If you have recently left a toxic relationship, you may feel hurt and bewildered.
On one hand, you might be immensely relieved that your ex is no longer in your life.
Perhaps you have started dreaming about the new start that awaits you, or maybe you are even celebrating their departure.
At the same time, part of you may miss them, despite the fact they abused or mistreated you.
This isn’t unusual. If you love someone, it feels impossible to shut down your feelings overnight.
It’s normal to feel a conflicting range of emotions, and they may linger for many weeks or months.
Remember, feelings aren’t logical! Sometimes, you need to accept that they will take time to ebb away.
Fortunately, you can speed up your recovery by treating yourself well.
Here are six of the best things to do after splitting up with a toxic individual:
1. Take a trip alone
Your relationship may have left you feeling unsure of your identity and stripped you of your confidence.
If you have experienced abuse, you might even believe that you are no longer capable of making your own decisions and caring for yourself.
Challenge these beliefs directly by taking a special trip for one.
You don’t need to go far; just a weekend away in a new town can boost your self-esteem.
Pick a couple of local attractions and immerse yourself in your new surroundings.
2. Write about your feelings
Journaling is a popular hobby for a reason – it is a wonderful way to express difficult thoughts and feelings.
Buy a notebook or sketchbook and start writing, drawing, painting, or making collages.
You don’t have to show anyone else what you’ve done, so don’t worry whether your journal entries are good enough or that they make sense.
3. Try a new hobby or pick up an old activity
Toxic relationships tend to be soul-destroying.
By the time you leave a toxic person, you might not know who you are or what you enjoy.
You may have lost interest in your former hobbies.
Break out of your rut by setting aside half an hour three times per week to explore new interests or engage with something you used to love before meeting your ex.
4. Learn how to spot toxic people
Anyone who has survived a toxic or abusive relationship knows that learning how to identify energy vampires, narcissists, or anyone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart is a crucial life skill.
Stay single for a while and do some background reading on unhealthy relationship dynamics, abuse, and the warning signs that indicate when it’s time to get out of a relationship.
Even if you don’t intend on getting into another relationship, this knowledge will still help you deal with other people in your life, such as colleagues and friends.
5. Stick to the No Contact rule
The end of a relationship can trigger a kind of desperation.
You might want nothing more than to see or speak to your ex-partner.
Perhaps you want to beg them to return, despite the fact they have nothing positive to offer you, or maybe you are fantasizing about starting an argument in which you let them know precisely how awful they’ve been.
Reaching out or responding to their messages might feel gratifying in the short term, but if you want to heal from a toxic relationship the only option is to go cold turkey.
Stop talking to your ex, block them on social media, and don’t pick up the phone when they call.
Delete their number.
If you have it committed to memory, assign them a new name in your contacts list such as “Toxic Ex – Do NOT Answer” or something a little more creative.
Ask a friend if you can call or text them every time you get an urge to contact your ex.
They can remind you why it’s crucial you stay No Contact, and lend you some emotional support.
6. Consider getting some therapy
Finally, remember that there is no shame in seeking professional help.
It isn’t a sign of weakness.
In fact, acknowledging that you are struggling to cope requires a great deal of courage. Seeing a therapist doesn’t mean that you are “crazy” or incompetent.
Your friends and family may not admit it, but some of them will have visited therapists before.
You can ask your regular doctor for a referral, or make an appointment at a local mental health clinic.
You can search online for a therapist near you, but make sure they are licensed.
Each US state has its own licensing laws, so you will need to do a little background research.
Don’t be afraid to shop around. If the first therapist you see isn’t a good fit, move on to the next.
You deserve to feel safe, comfortable, and supported at all times.