1. Give yourself permission to stay single. Don’t come up with ways to get your ex back and don’t search for a new relationship to jump into straight away. Learn to enjoy the silence of alone time. Become a better friend to yourself. Give the single life a shot before claiming that you miss the comfort of a relationship you know wasn’t right for you.
2. Rid yourself of their hold on you. Delete their photographs. Erase their texts. Retrain the way your mind works so that you’re not accidentally talking to yourself in your ex’s toxic voice. You have your own voice now. Use it.
3. Act selfish for a change. You spent so much of your time worrying about their happiness, but now that they are gone, you have the chance to focus on yourself. Eat what you want. Listen to the music you want. Go where you want. Live how you want. The only opinion that matters moving forward is your own.
4. Give yourself positive reenforcement. A breakup is the time when you usually think about all the ways you went wrong and all the flaws you wish you could fix. Reject that mindset. Instead, think of how strong you are for leaving your toxic relationship. Pat yourself on the back for finally getting the hell out of there after being trapped for so long.
5. Surround yourself with love. Call your friends on the phone to hear their voice. Ask your parents to meet you for dinner and offer to pay. Help your grandparents with their gardening. Invite your coworkers out for drinks. Spend more time outside with your pets. Remind yourself there isn’t an absence of love in your life.
6. Forgive yourself. You don’t have to forgive the asshole who hurt you — but you do have to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for staying when you should have left. Forgive yourself for stooping to your ex’s level at times. Forgive yourself for allowing your heart to become trampled when you know you deserve so much more.
7. Rebel against your old relationship. Did your ex force you away from certain friends? Text them to get together for brunch. Did your ex yell at you for wearing skirts too short? Wear the skimpiest one you own. Remind yourself that you are in charge of your own body, your own decisions, and your own direction in life.
8. Stop replaying the past inside your head. Stop looking for closure. Stop trying to figure out the reason why your relationship fell to pieces. Accept that it’s over instead of guessing why you were never enough for your person. That doesn’t matter anymore. They don’t matter anymore.
9. Look toward the future. Instead of hating yourself for being such a pushover in the past, think about how you want to be more headstrong in the future. There’s no sense in tearing yourself apart. You should build yourself up instead. Work your hardest to become a person you can say you’re proud of.
10. Apologize to anyone you’ve hurt indirectly. Maybe your toxic relationship pushed you away from your parents. Maybe it caused you to lose touch with your closest friends. If you’ve hurt anyone who wanted what was best for you, even on accident, apologize to them. Rebuild the relationship.
11. Make a list of what you love about yourself. Don’t mention how your ex loved your long hair or the shade of your eyes or the curve of your hips. What do you love? Stop seeing yourself from their point of view and look at yourself from your own set of eyes.
12. Give yourself time to grow. No matter how horrible your old relationship was, no matter how much better you are without your ex, you still need time to mourn your loss. Healing won’t happen automatically. It will take time and that’s okay. You don’t have to rush toward tranquility.
13. Find an outlet for expressing yourself. Write. Draw. Paint. Hit a punching bag. Ride bikes. Run a mile. Find a release for your emotions so they don’t build up inside until you explode.
14. Believe the words your friends say. I’m so proud of you. You’re better off without them. You are going to find someone else. You deserve so much more. When you hear those words, listen to them. Your friends mean it. It’s the truth.
15. Love yourself the way you wish they loved you. Pamper yourself. Take good care of yourself. Buy little gifts for yourself when you need cheering up. Say I love you when you look in the mirror. Treat yourself like a real priority.