision for us.
I came to this realization, I would say, quicker than I had in past break ups. I really believe it was because of the healing steps I took during the two weeks prior. However, I knew that at any moment I could swing back into any two of those stages – anger or despair. This didn’t scare me, but rather reminded me that even though I felt “normal,” I still needed to work on myself to completely heal from the heartbreak and make room for new things in my life.
That week, I concentrated on finding my independence in a number of ways.
Step 1: Get out of your comfort zone.
Hang out with a new friend, take a new Zumba class, explore a new hiking trail, try a new restaurant, go on a weekend get-a-way somewhere new, talk to a cute guy at the bar. Find something to shake up your daily routine. Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone will help you find out what really makes you happy. During a relationship, we can lose ourselves. You are now free of the time and effort it took to be in a breaking relationship. Put this free time to good use! The more you learn about yourself, the more confident you’ll feel. Just being able to say, “I did that” can make you stand a little bit taller.
Step 2: Pamper yourself.
During the first two weeks post split, it’s easy to get caught up in the heavy emotions you were feeling and forget about taking care of yourself. Simply shaving your legs and putting on some self-tanner can do wonders for your mood. I know when I put myself together, I feel my best.
I’m lucky to have a best friend who’s a massage therapist and a family friend who was generous enough to gift me with a gift card to my favorite spa for a pedicure. Human touch is very therapeutic. If you have the means to book a massage, do it! A massage will help you rid toxins in your body, alleviate muscle tension, and release emotional stress as well. These side effects were so strong for me that I ended up sobbing in her arms after the massage. It was just the emotional release I needed.
I love having my nails done. It makes me feel put together and polished. At-home face masks (there’s 3-use packets of them you can buy at drug stores for about $3.00), hair cuts, and hot showers can do the trick for me too. Do whatever it is that makes you feel your best!
Step 3: Socialize.
Get up and get out there! Girls nights are the best when you’re feeling, well, any sort of way. I truly believe a night with friends is the answers to sadness, celebration, and anything in between. If you’re lucky, your friends are your tribe. They pick you up when you’re down and party right along side of you when you’re feeling sky high.
Invite them over for some rose, veggies, hummus, and healthy cookies or get dolled up and hit the town. Male or female, surround yourself with the people who build you up. Let loose, and have some fun!
One of my favorite ways to socialize is to take a group exercise class. Whether it’s barre, a circuit class, Crossfit, OrangeTheory, Zumba, or anything else, there’s something rewarding and comforting about sweating it out with others. Not into group fitness? Blast music that reminds you of freeing times (this would be high school, Bay Area rap for me) and find a buddy or group of friends to do a Life in Spandex home workout together!
Step 4: Catch up on beauty sleep.
If your sleep was compromised during the first two-weeks post split, now’s the time to catch up on some beauty rest. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. Reserve all LED activities – watching tv, surfing the internet, stalking on social media ;)- to other rooms in your home. Your bedroom is for lighting pumpkin spice candles, getting lost in a new book, drinking chamomile tea, and sleeping.
If you’ve lost out on some z’s, your immune system could be compromised. There’s a few easy ways (on top of getting more sleep) to help increase your immunity.
1. Get more probiotics.
Probiotics are live active cultures that help keep your digestive system happy and immunity on point. You can get them naturally from low-fat or non-fat yogurt, Kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, and yummy drinks like Kevita and Kombucha. You can also take a probiotic supplement!
2. Eat your oats.
Whole grains like oats and barley contain beta-glucan. This type of fiber has antimicrobial and antioxidant capabilities to help rid your body of free radicals. I love eating my oats warm on crisp mornings. It’s a healthy comfort food and gives me energy for my day.
3. Season with garlic.
It’s not like you’re kissing anyone now anyways, right? 😉 Garlic contains allicin, which fights infection and bacteria. I use it in my eggs and egg whites, on my chicken breasts, and as a seasoning for my salads.
4. Get some Vitamin A.
Your skin’s health is vital to your immune health. It’s our first line of defense to fight off bacteria and infection. Vitamin A helps produce our connective tissue, which is a key component of our skin. Sweet potatoes, mangoes, kale, peas, tomatoes, spinach, red bell pepper, and oatmeal are good sources of the vitamin.
5. Drink up, buttercup.
Unfortunately, I’m referring to drinking more water and less alcohol. Now, I’m not saying you can’t let loose during these times. I definitely enjoy some tequila on occasion. Just watch the frequency and amount you’re drinking, avoid sugary mixers, and combat with WATER! All day, every day, try to get in half your body weight in ounces. I love adding lemon juice and a little Stevia to my water to make drinking it more fun. It tastes like lemonade! Get more tips of how to drink and stay on track here.
6. Veg Out.
Load up on veggies, especially dark leafy greens, broccoli, and asparagus. Green vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants to help you stay healthy. And, yes, enjoy some much needed down time.
7. Vitamin C to the Rescue.
It’s no new news that Vitamin C helps your immune system. Fun fact, I hate oranges. Orange juice, orange slices, orange scents, even tangerines. I can barely stand typing their names. That’s how much I hate them. Luckily, there are other foods out there packed with Vitamin C. Fill up on strawberries, red and green bell peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, pineapple, kiwi, and mangoes.
Step 5: See who else is out there.
You may or may not be ready for this step. It is very soon after the break up. However, you don’t necessarily need to start going on dates to see who else is out there in our modern day. They get a bad rap, but dating sites/apps can be a lot of fun. And there’s plenty of free one’s out there like Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel. Just seeing that there’s available, eligible men who are interested in you can help keep the pep in your step. Noticed I said “keep.” It’s important to remember that your dating life does not define you. Don’t rely on finding someone new to make you feel better. Create such a powerful sense of self that his/her affirmation is a bonus, not a necessity. Attention from men/women should be a boost, not a band-aid.
Step 6: Find your inner diva.
For the first few weeks post break-up, I listened to the Beyonce song that goes, “A diva is a female version of a hustla” on repeat. Do you know what song I’m talking about? Play it. It will change your life ;). This song was a reminder to myself to find that inner “diva.” Bringing out your inner diva means feeling confident standing on your own two feet, knowing what you want and not being afraid to go after it, and realizing your worth as a beautiful, strong woman. If you’re taking care of your health, making new goals, putting yourself out there, and reflecting on who exactly you are and what exactly you want, finding her will be a natural progression. Just stick with it and you’ll meet her soon enough.
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Tell me in the comment box below, how do you find your inner-diva?
Health and happiness,