You are sad, broken hearted, and your life has been radically altered. The person you have been spending the most time with is no longer a part of your life. All the rituals you had and the everyday exchanges that gave you joy are gone, as is the dream of what you hoped to create together. Every relationship we start has the potential of breaking up and we all hope that we will never see the day. Even if the breakup is desired, the effects can still be challenging to deal with and may leave you wondering who you are. Reinventing yourself after a breakup is a natural next-step after this confusion.
No matter how independent we are, relationships shape us. We emerge different than we were when we began. Some of who we have become we may love, some of who we have become may seem like a sacrifice that was not worth it, and some of who we have become may feel like it died with the end of the relationship. Sometimes who we have become is so far from who we want to be that we feel like we need to start from scratch. The question is, how do we reinvent ourselves after a breakup?
8 Tips For Reinventing Yourself After A Breakup
- Let go of loose ends: It can be tempting to hold onto memories, both large and small. Items that represented your love are often found in your environment. Plans you held together can still be floating through your mind. The more that you can clear things out and open the door to new things the faster you will be able to discover the new you and create the new life that you are craving.
- Be frivolous and have fun: Nothing looks better on you than laughter and happiness. The sadness of your breakup can weigh you down. The easiest way to counteract this heaviness is to make it a point to have fun. Try doing something that you have always wanted to do, but didn’t because you convinced yourself it was not practical or it was too frivolous. Create silly moments of novelty. Building moments of happiness and fun into your life will help you feel better about yourself and more creative as you consider redefining your life in general.
- Pay attention to how you look: You might be a meticulous dresser or you might throw on the first thing you lay hands on in your dark closet. We all have a certain part of our identity that is tied to our appearance, whatever that appearance might be. When we’re uncertain about other parts of our identity, like after a breakup, it’s easy to be shaken out of our usual appearance identity. Exercising choice by pushing yourself to put effort into how you look will help you reconnect with yourself and seize a basic and fun step in reinventing yourself. Looking good for you (not anyone else) is healthy and helpful at any point in time.
- Pay attention to how you feel: I am not talking about the sadness that you feel as a result of your break up. I am talking about the things, little and big, that put a smile on your face or make you feel good inside. If you want to create a new version of you that you like even more than the current model, you want to start to pay attention to what you like and what you don’t. The easiest way to do this is to pay attention to how you feel when you are doing things. If you are not feeling good, you might want to consider letting go of that activity and beginning to do things differently.
- Spend time with people who love the real you: Nothing helps you move on and feel strong enough to try new things like being seen by people who really get you and love you as you are. Take some time to recharge your batteries by surrounding yourself with people who truly appreciate you for all of who you are. Even better if these people are so supportive that they will also embrace the changes that you are planning to make!
- Spend time with yourself: Alone time is essential to making sure that you are connected with yourself and in touch with your emotions. Moving on after a breakup is not so much about keeping on the go as it is about a healthy balance of activity and introspection. Give yourself the time you need to just be, feel your feelings, and imagine into your wide-open future.
- Rekindle dreams: When we are in a relationship, it begins to shape who we are. Sometimes dreams we had as a single person get put to the side because they do not fit well into a relationship. Now is a great time to bring these dreams to the forefront yet again, and to create some new dreams!
- Don’t look back: After the grieving process is over and you have mourned what has been lost, there is little use going down memory lane. If you find yourself replaying relationship events, torturing yourself with “the good times,” or mulling over what you might have done differently, try instead to do one of the things on this list. The new you is waiting for you in the future, not in the past. The more you can embrace the potential of the future, the easier it will be to reinvent yourself.
Whether you’re reinventing yourself after a breakup or just because you feel it’s time for a change, try these resources for reinventing yourself.