So you’re suddenly single. It sucks, but instead of stalking your ex, going on a booze binge or having a rebound fling with a new guy, why not give your life a makeover?
Call it a “breakover” if you will. We sometimes lose ourselves in relationships, so now that you’re single again, take the time to get back in touch with yourself. Here are some simple goals you can work towards to become a hotter, smarter, healthier and stronger you.
Focus on: Detoxing emotionally
You’re hurting and you don’t know if you will ever get over him. Hey, it’s okay. Acknowledge your pain, but work towards releasing those negative emotions so you make space in your heart for new and positive ones.
Write in a journal
Pen down every thought or feeling you have about your ex and the break-up. Don’t hold back. If you feel like your world is falling apart, write that down. Very often, we censor our negative feelings because we want to believe that we’re strong enough to handle them, but such emotions are part of being human – just don’t dwell on them for too long.
It may be the last thing you want to do, but many studies show that being out in nature has a healing effect on the mind and body. Even better: sneak in some exercise. Vigorous activities like running get your blood pumping, release feel-good hormones called endorphins and are a great way to stave off any post-break-up weight gain. If you’re not into high-impact workouts, try outdoor yoga or meditation.
Call your friends
It’s tempting to lock yourself away from the world, but being around your friends will bring you out of your funk and get your social life back on track. As for those tricky “So, how have you been doing?” questions, a simple “I’ve been doing okay” will do, followed by a smile. Don’t feel like you have to explain yourself. Just focus on having fun.
Make plans you can look forward to
Now that you’re single and free, what are the things you’ve always wanted to do that you couldn’t before, while you were attached? Draw up a list of things you’d like to do over the next few months. Whether it’s taking a solo adventure trip, trying speed-dating, working overseas for a year, or just spending more time with your mum, make sure to fill that list with activities that motivate you and get you excited about life.
Focus on: Being and feeling fab
Once you’ve dealt with your emotions, it’s time to boost your self-esteem.
Get a new look
A new hairstyle or beauty makeover will push you out of your comfort zone and increase your confidence. Get a makeup consultation at a beauty counter, switch to a bolder shade of lipstick, try coloured eyeliner, reshape your eyebrows or make like Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton and get so-hot-now bangs.
Change your wardrobe
Dig up outfits that you never wore when you were with your ex because he didn’t like them. Or jazz up your tried-and-true ensembles with statement accessories – try chunky necklaces and brightly coloured bags.
Lend a hand
When you’re in pain, it’s easy to forget that there are others who are suffering just as much as, if not more than, you are. Volunteering is a sure way to gain perspective and you’ll feel good about being able to help others.
Pick up a new skill or hobby
Now that you have more time on your hands, learn a language or go for a computer course, or take up something fun like cooking or pottery. Apart from boosting your career and personal development, it will do wonders for your self-esteem.
You may have let things go a little while you were attached and piled on the pounds. Come up with a healthy diet and exercise plan to shed those extra kilos.
Make a new playlist
Music is a proven mood-booster. Create a playlist of songs or post-break-up anthems that define who you are right now. Our empowering hit list: Wide Awake (Katy Perry), Rolling In The Deep (Adele), Tears Dry On Their Own (Amy Winehouse), Don’t Hold Your Breath (Nicole Scherzinger) and Goodbye (Kristinia DeBarge).
Focus on: Putting yourself out there
It’s time to widen your social circle, meet potential new loves, and unleash your fun, adventurous and flirtatious side.
Meet new guys
Don’t be shy, but don’t act desperate either. Ask friends to set you up on dates, sign up for dating or singles events, or attend concerts and sporting events. The point is to meet and get to know new people.
Take a trip
Whether you’re alone or with friends, a relaxing getaway can help you discover new things about yourself and help you get a handle on those stressful emotions. It’s also a chance to take a break from your usual routine and have fun!
Focus on: Staying positive
By now, you should be feeling a lot better about yourself and your romantic future. But keep working at those positive emotions. Even if you’re ready to start dating again, go easy – don’t rush into anything you’re not ready for.
Work on that self-love
Get into the habit of doing nice things for you, whether it’s indulging in a mani-pedi or foot massage, or treating yourself to a nice dinner.
Give your room or apartment a fab new look – whether it’s getting a whole new set of furniture or simply changing your bed linen. Making over your living space can be cathartic and it’ll put you in a more positive frame of mind.
Give that hottie a chance
He asked you out – but is it too soon? Go slow – spend time getting to know him better, then make a decision about whether or not to move forward.
Revitalise your career
You’ll be amazed at how this can boost your confidence. Attend career seminars, volunteer to take on a new work project, train a new employee or intern, or come up with new ways to improve your team’s performance and workflow.
This story was originally published in the October 2013 issue of Her World.