If, like so many before you, you have found yourself licking your wounds after a breakup or divorce, wondering what the hell to do next, perhaps even wondering if you can muster the will and energy to do anything at all… let me say, welcome.
You are about to begin a new chapter in your journey, a chapter which you may find lonely and frightening at times, but with a few mindful adjustments you may also find to be the most fulfilling, rewarding and beautiful chapter of all.
Truth is, whether you are ready to believe it or not, HEARTBREAK can be a secretly great opportunity to create an even better version of the beautiful creature that you are. Do not waste this opportunity. DO NOT!
Here are 6 secrets for reinventing yourself after heartbreak:
1. MOURN the wife/partner/girlfriend that you were
If you’re finding yourself nursing a nasty dose of heartbreak, it’s probably safe to say that you didn’t enter into your last relationship with the knowledge or hope that it would one day come to a screaming halt.
So, grieve the loss. Acknowledge and work through the feelings and emotions as they arise.
With my major heartbreak (my divorce) I went through the stages of grief in a topsy-turvy manner, and that was OK. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance – I felt all of these things at different times, all of the time. I cried, I screamed, I begged and I kicked. AND I came out the other side perfectly well.
Don’t skip the mourning phase – do it and do it well. If and when the time comes for a new relationship, you can be sure that you won’t be bringing any (or at least much) old baggage into the new situation.
2. CHERISH time alone
Before you can get out there as a new woman and paint the town red, you need to learn how to be alone. To uncover who YOU are, without all of the people and bells and whistles and distractions. If your situation allows, dedicate some time at home on your own. Potter around the house, sort things out, move things around, listen to music.
I would make myself do this on a regular basis, just to find out who I was without a kid or husband screaming or bellowing my name. Then, when I was feeling brave enough to really face the loneliness head on I would hop in the bath, sometimes for hours, with just my tea for company – no books, phones, screens, magazines or distractions of any sort. It was hard. Until one day, it was BLISS.
3. Set some GOALS
During a significant life shift such as breakup or divorce, there is a definite power to be found in intention or goal setting. You have finished one chapter of your life, so it makes sense to lay some plans for your how you would like the next chapter to be.
Your goals may change over time as your psyche slowly adjusts to your new life and reality, but that's OK. Even if you don't achieve a particular goal, or it changes significantly to accommodate your changing self, there is an explicit power in just letting yourself envision and plan.
I had a goal of saving a certain amount of money in a certain period of time. I honestly don’t think I would have attempted this target whilst married, let alone achieve it.
4. Learn and embrace NEW ROLES
My husband was (probably still is) a great cook, so by default he was responsible for feeding the family each night. When he left, it soon became pretty clear that the kids and I would somehow still need to eat… so I had to learn to prepare cheap meals quick smart. This may sound very basic or trivial, but it needn’t.
I have no doubt that the sense of responsibility and satisfaction I got from the simple act of teaching myself to cook helped get me through those early dark days. I had a new sense of purpose. An important one!
Think of something - important to you - that you’ve always wanted to learn or accomplish, and set about doing it. Don’t underestimate the sense of power this will give you.
5. Spend time with DIFFERENT TYPES
When I was married, I rarely spoke to anyone new or different or outside my circle of regular people. I felt stupidly secure in the knowledge that each night I would be going home to hubby, and therefore didn't really see much need to meet new or interesting folk.
As a single woman once again, I oddly found myself going out of my way to say hello to people I wouldn't normally feel comfortable enough to speak with.
As you evolve and change, so do your tastes and perceptions. Your soul naturally wants to seek out different people and experiences in the name of growth. Don’t stifle this. Be brave enough to hang out with or date the people you feel drawn to, even if they aren't your ‘regular’ types. Your ‘regular’ is very probably changing from what it once was.
6. Discover the woman you were MEANT to be
You will always be the same person, but change undoubtedly and unashamedly transforms you. If you are willing and able to be brave enough to look at your heartbreak experience from a different angle, you will most certainly grow in the best possible way from it.
Instead of asking or bawling ‘Why me?’ ask ‘How can I grow from this?’ If you can do this (and it is bloody hard, I know) you will absolutely grow and prosper from what you’ve been through - whilst remaining the gorgeous and strong woman that you always were.
GO FIND YOUR PASSION. Remember, you were someone before your last relationship. That girl is still in there somewhere. Find her! Stay strong and remember who you are, always.
Do you have any more tips on reinventing yourself after heartbreak? Share in the comments!
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