7 Step Guide to Rediscovering Yourself After an Unhealthy RelationshipApr 24, 2019
After spending 15+ years of my life in unhealthy abusive relationships, I finally took some important steps to take back control of my life and happiness and was able to find and marry the man of my dreams. It would have been hard for me to believe years ago that this would now be my life. I am so thankful for the lessons I learned along the way and would like to share some of these tips with you. I promise it's worth the work!
- Get out of your “Comfort Zone.” Try things that make you uncomfortable. I used to be very afraid of heights. I have now jumped out of an airplane 3 times and even took a flying lesson. Once I did that I realized how much I enjoyed it and understood that I may have missed out on so much more because of my fear. You can open up a whole new world for yourself just by being open.
- Learn what love feels like. When I was in unhealthy relationships I thought love was uncomfortable, stressful and something I needed to endure. Being around people that help you stay calm is a good start. When being around certain people starts to make you feel anxious or uncomfortable get away from them. Feeling the need to be “polite” can keep us in bad situations. Once you learn the “calmness of love” you won't go back to what was unhealthy because you won't put up with it.
- Know thyself. Get to know who you are without another relationship. Chances are good you have been trying to make everyone else happy for so long you don't even know how to make yourself happy anymore. Learn what makes you tick. What do you enjoy? Dislike? What are your little idiosyncrasies? What do you feel you need to work on for yourself? You need to do this for you, not anyone else.
- Find a hobby. In fact find several! How do you know what it will be? Try every one that seems even slightly interesting to you! Give it a few tries and see if it's a good fit. It will get you out meeting new people and it will also help you find new healthier ways to deal with life’s ups and downs while also making you stronger and more resilient. Another great side effect is that you will also feel better and therefore less likely to be around people that don't add to that feeling. Yoga and meditation are pretty amazing if you are looking for somewhere to start.
- Travel. Make a list of all the places you would like to see. Figure out how to get there. Life is short and there are so many beautiful places! Don't have the money? Start saving. Think that will take too long? There are some wonderful apps available that can help you travel for a very low cost. I used couchsurfing.com to get free room and board across the country! Where there is a will there is a way! Don’t have anyone to go with? Go by yourself and if you have kids bring them along. I traveled to South Dakota by myself and LOVED the opportunity to do whatever my heart brought me to. Met some pretty cool people along the way too!
- Start a healthy eating and exercise routine. It's easy to get into a slump when you aren't feeling so happy but this can become a vicious cycle. You want to do everything you can to get back to the best version of yourself. Eating well and exercising will give you more energy and help with your confidence while also improving your overall health. Who doesn't want to live a longer and healthier life when they are creating so much joy and excitement?
- Date! Once you have gotten comfortable with all of these other steps start dating. Sign up for the dreaded online dating sites and get out of the house and into situations where you can meet new people. There may be a lot of duds out there but remind yourself if you are out there then someone just as amazing as yourself is also out there searching for exactly who you are, so be true to yourself! Make first dates short and after each encounter add to your list of wants and don't wants in a perfect partner for you. If you don't know what you want then how will you know what you are looking for?