Breakups are a perfect time for us to practice self-love and learn more about ourselves. Personal relationships seem to be the number one priority for many of us. We all seem to be searching for love.
Many of us think that if only we found the right person to love, our lives would be so much better. However, that’s not the way happiness works. When you feel needy for a partner, it is an indication that you are missing love and approval from the most important person you know…yourself.
After a breakup, you’re left to face yourself once again. You might have the habit of creating relationships that are co-dependent and dysfunctional. A breakup allows you to examine what patterns you have in romantic relationships and how much you truly love yourself.
Studies have shown there is a prevalence of personal growth following breakups so it’s important to remember the positive personal development and learn to practice self-love.
What is self-love?
Self-love (also referred to as self-compassion) is about accepting ourselves for who we are, faults and all. It’s about treating ourselves with kindness, respect, and being mindful of our own needs as well as those of others. It’s not always easy to practice self-love, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
When we love ourselves, we feel happier and more content in life. We’re more likely to be successful in our pursuits because we’re doing what we love for the right reasons – because we want to, not because we feel like we have to.
Self-love is not about being selfish or conceited; it’s about being kind and compassionate towards ourselves. When we’re able to do this, it opens up the door for us to be kind and compassionate towards others as well. We can’t truly give love to others if we don’t have love for ourselves.
When we go through a breakup, it’s normal to question our personal identity and inner emotions because we’ve spent so much time and energy building a relationship with someone else. Practicing self-love will ensure you’re the primary person responsible for how you feel.
Let’s explore 36 ways to practice self-love after a breakup.
1. Monitor your self-talk
Start to notice what thoughts run through your mind and what you feel about yourself. Do you have feelings of loneliness? Do you tell yourself that finding the right person to love is difficult?
The thoughts that pass through your mind say a lot about your beliefs about yourself and love. Maybe you have a strong sense of self-love and tell yourself things like “there’s always love around every corner” or “I know the right person is out there for me.”
Monitoring your self-talk will give you an indication of how much you love yourself and if you need to improve your self-love before entering the next relationship.
2. Put your attention on the solution
Breakups can be painful, but you must quickly accept the loss and focus on feeling good. The priority to yourself is to feel at ease and fulfilled. It is a daily practice you choose and strengthen.
You have to let go of the awful feeling the breakup caused and focus on regaining your balance once again. It is not beneficial to ruminate on the painful event. Instead, you must focus on healing yourself by putting attention on the solution.
Create new thoughts that lead you to your worthiness. The only relationship you need to improve is the one with yourself. A happy person will attract other happy people.
3. Acknowledge your feelings and process them fully
Cry as much as you want to and talk to people about how you feel. Feel anger, hate, or any other feelings that may arise. The key is to climb up the emotional ladder and reach feelings of acceptance and finally appreciation for the experience you had with your ex.
4. Make yourself feel special
Life gives you a reflection of what you feel inside. Demonstrate the growing love you have for yourself nonstop. Treat yourself to romance and love by pampering yourself.
Surround yourself with your favorite colors, scents, and textures. Show yourself how special you are by buying yourself flowers and even writing a poem to yourself. As you grow your inner love and romance, the right person will be attracted to you like a magnet.
Create an atmosphere of love all around you. You will inevitably attract someone that also loves themselves.
5. Go from loneliness thinking to fulfillment thinking
Create a loving mental atmosphere within you and around you. Let go of negative thoughts regarding love and romance. Instead, focus your thoughts on the excitement of love. Feel the comfort of sharing love, approval, and acceptance with everyone around you and most importantly yourself.
When you feel an abundance of love and fulfillment of your own needs, you will not be needy or co-dependent in your next relationship. When you truly love yourself, you will remain centered, calm, and secure no matter what happens in your relationships.
6. Build a strong foundation to support all aspects of your life
When you practice self-love, you will be invincible and will face everything from a point of stability. Feeling fulfilled and centered will allow you to have good interactions at home, at work, and within your social circle.
Nourishing a loving and stable energy will give you the power to face any situation and not be greatly affected by it. Matters that were once desperately stressful, will not be a big deal anymore. You will attract new people into your life and let go of those that don’t serve you.
7. Make space for new people
A great way to meet new people with similar interests is to join community organizations. After a breakup, you need to have fun with others who appreciate who you are. When you’re in a relationship, it can be challenging to manage a social life.
Oftentimes, your and your partner’s social circles overlap making it difficult to enjoy the same friends after a breakup. It can be stressful to manage you and your ex’s mutual friends. You now have the perfect opportunity to establish new connections.
8. Decide what you want in a relationship
A therapeutic activity can be to reflect on your past relationships and decide how you envision yourself in a new one. Perhaps you want to shed some old habits that cause you trouble. You may notice negative patterns rooted deeply in your childhood that affect the way you are in a romantic relationship.
Take time to analyze where you’ve been and where you want to go. Your past relationship certainly showed you various elements you want to change in the future.
9. Get out of the house and have fun
Be lighthearted about your breakup and see this as an opportunity to get in touch with yourself once again. There could be some activities in which you didn’t engage while with your ex that you now have the opportunity to do.
Changing scenery and going outside your home will help you refresh and restart.
10. Stay open and receptive to new possibilities
Now that you’re single, it is important to see this time as a chance to experience a different phase in life. Start to listen to other points of view that you might have ignored while you were with your ex. Embrace the variety of life and open yourself up to new adventures.
Being single allows you to think for yourself without the opinions of your partner.
11. Practice positive affirmations until you believe in a new you
The way you think, speak, and act creates your reality. Start by thinking and affirming new thoughts daily. Choose to become someone excited and thrilled about life.
You will start to notice a shift in the way you feel about yourself by simply stating new affirmations. Stay optimistic about love and remind yourself of how valuable you are.
12. Face yourself in the mirror with love and acceptance
Looking at yourself in the mirror is an excellent exercise for self-love and acceptance. You will have the opportunity to talk to yourself while looking into your eyes. Remind yourself of how amazing you are and see if you feel awkward in any way while gazing into your eyes.
Practice praising yourself in front of the mirror until you fully feel at ease while speaking to yourself. Complement all parts of your body with appreciation and satisfaction. Love every part of yourself from head to toe and inside out.
13. Write a list of positive aspects about yourself
Seeing things on paper makes a huge difference when changing concepts about yourself. Write a long list of everything you admire about yourself. This will remind you of how valuable you are and all the qualities you can offer another.
Since your confidence can take a hit after a breakup, you need to take the time to review all the things that make you a great catch. It is a great way to stay hopeful and know the right person is out there for you.
14. Count your blessings and practice appreciation
Dealing with a breakup can be painful, but there are many things you can be grateful for to help you overcome the loss. Practicing appreciation is one of the most powerful habits a person can have to be happy. Life is full of challenging situations, but we can find stability in appreciation.
Start by appreciating the sun coming out each morning, your breath filling up your lungs, the safe roof under your head, and the nature that surrounds you. Being grateful for the simple things in life will shift your attitude and empower you to deal with any situation.
15. Assess your stress level and anchor yourself in feelings of ease
Our modern hectic lives are full of stressful events. During difficult times, the flight or fight response is triggered and stress hormones are released. Stress is simply fear about something.
You have to practice feelings of ease and surrender to life with trust. Remember that no person, place, or thing has power over you. Train yourself to let go of fear and release tension.
Self-harmony is achieved when you are at peace with yourself and stress cannot exist in that place at the same time.
16. Embrace life’s endless changes
Once you accept that life will bring endless challenges, you will accept the never-ending changes. You can see your breakup as just another challenge you must overcome. It is okay to fail, but you must not accept failure.
Getting over your breakup with strength and grace will show you how resilient you are. Stay optimistic about your romantic future and prepare yourself for a variety of challenges ahead by being a happy and fulfilled person.
17. Pay attention to your breath
Breathing consciously is a great practice that brings ease and wellness into your life. Start by setting aside 10 minutes from your day to do deep breathing exercises. While you consciously pay attention to your breath, clear your thoughts and focus on the soft rhythm of your lungs.
Conscious breathing exercises relax the body and mind while filling your system with fresh oxygen.
18. Allow your food to reflect self-love
An act of kindness you can do for yourself is to eat nutritious foods. Fuel your body with plenty of fresh whole foods centered on fruits and vegetables. Hydrate with a quality water source and avoid products that lower your energy.
Taking good care of your body will help you feel vital and be mentally strong. As you take good care of your body, your self-esteem will stay intact and you will feel in balance.
19. Keep your body moving with a fun activity
Regular exercise pumps oxygenated blood to your heart and helps you feel your best. Humans are not meant to be sedentary, thus we must keep moving! Choose activities that excite and motivate you to keep a regular exercise routine.
Dancing, hiking, and contact sports are exciting ways to stay active. Plus, they may provide an opportunity to socialize and meet new people.
20. See life as being simple and easy
You can change your perspective about life and learn to go with the flow. A daily practice you can implement is to tell yourself that things are always working out for you. Even when things seem difficult, you can remind yourself that life has your back.
When you flow with life instead of going against the current, you will start to see life’s simple and easy rhythm. Sometimes it is just a matter of time until things start to improve, which means you can relax in the meantime and let things figure themselves out.
21. Step into your power and be the powerful creator that you are
You are attracting everything into your reality with your thoughts and feelings. Ever wonder why some people seem to be “lucky” while others are in a constant struggle? Do you feel powerless against circumstances?
You must remember that you have the power to focus on feeling good and attract into your life what your imagination calls forth. When you focus on what you want to have in your life with enthusiasm and hope, you will create it.
Feelings of powerlessness and confusion don’t allow you to have the clarity you need to take the necessary actions to create your dreams.
22. Practice a habit of relaxation
No matter where you are or what you’re going through, you can practice feelings of relief. A relaxed body and mind are open to receiving life’s gifts. People who feel tense have a hard time letting amazing people and circumstances into their lives.
As soon as you feel your body get tense or your mind become neurotic, consciously tell yourself to relax. Have a clear intent on letting go of any stress and instruct your body to feel calm.
23. Trust yourself to handle anything that comes your way
Remind yourself of how strong and resilient you are. See your experiences as badges of honor that help you become untouchable. You must realize that feeling pain is an inevitable part of life.
Having any type of relationship comes with its ups and downs. Trust your inner wisdom to guide you through any problems that may come. You can be your own hero when you trust your strength.
24. Write a journal to express yourself freely
Keeping a private journal can be very therapeutic after a breakup. Unlike speaking with a therapist or a friend, it allows you to express yourself without boundaries. You can write down your deepest and most private feelings.
Part of processing your loss and pain is to be able to express yourself fully. A journal can also serve as a tool for expressing feelings about your ex that perhaps you didn’t get to tell him or her.
25. Create your perfect mate and know you deserve the very best
Now that you can start fresh, imagine how your perfect mate would be. Be unapologetic about your desires and think of all the things you’ll want in a partner. Make a list of your new criteria and feel worthy of having it.
If you lack confidence about having what you want, ask yourself what you want to change about yourself to feel worthy. Just remember that worthiness is not about having the perfect body or enough money. It is not even about being the wisest most evolved person, but simply feeling at ease with yourself.
26. Allow yourself time to grieve the loss
Distracting yourself too much from the loss you just endured may leave you with unresolved feelings. Take your time grieving your breakup and completely process it before moving on. It is okay to feel sad about your ex, don’t run away from your genuine feelings.
27. Spend time with a therapist or friend
Sharing your feelings with someone who is a good listener can help you process the loss. Working with a relationship counselor is a great way to gain helpful feedback about your experience. A therapist or even a good friend can help you see things clearly so that you can move past your breakup.
28. Nourish all your loving relationships
Remind yourself that love comes in many ways. Some of us get completely absorbed by a romantic relationship and forget about all the other valuable people in our lives. Learn to appreciate and devote yourself to all your important relationships, giving them the importance they deserve.
This approach to your love life will keep you centered. It will remind you of how beautiful and significant all relationships are. Appreciating all of those that love you and giving the proper nourishment to keep all your relationships strong will create balance in your life.
29. Take on a new and exciting project
An effective way to keep your mind moving forward after a breakup is to get involved in an exciting new project. Travel to a destination on your bucket list. Start a new hobby that challenges you.
Create excitement and wonderment in your life. Make YOLO (you only live once) part of your mantra. Life is meant to be fun and you are the director of your movie.
30. Distance yourself from anything that brings you down
Look around and see if there’s anything in your life that drains you. Choose people that uplift you and bring excitement into your life. Let go of relationships that stifle you and make space for those that inspire you.
Even depressing television shows can bring you down and reinforce negative thought patterns. Be aware of your energy and be selective with where you place your attention.
31. Understand the complexity of humanity
Understanding that we are all human beings trying to have our best life experience will help you to let go of any judgment you may have towards your ex. Appreciate your ex for being the person who brought you a learning experience.
Expand your perception and don’t take what happened to you so personally. Instead, see a broad perspective that includes a global vision of humanity. You are not the only one that has gone through a breakup, and it may not be your last one.
32. Feel complete all on your own and enjoy being single
Make a relationship the icing on the cake, not the whole cake! Feel satisfied being alone and enjoy your own company. This fosters a strong sense of independence and passion for who you are.
People who are unhappy without a partner are likely not happy with themselves. It is a recipe for a life full of dysfunctional relationships with lonely people. If you are happy being alone, you will never feel lonely and will only attract those that also feel complete.
33. Avoid self-defeating criticism and be gentle with yourself
No matter what happened in your last relationship, choose to be content with yourself. Accept that relationships are complex and don’t blame yourself or others. You know exactly what you can do better next time and must see the benefit the experience brought.
Change your beliefs to reflect the abundance of love that exists in the world. It is a false belief to think that love is limited and that a good person is hard to find.
Allow yourself to feel good about what you gave to the relationship. Enthusiastically imagine what the improved version of yourself will give to the next relationship.
34. Practice forgiving yourself and others
Many teachers on self-love say that forgiveness is an act of kindness towards yourself that allows you to let go. Many horrible offenses can never be accepted as okay. Forgiving is not being alright with what someone did to you, but instead, it is about you freeing yourself from their clutches.
Free yourself from guilt or victimhood. Forgive yourself and your ex for what happened and liberate yourself so that you can move on to a bright future.
35. Stay present and create your new reality
Life is one long today! This means that if you are dwelling on the past or wondering about the future, you are absent. Be present and see this moment as a gift.
Focus on the appreciation you can feel in your life today. It will inspire you to imagine what you want to create next.
36. Practice meditation to soothe yourself and stay balanced
The practice of meditation has been the center of wellness for thousands of years. There are many methods you can explore. The key is to find a quiet place where you can spend time with yourself and free your mind from the daily noise.
When you practice meditation your brain waves go from a state of the fight or flight response into a relaxed creative state. By surrendering yourself to a higher energy field, you will start to notice significant changes in your life. You will become someone that finds comfort within yourself and is not easily affected by circumstances.
Free online resources
- Self-Compassion.Org: Professor Kristin Neff author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself provides helpful guided practices and exercises to help be more mindful and understand the many facets of self-love.
- University of North Carolina Wilmington: The counseling center of UNCM gives free access to handouts, websites, podcasts, and videos to help understand self-worth.
- Center for Mindful Self-Compassion: Take a self-compassion test to get a better sense of your current outlook on self-love.
Our final thoughts on self-love
A breakup is an opportunity to assess your self-love. It is a perfect time to get in touch with yourself and find ways to nourish your worthiness. Practicing self-love is a daily habit that feeds your soul.
Just as you drink water daily, practicing self-love is essential to a healthy and enjoyable life. What you practice you get good at, so see a breakup as an opportunity to love yourself more each day.