How a breakup led to a better relationship with myself
I recently came out of a relationship that was full of negativity, and I found that this negativity impacted my mental state, spiraling me into depression. Being in a relationship during quarantine is tough for any couple, whether you’re experiencing a newer relationship or an existing one. The combination of Covid stresses alongside an unhealthy relationship left my mental health in pieces, and I had to figure out how to heal through it.
Something the breakup unveiled for me was that I don’t have an internal voice telling me how to process things or talk things out with myself. I found journaling to be super effective because I previously would process things and then completely forget the conclusion I came to, so I would have to reprocess. Growing up, I always viewed journaling as something girls did, more specifically artsy girls. Now that I’ve experienced journaling myself, I can understand how healing it is. I would definitely encourage everyone to give journaling a try, and it may help you keep your thoughts organized.Organized thoughts can often be the first step towards processing.
A journaling exercise I do often is to look back on my old entries. I would re-read journal entries where I was frustrated and dissect what caused me to be upset. This exercise helped me process my emotions for the next time I encounter a similar situation. Even when you think you’ve grown from a certain struggle, there are times when you will have to revisit it, but come at it renewed with a different perspective.
Another new habit I’ve introduced is to embrace physical activity. I was never one who was very amazed at nature, but I decided that sitting in front of my phone or computer all day will not do any good with my depression. So I decided to get out of my house and start hiking. Not only am I able to get some fresh air, but also hiking has been a great activity to spend time with others. While picking up a new hobby helped jumpstart my journey to self healing, this doesn’t have to be the only solution.
Self healing can start by simply doing something different during your morning routine.
For myself, I’ve gotten into consuming high grade matcha on a daily basis. Whatever works for you, whether it’s making a cup of coffee or stretching in the morning,implement something that’ll get you excited to wake up in the morning. Nowadays, I love to get up and take my time making my matcha. That slightest change in my morning routine truly kickstarts the rest of my day.
I was always under the impression that self care was so overrated. As an extrovert, I look towards others to provide me happiness and comfort. Through this quarantine and my breakup, I have learned that I can be independent about my own happiness and that I have control of my day to day. I used to depend on a really great weekend, filled with great people to push me through the following work week. But now I focus on the little things that work for me, like listening to my favorite song or going for a walk.
This whole healing journey even brought me to quit my job. There’s a lot of pride associated with having a job, and being unemployed is conventionally seen as somewhat shameful.
It’s scary knowing that your community around you is progressing in their careers, and it takes a lot of introspection to tell yourself to pump the brakes if things aren’t serving a purpose anymore.
I came to the conclusion that it was difficult for me to focus on myself when I was preoccupied with my job. For some people, a job can help as a good distraction and a place to funnel your energy into. For myself, it was pulling me away from where I wanted to be, which was just a better mental state.
The decision to quit my job did not have many pros at face value. However, I know that this decision isn’t something that will give me instant gratification. Rather, it would be a decision that will have long term benefit.The biggest thing that I’m focusing on is the process that will happen in the future. Who’s to say that I continue working, get burnt out, and then for the next five years, I’m going to be just an ineffective employee because I’m never able to recover. I want this time to be spent healing and recovering from burnout so that when I come back, I’m going to be ready and I’m going to be focused.
I want to wake up in the mornings and be happy with the person I see in the mirror.