Avoid vodka and casual sex. Try these soul nourishing post breakup ideas instead.
The ever growing mound of tissues at the base of your bed. The sudden outburst at a cafe when your song comes on the radio. The lack of sleep, loss of appetite, constant checking of your phone and all round shit feeling in the pit of your stomach. Breakups suck. But before you reach for the bottle or start making bad breakup decisions with men with neck tattoos surround yourself with friends and family and try these wholesome ways to heal first.
1. Start a gratitude journal
The first time someone told me about gratitude journals I thought it was a bunch of hippy crap. I’m a grateful person, why do I need to write it down everyday? So my very first entry read “Today I am grateful for 1) My friends 2) My family 3) My health”. Job done- what am I going to write about tomorrow? But it’s amazing how things just come to you. It might be crisp new sheets, or a thoughtful gesture, a beautiful sunset, a refreshing dip in the ocean. Even when your whole world seems to be crashing down and you’re utterly devastated I bet you can think of at least one thing you are grateful for that day. Then, any time you’re having a bad day pick up your journal and read about all the wonderful parts of your life and it will help lift your mood.
2 . Hike yourself happy
Channel your inner Reese Witherspoon from the film Wild and get out into the great outdoors. There’s nothing quite like leaving the buzz of the city behind to reconnect with nature. One of my favourite hikes starts at Berowra Station and leads you down to Berowra Waters. You’ll pass beautiful views like the one pictured above and it’s mainly down hill. When you get to the bottom there’s a cute little restaurant called Chef Secrets. Just don’t overeat, the second half of the track back to Cowan Station is all up hill and more challenging. When you get to the station just jump on the train and you’re one stop away from where you parked at Berowra Station. For something closer to Sydney try the Spit to Manly.
3. Get a massage…like every week
There’s something about the calming music and the touch of soothing hands on your body that feels so good when you’re feeling sad. Massages can bring up a lot of emotion so don’t feel bad if you start crying on the table, it’s surely nothing your masseuse hasn’t seen before. If you feel the waterworks coming on maybe give them the heads up you’re feeling emotional today and that it’s not a reflection of their work. Although I always wince when my therapist works a knot in my back.
4. Read some poetry
Love and heartbreak- it’s been written about for centuries by the greatest artists of all time. For some modern literature discover the works of Melbourne poet Beau Taplin. His book ‘Worlds of You’ will make you cry and smile and should live on your bedside table during a breakup. You can also follow him on Instagram for daily poems. The other book to check out is Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur. Kaur takes you own an intimate journey through the euphoric ups and devastating lows of her own relationship and breakup. You’ll soon realise you’re not alone. Love sucks but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
5. Declutter and let go of all that “stuff”
You might have emotional baggage to sort through but first, let’s start with the physical baggage you’ve accumulated over the years. It’s time to spruce up and de-clutter. Start with your wardrobe. If you don’t love it or it doesn’t fit perfectly put it in a pile for charity. Why do you need that box of DVDs and CDs? Everything is online these days? Throw away that box of random cords you’ve been hoarding. A friend once told me “if you can replace it in less than 20 mins for less than $20, chuck it”. You’ll feel so much better after a good cleanse.
6. Plan a trip
Maybe it’s a short camping trip over the weekend with friends or you can afford to take a whole month off and travel around Europe. No matter how large or small getting out of town often puts things in perspective and helps with a breakup. You realise the world is a big place and there’s so much to see and do. There are also lots of new people to meet and connect with outside of your immediate circle. Stick to enriching holidays. Hiking around Canada surrounded by natural beauty verses pool parties and day drinking in Vegas surrounded by botox.
7. Try something you’ve never done before
Perhaps it’s a visit to the opera or checking out a new art exhibition. If you’ve always wanted to try swing dancing, take up surfing, start yoga or try stand up paddle-boarding (SUP) now’s the time. Why not combine two new things and try SUP Yoga! Flow Mocean in Manly offer SUP yoga classes every weekend in the warmer months for $45 a class including board hire. For 1.5hrs you’ll be concentrating so hard on your balance that you’ll quickly forget your breakup woes. Once you’ve ticked that off the list try one of their kayak yoga classes or if you prefer two feet firmly on the group sunrise beach yoga. You can also check out our Fun Exercise Ideas guide for more inspo.
8. Find a therapist
You spend hundreds of dollars a year making sure your outsides look good with hairdressers, new clothes and gym memberships. Spend an hour nourishing your insides. Friends and family are great but there’s nothing quite like sitting down with a pro who’s spent years studying the brain and how it works. You’ll also realise you’re not alone in your thoughts and you can learn new techniques to help cope with stress, anxiety, loss and heartbreak.
We’re all busy in our day to day lives but set aside just 10 minutes a day to meditate and you’ll be amazed at how it can transform your headspace. I love the Calm app for guided meditation. They have set themes including “7 days of happiness”, “7 days of self-esteem” and “7 days of calming anxiety” (I found this one particularly helpful when stressed at work). They also have sleep stories to help you nod off at night, simple breathing exercises and a practice for when you’re commuting to and from work.