Step Two – Take care of yourself.


Congratulations, the worst is over. You have gone through the sharpest pain of the breakup, possibly of your life, and you’ve come out alive. If my own experience is anything to go by, you probably feel hollow, bitter, depressed and ugly. Your eyes are red and your mouth tastes salty, and you keep replaying what happened in your mind. You don’t want to look in the mirror because you don’t even recognize the empty person you see on the other side. Well, I’m here to tell you that that’s normal and you are going to be okay. I’m also here to tell you that whatever negative thoughts you have of yourself right now are wrong. Your self-esteem is likely to be at an all-time low, and sadly it’s normal to hate yourself and perhaps even feel that you deserve to be alone. Please, I beg of you, do not give into these thoughts, because they are the furthest thing from the truth. You are a beautiful, special, valuable individual, and if it wasn’t for your flaws you would not be the unique person that your friends and family adore. You deserve to be loved, and some day someone amazing will walk into your life and appreciate all of the weird idiosyncrasies that you have. In the meantime, you need to learn to be happy on your own, and you need to love yourself.

What you are going to do today is call up a friend (preferably one who has been through a breakup before) and invite them to go for some kind of a pampering treatment with you. Whatever relaxes you is fine. Some might choose to go for a manicure, a facial or a massage. If you have the means, multiple treatments are great, but really just the fact that you’re actively doing something for yourself is therapeutic enough. Also, throughout this week (and hopefully every week thereafter) you need to commit to living a healthy lifestyle. That means plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise and sleep. Your body and mind will thank you ten-fold and you will feel good naturally.

Don’t have enough money to go for a treatment? Think again. Sign up on Groupon and look out for amazing discounts on all sorts of exciting treatments near you, up to 60% off.

My friend Aimee and I chose to go for acupuncture, because we’re broke students and we know a girl who has just finished a cosmetology course, so she can do free treatments in exchange for practice. I must admit, at first this was not relaxing at all. Only when we were at the point of no return, face down on our tables, did we realize that this girl has very little experience and is about to stick many needles into our bodies, until we resemble gothic porcupines. However, once she started, I immediately realized why so many people rave about this treatment.

Acupuncture originated in ancient China, and is based on the principle that the human body has invisible meridians of energy which can be manipulated and reorganized into pleasing feelings, through sticking tiny needles into the body. Though there is no scientific proof that these meridians exist, and there is no way of explaining how it affects the body, people all over the world swear by it as a way to relieve tension, pain and many other ailments. It is commonly used to treat pain and anxiety for cancer patients, as well as a wellness treatment for anybody with stress-related problems. As the treatment promises, you don’t feel the needles because they are so small, so there is no pain. From the very first needle, I felt a wave of warmth, followed by relaxation and relief. It was almost as though my negative feelings were leaving the needles. When it was all done, we both noticed how relaxed our muscles were, and we felt lighter and energized.

It was lovely to have Aimee there to talk to about the breakup, and we even had some laughs. Though it might bring up some sad thoughts, it is so vital to speak about the breakup with someone else, so that you can get a different perspective on the situation. I found it comforting to know that Aimee had been through the same thing and is now very happily living the single life. It felt really good that I had company, and that I’d done something nice for myself.

Today reminded me that I deserve to be happy and that life feels better when you take care of yourself and your well-being. The fact that my outing with Aimee made me laugh and feel a bit better gave me hope that the future can be bright and joyful, without any dependence on a significant other. As for the negative thoughts, they still come and go. However, after reading an article on dealing with low self esteem after a breakup, I have learned that you can combat this by recognizing when you are giving into negativity, allowing it to pass quickly and giving yourself constant positive affirmations. Eventually, this becomes a habit and you can actually train yourself to think positively and believe in your worth. A handy thing to do is to write a list of all the things you are good at, what you like about yourself and what others have complimented you on. Referring to this when you are feeling low can bring you out of the negativity and remind you of all the reasons to be proud of yourself.

I sincerely hope that you will laugh or smile at least once today. Read the article that I’ve just mentioned, go treat yourself, talk to a friend and most importantly, love who you are. You are definitely worth it.

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