Posts tagged starting over
3 Ways to Feel Empowered after a Break-Up

The emotion can be overwhelming when you experience the loss of a relationship, it can be difficult to sleep, difficult to eat, and the grief over the loss can send you into a downward spiral that might be difficult to get up from. There's fear and anxiety abut where to go and what to do next. Losing a love that you always thought you'd have is devastating. But just like anything, there’s always a silver lining.

It can be difficult to just put one foot in front of the other, and a challenge to get through the day without shedding a tear or two, but it gets better and there are some actions that you can take, to push you towards the healing phase. It might feel like you're just going through the motions at first, but once you find your stride, these actions can take you to a whole new you, and you can come out on the other end as the best version of yourself. 

I'm pretty optimistic when it comes to the healing process, and I get that in the beginning it might seem like a climb up Mt. Everest, but the view from the top is breathtaking! 

It takes one step at time to get there, and here are 3 actions that you can take today to help you off the emotional roller coaster, and into a new phase of confidence and self-love: 

1. Recognize that the way you are feeling now isn’t the way it will always feel.

It’s easy to let the overwhelming feelings of grief and sadness take over and govern all aspects of your life, but there will come a time where the edges of your sadness are not so sharp. In fact, one day you’ll have moved on and be in a place that makes you so happy that you’ll feel like it was all a bad dream.

You know that feeling, right? You wake up and know that you were feeling scared or upset, but you can’t remember why or much of the detail and as the day passes, you forget about it completely.

I’m not saying you’ll completely forget about your ex, or the trouble in your relationship but there will come a time that it won’t be consuming, and you won’t have to hold back tears when you recall things about your relationship or come into contact with things that remind you of them.

The best way to start the process is with gratitude. It’s easy to get stuck and caught up in focusing on what you don’t have (your relationship), so much so that you miss all of the amazing things that are going on around you. The more that you add in positivity and focus on it, the less time you have to allow the negativity to consume you.

Something that you can start daily is a gratitude practice.

Every morning when you wake up, let the first thought be, “thank you.” If you’re religious you can thank God that you woke up and that you have another day on this earth. If you want to skip the religious part, just say thank you to your body for working, for breathing, and to the universe for allowing you another day.

Then make a mental or written list of 5-10 things that you are grateful for before your feet even hit the floor. In that moment where you aren’t yet ready to open your eyes and take a stretch, and are typically thinking about how badly you need more sleep, think of the things you have to be grateful for – a place to live, running water, a warm bed, your health, your family. These things can be big or small, but they deserve to be acknowledged, and those acknowledgements will change your attitude and help combat that sadness you feel.

Practice this exercise for at least one full week and notice how it makes you feel. If you’re feeling like overachieving, when you get into bed at night, think of 5-10 different things that happened throughout your day that you are grateful for and let those good vibes you’ve created lull you to sleep rather than the sadness you feel over sleeping alone.

2. Awaken your inner badass and unlock the power of positive affirmations.

Just as with gratitude, positive affirmations have the power to change the way you feel inside. In fact, there’s a great study that says the smile on your face can change the way you feel inside, meaning it actually changes the chemistry in your brain and in your body. So even if you aren’t feeling happy, put a smile on your face and see if it doesn’t help improve your mood, even slightly.

That’s kind of how this whole positive affirmation thing works. It’s normal for a breakup to make you feel off your game and unlike yourself. Having someone you trusted and loved tell you that they no longer wish to be in a relationship with you is one of the ultimate bubble bursts in terms of self-esteem.

But you do have plenty to offer. Those amazing qualities do exist and practicing positive affirmations helps to keep them in the forefront of your mind. Spending more time on positivity leaves less room for negativity.

In order for this to work you have to take action and practice, practice, practice. Start by making a list of 10 positive things about yourself and then put that into a sort of mantra that’s easy to repeat. Your affirmations can be things that you’re totally not feeling at this moment, but deep down you know are true.

Something like, “I am bright, I am beautiful, and I deserve to be loved.” Or, “I have much to offer the world, and to others. I am kind.” Or maybe just, “I am enough.”

Then do whatever it takes to repeat a couple of your favorites throughout your day and especially in times that you feel down. Use post-it notes and put those suckers all over your mirror, your car, or your cubicle. If you want to be a little more discreet, set reminders on your phone for them to pop up at random times throughout the day to remind you just how awesome you really are.

3. Reconnect with your strengths.

Many times in relationships there are parts of us that become lost, or overshadowed, but those parts are important, and they make us who we are. They contributed to who we were before we entered into the relationship, and yet those parts often get neglected.

In order to reconnect with those strengths, reflection and introspection have to be involved. Were you once an athlete, or involved in some sport that you no longer do? Is there a creative side to you that you don’t feed because you’ve become too busy? Are you great with money? Are you a great parent? Are you a great friend?

I want you to look at those strengths and get back to them so you can start to feel like yourself again, but also more importantly so that you can begin to realize that although this relationship is lost – while it’s extremely important, it isn’t all that makes up your life.

Sometimes women can place far too much emphasis on their romantic relationship and allow it to govern all other aspects of their life rather than having a full life and allowing a relationship to fit in the picture as well.

Find your strengths; accentuate them, or build new strengths.

Do you know what your strengths are? If not, take some time to reflect on them. Ask your close friends and family what they see as your strengths, or even what they saw that used to be your strengths, because maybe they’ve noticed you’ve lost them along the way as well. It can be difficult to put yourself out there in such a way, but a close confidant will likely be truthful if you approach them in the right way.

I’m a huge proponent of journaling; I recommend it to almost all of my clients who are struggling through life’s challenges. While you’re trying to heal you can start journaling and thinking about the parts of yourself that you’ve neglected that once brought you a sense of happiness and strength.

If you still aren’t sure what your strengths are, need some help with those affirmations, and gratitude practice, don’t worry I’ve got you covered! Click on the link below to download my Attitude, Gratitude and Strength Finding Cheat Sheet and start the healing process today.  

The greatest gifts to give your single self this Christmas
singles gifts after divorce

It’s better to give than to receive, right? In that case, this Christmas give yourself exactly what you need. While love from others is necessary, welcomed, and can help you to forget your single status, love for yourself is far more important so while you may be mending a broken heart, pushing past a rocky patch in your relationship, or just enjoying the single life, here are a few things that will make any of those, that much greater:

 

1.     “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. Admittedly this was one of my favorite books this year. It’s an awesome self-help book for those that loathe the term “self-help.”  Jen gets to the nuts and bolts of pushing you past the things that are holding you back from being your most badass self! She takes the kid gloves off, and gives it to you straight. I like her style, and I think you will too (unless you take offense to curse words).

2.     Adult Coloring books. Remember how fun it was to color as a kid? Whether you kept it in the lines, or were a perpetual scribbler, I bet you never recognized the mental health benefits as a child. Coloring can be meditative and it decreases anxiety and increases creativity and you don’t have to be an amazing artist to enjoy it.  There are some fabulous patterns available for adults that will put those cartoon characters you used to color to shame.

3.     Pandora radio subscription.  This is not a completely novel idea, but the reason I suggest the paid version is because we all deserve commercial free music. Pandora’s Calm Meditation Radio is one of my favorites to help me get to Zen. Meditation has some amazing health benefits. Set the timer on your phone, put your headphones in, and sit and focus on your breath for a few undivided minutes per day. You’ll notice a positive shift in your mood, decrease in your stress level, and gain mental clarity. Meditating first thing in the morning can help you start your day off right, and the right music sets the tone.

4.     “Rising Strong” by Brené Brown. Brené Brown is one of my all-time favorite writers. She rocks it in her latest book, which will help you pick yourself up, recognize the power of vulnerability, and change the way you approach relationships. Brené is a fantastic story-teller and researcher. This book is pure gold as it teaches you to own your story about challenges and heartbreak.

5.     An adventure. Once you take the plunge into becoming a badass and rise strong, it’s time for a new adventure! Pick a hobby or that thing you’ve always been curious about and go out and do it. Don’t wait for the perfect person to enjoy said activity with, know that you are ok all on your own, and take your strong, badass self on that hike you’ve always wanted to conquer. Heck, you might even want to join a hiking club, or a watercolor class, or take scuba lessons. Push past your fears and just to diminish the excuses, book that lesson or class as a gift to yourself this Christmas. You’ll be glad you did!

I hope you receive all the gifts you truly deserve this Christmas. My wish is that your holiday will be filled with great connection to people that matter. But don’t wait for others to fulfill your wish list – instead, grab that list by the horns and make it happen for yourself. You’re worth it!

If you could use some extra support through the holiday season and beyond, don’t hesitate to give me a call, (909) 226-6124. I’d love to help you gain the strength you need to push past your relationship struggles and get what you truly want out of life.     

Enjoying the Holidays In spite of your relationship Status

In an attempt to get away from the traditional “Surviving the Holidays” guide, I don’t want to talk about “surviving” something that is meant to be amazing, but instead I want to share ways to have a kick-ass holiday, in spite of your relationship status.

You may be sitting at the Thanksgiving dinner table as a single, or with a partner that you’re barely holding on to, but in either case, you can have a rockin’ holiday, and I want to give you some tips to go about doing so.

It all starts with mindset. This is key to so much in our lives. The things we tell ourselves about what is to come, or what is, has the power to take over and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re stuck in loathing the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and your mind is filled with thoughts of dodging questions about your relationship status, that’s likely what you will experience.

While I admit, sitting at a table filled with couples can remind you of your singleness, but being prepared beforehand, and focusing on your mindset can do wonders for your mood and how you interact with family and friends when they ask you yet again, if you’re ready to get back out there.

From the time of this publication until Turkey Day, you have 2 weeks and 2 days to get your mind right and prepared to have more than just a ho-hum holiday.

Start with gratitude. There are small moments in each day that we can be thankful for. This time of year gets people into posting things on social media about what they are thankful for daily. This is a great exercise, but if you aren’t into the whole social media thing, just do it for yourself. Get a little notebook and keep it by your bedside, or use the note app on your phone and jot down/type at least one thing you are thankful for each day.

Is there something that your relationship status has brought you that you can be thankful for? Looking for the silver lining in crappy situations can be powerful. Maybe you and your partner are going through a rough patch in your relationship, but it’s caused you to think more deeply about your relationship, and who you want to be as a partner. Introspection and growth are amazing things, and we sometimes need a difficult situation to kick us in the gut to help us realize it’s something we need. This is something to be thankful for, and something you can write down in your notes.

Check your limiting beliefs and that tape that plays on repeat in your head. What is it that you tell yourself about yourself? What do you tell yourself about your relationship? Are you constantly repeating over and over that you’re a horrible person for causing a break-up, or the difficult path you and your partner are on right now?

You might be saying these things to yourself and not even realize you’re doing it. Take some time out to listen to the messages you’re giving yourself, and what happens right before that, to evoke those messages.

Let me give you a personal example: I’m a person that has had a tendency to run a few minutes late to events and non-work stuff, and by a few I mean 5-15 depending on the day. It’s not something I’m proud of, but something I’m definitely working on. I noticed that I was typically showing up to wherever I needed to be, frazzled and unexcited. Getting out of the house can be a chore with a 1 year-old in tow.

When I sat down and really started thinking about my mindset and the things I was telling myself, I heard things like, “you’re never on time!” “OMG get your act together already!” “If you just would’ve gotten off the couch 10 minutes sooner, you wouldn’t be in such a rush!” and other expletives that I won’t share here. But it’s no wonder why, when I arrived to my destination that I didn’t have energy or excitement about whatever it was that I was about to do. I was spending the entire car ride mentally tearing myself apart.

After dissecting these thoughts, I came to the conclusion that I needed to change the tape that I was playing in my head when I am running late. Instead of negative thoughts, I’ve replaced them with loving affirmations. I say things like, “you are awesome,” “this event is going to be great,” and reminders about why I signed up for said event, and things that just evoke happiness. You can fill in your blank with anything positive that you see fit. But I can attest to the fact that positivity is powerful, and being kind to yourself has the ability to change a future event from something you drag your feet to, to something amazing.

As for that baby-shower I helped host over the weekend, I totally rocked it, and it was because of my mindset. I arrived with energy, eagerness to work the crowd, and I was ready to pour out all the love I had for my friend and her new baby.

I won’t pretend this is easy. Changing automatic thoughts can take weeks, months, and even years. Sometimes there are deeper-rooted issues that keep you stuck in those mindsets, but if you take the time to listen and figure out what those issues are, then you can begin working towards clearing them up.

Once you identify the negative things you’re telling yourself, it’s time to pick some new things you’d like to say instead. Write them down, and read them to yourself when you wake up, before you go to bed, and any other time you get a moment. This will help you to memorize them and recall them when you’re in that negative situation, and by the time you pull up to your parent’s house on Thanksgiving, you will be able to recite them and remind yourself of how awesome you are, and of the positive things you have to look forward to while sitting at the dinner table.

While you might not be able to change what’s happening with your partner in time for Thanksgiving, you can mentally prepare yourself for family asking about when they’ll be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet. Anticipating those types of questions that typically make you cringe, and identifying the messages you tell yourself as a result of those questions will make a world of difference.

If you know Aunt Agnes is going to ask you why you’re still not married, and you know that will in-turn cause you to over-eat, ever-drink, or over-indulge in self loathing for the remainder of the night, nip that pattern in the bud. Show up having done some work around this, and prepare a new plan of action, a new affirmation, and a new state of being so that question will just roll off your back, and you can change to subject and point out all of the fabulous things you’re doing with your life these days a result of being single.

Watching your newly married cousin and her husband play footsie under the table can have you wishing for better days with your spouse, but if you meet that head-on with a plan to focus on what the holiday is all about – a favorite dish, tradition, or a laugh you’re looking forward to having with your cousin who’s in from out of state, your mindset can help keep you thankful, and looking forward to the next family gathering. A relationship issue may be all consuming, but if you take a minute to step outside and look around, you will see that you are more than your relationship, and there truly are things to be thankful for if you just give them a chance.

If you want a little kick in the butt to get you motivated to change your mindset in preparation for the holiday season, you can click here to get my 14-Day Mindset Boost Calendar, where you’ll find a small exercise each day to help you clear the clutter, and get you prepared to truly enjoy your holiday. 

#100HappyDays How a social media challenge can help you heal from Heartbreak

The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, and saw my friend’s picture of her with her kids. I glanced at the hastag, #100HappyDays. I have seen it before, and I’m sure you have too. But can we really have 100 happy days in a row?

When you’re in the midst of a face-down moment (yes, I’ve been reading a lot of Brene Brown lately), going through a break-up, or trying to get back on your feet after a devastating life-altering event, it can be difficult to see anything aside from pain and sadness.

I totally get that, and it’s totally ok to hide under the covers and pretend the world doesn’t exist for a little while. But aren’t those covers amazing? Who doesn’t love the comfort of their warm bed after a long day? Those sheets were totally worth the splurge! My point is, there’s a silver lining in everything, and a challenge like #100HappyDays or other social media challenges can help you see that.

After seeing my friend’s post, I decided to do a little research. I googled #100happydays, and it lead me to a website where you can join the challenge. For 100 days, you take a snapshot of something that makes you happy.

And while you may be having a horrible day, and feeing so much hurt and sadness over the loss of your relationship, no one’s day is entirely crappy and a challenge like this can help you to see at least one positive thing in your life each day.

It may be the warm cup of tea at the end of the day, a beautiful flower or sunset you catch a glimpse of on your way to or from work, a snuggle with your cat or dog, or the new cute running shoes you added to your workout wardrobe.

These are all small things, but when we practice gratitude, and are mindful about those things that makes us smile, it can add up to big changes in our lives.

The other great thing about a social media challenge is that it brings about a sense of community and accountability. A while back one of my cousins was doing the #100happydays challenge, and I came to look forward to her happy post each day, and if she wasn’t able to post something for a day, the following day I’d see comments asking what happened to the previous day’s post.

There are other great social media challenges with various focuses, recently I saw someone doing a #FlowerADay challenge, and a facebook group I’m a part of did a 30 day passion challenge where everyone picked something they were passionate about doing more of. Another great example of this was my colleague’s #FitLifeJust1 challenge where everyone posted one thing they were doing to get healthier each day.

Finding a challenge that has a meaningful focus for you can help get you out of a funk, and help you to notice something positive in each day with others there to support you.

As author, Naomi Williams says, “It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment."

Have you participated in a social media challenge? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Did you gain any unexpected benefits from participating?