Whether you were married or in a long-term relationship, the idea of being single can have you feeling lost or overwhelmed, especially if you haven't been single in a long time. Being single isn't a curse; it's a blessing in disguise -- an opportunity to catch-up on life, discover who you are and reflect on what you've learned through your past experiences. For a healthy adjustment, it is important to take time for yourself before moving on to other aspects of the single life.
Take Time to Grieve
It's important that you let yourself grieve and feel sad about the loss of your relationship. Even if you initiated the break-up, it can feel like experiencing the death of a loved one, writes clinical psychologist Jennifer Kromberg in her Psychology Today article, "The 5 Stages of Grieving the End of a Relationship." Kromberg suggests that knowing the phases of grief can help you normalize your break-up. The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Kromberg warns that denial is where you often make the mistake of contacting your ex, so try to stay strong during moments of weakness. Also, be sure not to send any texts during the anger phase. That's when strong emotions tend to cloud your better judgment. Instead, journal about your feelings or write a letter to your ex -- but do not send it to him -- then, rip it up and throw it away for a cathartic release of emotions.
Break-ups can take a toll on your self-esteem, which is why it is important to boost your self-confidence in a meaningful way. Completing a simple task or small project can give you a sense of self-worth and accomplishment, teaching you how to be self-reliant in the process. Painting can be therapeutic for heartbreak because it focuses the mind, helping you improve and enhance your mental and emotional well-being. The creative process in painting helps people resolve conflicts and problems, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight, explains art therapist and counselor Erin Brumleve, on her Denver Art Therapy and Counseling website.
Get to Know Yourself
Getting to know yourself after a break-up is about self-discovery as a newly single person. Take your time and try new things because you might find that your passions have changed over time. Take classes -- pottery, cooking, yoga or anything you think you'll enjoy. The end result is about recognizing what makes you happy and fulfills your life. When your life is fulfilling you don't feel the need to rush into a relationship because ultimately, it's not relationships that define who you are, it's who you are that defines the relationship.
Get Back Out There
Hopefully you have single friends you can rely on to show you a good time and help you with your adjustment. If not, hang out with your married friends while you explore the option of finding and meeting new friends. Join church groups or meet-up groups catered to your likes -- hiking groups or book clubs. Don't take yourself too seriously. Go outside your comfort zone. Start taking risks and trying new things, says Kristen Pantone, a mental health counselor, in her Elevation Life Services website article, "Finding Yourself After a Break Up or Divorce." If you're normally a shy person, this is a perfect chance to embark on a new adventure and increase your social circle. Who knows, maybe a new friend might introduce you to the love of your life.