Its been a difficult few weeks for me recently. In fact, difficult is an understatement. It’s been painful, uncomfortable and stressful. My boyfriend and I broke up after 4 years of being together and it has been one of the hardest things I have had to go through.
We had it all figured out, we would move to England together. Get a place in or around London and start working, saving money for travelling and adventures. It just so happens that it wasn’t meant to be and coming to terms with that has been almost impossible. What do I do now? Where do I move to? Who am I on my own?
While the whole process has been hard, I have learned a few things that I did not necessarily know before:
1. It’s OK to cry
This one might be obvious but I always make myself feel even worse for showing emotion or I tell myself to just suck it up and not make myself more miserable. The thing is, we need to cry to release the built up emotions. There is no point in me releasing my emotions when I go and beat myself up afterwards. Don’t be ashamed to listen to some soppy music every now and then and have a good cry session and just let it all out. Feel the frustration and anger leave your body as the tears run down your face.
2. Try not to neglect yourself
I was on this amazing journey of self-discovery and healing before this happened. I would set daily goals, exercise, read my affirmations and really put in the effort to be the best version of myself. But when life got difficult it suddenly all stopped. I lost all motivation to continue with the positive habits I had created at a time when I probably needed them most. I have slowly started getting back into it by meditating once a day and repeating affirmations to myself. The thing is, it’s hard to be all optimistic and radiate good energy when you don’t feel that way inside. You have to force yourself to create that energy. So whether it’s that you stopped taking care of yourself or you haven’t worked on your hobbies in a while you really have to force yourself back into it until it becomes natural again and it will.
3. Lean on your family & friends
I cannot stress this enough. Reach out to the people who love you. We so quickly make ourselves feel like a burden or assume that our friends and family don’t want to constantly deal with us being upset and if you have shitty friends then that might be the case. But if you are surrounded by people who love and care for you they will want to be there 100% of the time. When you’re having a bad day, text a friend and see if they can hang out or video call. Phone someone when you feel like you’re in a hole and can’t come out. They cannot take the pain away or make your situation any better but they can distract you or even sit with you while you cry. It is also important to remember that our people have their own shit going on too and while they want to be there for us they also have to deal with their stuff. If you reach out and your friend is busy, understand that they still love you and will be ready to hang out at the next opportunity they get.
4. Sit with the uncomfortable feelings
Whenever we start to feel sad, angry, guilty or ashamed we try really hard to push the feelings away. We mask them by trying to keep busy all the time. If you actually sat with the feelings and worked out where they are coming from then it could make the healing process a lot easier. Instead trying to not feel sad ask yourself why do I feel this way? What triggers brought this feeling on? Really try and dig deep. Don’t shame yourself for feeling the way you do.
5. Get moving
I have never been an exercise person. Never really took to sports or enjoyed running around. This has more to do with my own insecurities than anything but the bottom line is I’m not the person who would jump at the opportunity to work out. However, when we are feeling lost and unsure moving about can be really beneficial. It doesn’t have to be anything too hectic or strenuous. I try and get myself to go for a walk every morning as it gets my body moving and I love being outside in nature, listening to the birds singing or the water flowing. If you don’t have the luxury of walking in your area then doing a few exercises in your home such as jumping jacks or star jumps will work just as well.
6. You don’t have to have everything figured out
I have driven myself crazy recently about needing to figure out my life. I have been frantically trying to sort out what I want to do, where I want to do it. It’s a natural thing to want to control and organise things when you feel like you’ve lost the control. The truth is, you don’t need to figure everything out at once, take every day as it comes. The more time that passes the more capable you will be at making decisions about your future. Remember to live in the now, find peace in where you are first before panicking about where you are going. Everything does actually work out in the end.
8. Become comfortable with being by yourself
This has been a tricky one for me. I have been avoiding this like the plague for some reason. I’ve been on a mission to get out of my house and keep doing things, going out with friends because it’s actually too painful to sit at home with my own company and thoughts. I was out late most nights and awake early and then did it all over again. This did eventually lead to burnout, which resulted in a complete emotional breakdown just last week. This one ties in to point 4, you have to sit with uncomfortable feelings to get comfortable with your own company. Spend some time with yourself doing things that have always brought you joy before.
This is not an exhaustive list, there’s probably a lot more that I am going to learn about myself over the next few weeks and months. The thing is, I’m going to be patient with myself, cry when I need to, laugh when I can and embrace this whole journey. It’s definitely making me a stronger person and I’m quite excited to meet the woman who I will eventually become.