There’s been plenty of articles, books, movies, and TV shows about how to get over that last love and make a big change. Vacations, buying yourself a gift, or having a girl’s night out. While these are all excellent suggestions, if you’re a starving student this list is just a reminder of one more thing you don’t have…money. Not all of us are lucky enough to be working for a magazine company in New York with endless possibilities at our fingertips. Instead, we are the ones folding towels at the gym or handing out coffees to cranky professors and entitled students. These suggestions are all about taking a small step, which over time, will lead to pretty big changes on your perspective of life. It’s especially hard after a breakup to be reminded that you have control of your life and can change it at any point. So, here’s a good place to start.
1. Find a creative outlet
Even if you’re not the next Picasso or Plath, everyone can make something beautiful. Doodle, write, paint…make something beautiful to remind yourself that you are capable of creating something out of nothing.
2. Channel your inner Meredith Grey and dance it out
Dancing has been shown to have a positive effect on your mood. Crank some Tegan and Sara (or whoever you prefer) and let loose. Get friends to join or do it solo and remind yourself it is okay to look like a fool, as long as you’re smiling.
3. Find a new spot in your town/city and make it yours
It can be a cute coffee shop (but then again, the coffee will cost money) but ideally, find a new park that people might not know about. Maybe there’s a gorgeous walking path or an empty field. Find somewhere that you can be alone and feel like it’s your own little sanctuary in a place that might already be ridden with memories of your ex.
4. Make short-term, attainable goals
While having a long, thought out plan is wise, having more attainable goals helps you to boost your confidence and feel more accomplished. Been planning on doing a closet overhaul? Now’s the time!
5. Do something new and outside of your comfort zone
Almost all universities/colleges offer free lectures, gallery openings, and sporting events where you can go and brush elbows with new people while seeing new things. Not only will you meet different people, you might even develop a new hobby or interest by trying something outside of your usual preferences.
6. Write down one positive thing from each day
As a university student, writing a whole blog or journal entry can be quite taxing. Instead, write down one positive thing (or more) about each day. This could be anything from getting a good grade or a promotion to having someone text you first for a change.
Meditation has been shown to have extremely positive effects on the brain and can lead to a multitude of beneficial changes. However, it also lowers stress levels and can teach discipline and gratitude. There are some great apps available for smart phones or resources such as Love Your Brain (www.loveyourbrain.com), which offer a guided mediation session online every Friday.
8. Get organized
Grab a new, chic day planner and start writing down everything you have going on. This is related to number 4, but scheduling your plans for a day helps to keep your life on track and seeing a little checkmark beside each finished task is affirming that you get shit done, even on days when it feels like the complete opposite.
9. Foster the good relationships in your life
While this might not lead to change in the short term, in long term aspects, having a squad of your own with like-minded individuals will create a healthy environment for you to fall back on when you do decide to make a big change. Even though it’s hard, get rid of the toxic relationships ridden with people that love watching you fail.
10. Fake it ‘til you make it
Some days it’s still hard to wake up and be happy. Smile anyways. One day you’ll wake up and won’t be able to remember if you’re smiling because you told yourself to, or if because you are genuinely satisfied and looking forward to the day.