Reclaiming Your Independence Post-Breakup

Dr. Angela Seabright
Ryan Miller

| 3 min read

smiling woman cuddled up in a blanket sitting on a bench/ledge overlooking water
Breaking up is hard to do, as the song goes.
Beyond the emotional sting, it can be complicated to reclaim your independence as you untangle from a relationship, whether it’s adjusting to a new living situation or re-learning how to operate on your own.
However, it’s important to prioritize yourself as you go through the process, however long it might take. Here are some tips to get you through, happier on the other side.
  • Spend personal time alone: As cliché as the advice, it is important to re-learn how to spend time by yourself. Self-care is extremely important, especially when you are feeling your most vulnerable. Discover what it means to be self-compassionate. Plenty of people before you have been in similar situations and it’s critical to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.
  • Try out old and new activities: One of the most interesting things to think about after a relationship ends is what hobbies you used to take part in before. Once you factor work, outside activities, working out and adding in the time for a relationship (whether married or not) there can be very little time left for your own personal hobbies. Pursue the activities you enjoyed in the past. Also, don’t be afraid to try some new things. For example, take a cooking class or try that sport you always wanted to learn. Even something as simple as reading a book for fun can be personally rewarding and pave the way for personal growth.
  • Rebuild your finances: If your budgets were intertwined, you might want to consider:
    • Creating a personal budget (and game plan) for how you plan on managing your own finances. When budgeting, try to limit excess spending and focus on long-term financial goals.
    • Breaking up your paycheck into various accounts. Your first focus should be current bills and expenses that have due dates, of course. However, think about contributing to an emergency fund that would help cover 30 days of living expenses, should unexpected expenses come up.
  • De-stress in healthy ways: Don’t despair over a breakup in self-destructive ways. If you’re feeling down, try spending time with friends and family. Take lots of walks or take yourself to a solo movie or museum outing. Spend time on activities that help you reflect on the good in your life such as mindfulness classes or starting a yoga practice.Treat yourself to a spa day or relax from the comfort of your home these DIY, budget-saving ways to care for yourself:
The initial phases of a breakup are emotionally complicated and can be distressing. If you’re having a really hard time, seek help from a mental health professional. Sometimes an objective perspective can really help you understand what you’re going through.
If sadness turns into something more serious and you’re considering ending your life, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number at 1-800-273-8255.
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Photo credit: simonapilolla

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