Everyone experiences it. No matter if you were together for 6 months or 16 years, after a breakup, we all get this overwhelming urge to improve ourselves. There’s probably a big psychological explanation as to why that happens, but I studied communications, not science so I don’t know what it's called. All I know is that we all do it and it doesn’t seem irrational so I suppose it’s a healthy response to heartbreak and possibly just a regular part of the grieving process.
I’ve recently learned a new phrase that perfectly describes a period of transformation. Kids these days have a fun term to convey when someone was awkward and not conventionally cute as a kid but then blossoms into beauty after puberty. It’s called a “Glow Up.” I love this. It’s adorable. And I think we grown-ups should borrow it for our own purposes. What better way to describe putting yourself and your life back together post break up than to call it a “ Glow UP?” Every relationship changes us, even if it’s just a little bit. The months following a break up are the PERFECT time to focus on yourself; your goals, your dreams, your hobbies and become the best version of YOU before pursuing another relationship.
Now, obviously we can’t rely on mother nature to bring forth the changes as the kids do. We gotta do the work ourselves. I LOVE this quote and it fits what I’m talking about perfectly.
That’s great, right? Chances are you already know the changes you can make to feel better about yourself and improve your overall well-being. Below are some of my suggestions, but definitely make your own list too and go from there.
It’s super important to give yourself time (and grace) post break up to grieve what is gone. But you have two ways of doing that. Naturally, our brains just want to wallow in the misery of a failed relationship. I mean, you could allow yourself to do that OR you can focus on what exactly went right AND wrong then make a list of things to look for in a future relationship. Either way- it will hurt but at least the second option will lead you to a more positive and productive end. It’s a terrible idea to put your future partners in a box by being so specific about what you are looking for that you leave no room for surprises BUT failures teach us a lot about ourselves and what we want. Was it his sense of humor that made him most attractive? Honey, make that a priority next time. Did the fact that your family loved her so much make your heart sing with joy? Ask them what qualities they appreciated in her and add them to your list. Was religion a big stumbling block in your relationship? Next time look for someone equally yoked, or at least open to the idea. Could the two of you never decide on what to do for fun? Find someone who shares at least one of your hobbies. Whatever it is, just write it down. Whether the list is long or short, spend your grieving period deciding; and you might just be better off in the long run.
Listen. Listen. LISTEN TO ME! Please. Despite what you’ve been told, the quickest way to get over someone is NOT to get under someone else. The emotional reprieve is fleeting so then what? Are you gonna go sleep with another person and then another and another until….what? What’s the endgame? No. No. We’re not doing that. We’re not going to involve anyone else in our relationship grieving process, ok?
This is too awkward. I’m moving on to the next point…
Ok. That’s a super cheesy way of saying it but whatever. Call it what you want, just move your body. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. It’s that simple. If you haven’t already, join a gym. Head out to the barn and see how far you can toss a square bale for 30 minutes. Take a walk. I don’t mean a leisurely stroll, get your heart rate up. Run up and down the basement stairs for 10 minutes. I don’t care what you do, just do something. And do it often. I promise, you’ll feel better because of it.
Fellas, don’t come at me with the whole “shopping ain't my thing,” nonsense. I’ve wandered around Bass Pro Shop for too many hours with a man to believe that nonsense. I mean, don’t do anything dumb like max out your credit cards but shopping for new shoes always makes me happy. Isn't it you? If you don’t need or want anything, go shopping for someone else. Find a local foster children network and ask them for a list. Take your Momma to buy a new dress. Go yard sale-ing with your sister. Just whatever. It’s fun. Why not?
You wanna know what I find super boring? When someone doesn’t have an answer to “what do you do for fun?” I don’t care if you like whittling little sticks when you are bored.” For-the-love, just find something that you enjoy doing. Take some of the time and energy you put into that relationship and put it to good use. Also, you wanna know the best thing about hobbies? You don’t have to be good at it, just have fun doing it.
Grief is the worst emotion we, as humans, experience. Its sadness and helplessness rolled into one and it's exhausting. When I was a young adult, anytime I was sad, my Daddy would tell me to “just stay busy.” And while that’s not terrible advice, the man never rested a day in his life. I’ve come to learn that we NEED to rest. Even God almighty took a break after 6 days of work. Rest doesn’t have to be laying on the couch watching football with your eyes closed. It might be saddling up for a leisurely afternoon ride or hopping the next flight to the nearest beach for a few days. Whatever rest looks like to you, do that and do it often. (side note: If resting at the beach is actually what you plan to do, let me know and I’ll meet you there. I’m feeling kinda tired myself.)
Look darlings, I know breaking up is hard to do. You have to grieve. You have to allow yourself to be sad for a while. BUT you can use that sadness to push you to become a better person, and potentially a better partner for someone else down the road. Just take some time to work on yourself and get to a happy place. The bad feelings don’t last forever, I promise.
Now. Go find yourself a hobby. I mean it. Stop being boring.
Until next time…
Love y’all and good luck,