Toxic relationships can take many different forms — from the mutually toxic push and pull to one person dragging the other down. Sometimes, it isn’t as clear cut as you’d like it to be. People do things they’re not proud of, and that could have been you or someone else trying to make you feel unworthy.
Regardless of your past situation, that ship has sailed. Your toxic relationship is over now, so everything should be peachy, right?
Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, and you may still be in a state of shock from all you experienced. Relationships and breakups can take a lot out of you, especially if you spent a while in a toxic situation, or the breakup itself brought a ton of new feelings to the surface.
But old breakups and relationships don’t have to define you and your experiences. You can find peace and healing after your toxic relationship through caring for yourself, rediscovering your passions and knowing your worth. Here are a few key ways to do it:
1. Process What Happened
Many different kinds of trauma exist, and while you may not classify your relationship as a trauma — or a particularly large trauma — it can act like one in your mind. A trauma can be any event that causes emotional distress.
And while it may be difficult, processing and working through that distress can be instrumental in helping you heal and move forward into healthier situations.
It can be easy to isolate yourself after a traumatic event or try to block out memories to numb the pain. However, working through things and understanding your emotions will help you make healthier choices in the future and understand your own needs. Relying on those who love and care about you can help you get there.
2. Be Intentional With Self-Care
One of the best ways to find peace with yourself and care for your emotional health when exiting a toxic relationship is to introduce a compassionate self-care routine into your life. While self-care is always an important part of life, coming out of a situation where you may not have felt properly cared for and supported will probably have you needing some extra compassion.
While self-care can come in the form of treating yourself in moderation and doing things you love, it is also about making sure your basic needs are met so you can feel responsible and empowered in your happiness.
3. Take a Step Back From Dating
While dating someone brand new and getting back out there might sound fantastic in theory, coming fresh off a breakup isn’t usually the best time to jump into another connection. You may be feeling all kinds of emotions and processing everything that happened in the toxic relationship you just left, and you deserve to focus your attention inward right now.
Realistically, it can take a long time to work through the trauma of a toxic relationship, no matter what role you played in it. You may have some leftover feelings about relationships as a whole. If you feel yourself getting cynical about dating or stressed out about finding someone, those are surefire signs you need to focus on you and put yourself first.
4. Spend Your Newfound Time Doing Things You Love
One of the best ways to harness your power and uplift your spirits after a toxic relationship is to spend your new free time doing things that make you happy. You may be leaving a controlling or judgmental situation behind, and abandoning that to explore all of life’s new possibilities can wake you up to how beautiful life is.
Take up a new hobby or spend your time watching films your ex always hated. Ask yourself what you truly want. It can remind you that there’s nobody out there who can stop you from enjoying your life the way you want.
5. Spend Time With Friends and Family
When you’ve been feeling a lack of support from your significant other, it can be easy to feel completely unsupported by those around you. But you don’t have to sink into those feelings. Spending time with those who truly support and care about you can bring an entirely new attitude.
No matter what you choose to do together, being in the presence of others can remind you that you’re not alone, and that you’re worthy of love and care.
Know Your Worth
Toxic relationships can cause trauma, heartache and sadness. But no matter what, you’re done with that chapter of your life. Now, you can find peace and purpose in your life — because you know you’re totally worth it.