If you have recently left a toxic relationship, there may be a number of feelings you are dealing with at the moment. While it is natural that you will experience self-doubt at first, it is important to take action and break free of negative thoughts. Unfortunately, in many cases the toxicity of a bad relationship can outlast the relationship itself. In order to protect yourself after a difficult breakup, you will need to find ways to heal and cleanse your mind. Below you can find reliable strategies that will guide you throughout this challenging time and help you feel safe again.
Acknowledge What Happened
It is normal to have feelings of denial when you have first left a toxic relationship. You may doubt the validity of what happened, and it is also possible that you may blame yourself. While these thoughts are natural, you should not forget that just because you have them, it does not mean they are true. By facing the truth early on, you can allow yourself to acknowledge how and why the relationship turned out the way it did. Remember that if you deny that the relationship was damaging in the first place, you will not be able to start your healing process in a healthy way.
In order to truly end this relationship, you will need to stop communicating with the person altogether. This may require you to block or delete their number and remove the chance of any other connection you may have. If you find yourself constantly worried about your safety, it is advisable to consider applying for a non-molestation order, which is aimed at protecting you from actual harm, or the risk of harm. You can obtain more information on non-molestation orders provided by National Legal Service Solicitors. This will ensure you understand the process and what it entails, which will help you make an informed decision.
Feeling angry at yourself at this stage is a normal reaction to have. However, this situation is not meant to define you. There are many people who have gone through similar experiences and have learnt to forgive themselves. It is vital to realise that you have done nothing wrong, and you will never be responsible for someone else’s behaviour. While it is understandable that this will be difficult, taking small and attainable steps each day will help build your confidence. It is possible that you may not feel strong at the moment, but you will develop strength as you continue working on yourself.
Ask For Help
One of the first and most important steps to take is to ask for help, if you feel like you need it. You should not be afraid to consult a therapist or mental health professional, who can help you navigate the recovery process. It is crucial to recognise that you are not alone in this situation and tapping into every resource you can, will be beneficial in the long run. There are different ways to get support that will help you start learning useful skills and techniques to cope with your feelings effectively. Remember that you should not let any feelings, such as shame or embarrassment, to prevent you from seeking help.
Build A Strong Support Group
Although you may want to go through this process by yourself, it will be beneficial to reach out to your support group. Make sure you surround yourself with people who value your health and wellbeing. It may be helpful to go out to dinner with a friend or talk it out with your family. You may want to check if a close friend may be able to spend the night, as you begin adjusting to a new normal. Leaning into a strong support network will provide you with the confidence to move forward and process your feelings.
Prioritise Your Health
Being in a toxic relationship can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health. You are likely to going to have difficulties maintaining a healthy and balanced diet or an exercising routine. This is completely normal and it is imperative not to beat yourself up for it. Instead, make sure you set some time for self-care each day and engage in activities that make you feel good. For example, you can explore these ideas, that will support in looking after yourself by prioritising your mental and physical health.
Focus On The Present
During the recovery process, it may be tempting to look back at the past and start analysing everything that happened. However, this approach will not be helpful as it can only distract you from the present. The only reason why you should be looking at the past is to learn from the experience and find opportunities for growth. If you are struggling with this concept, you should often remind yourself that you cannot change the past or people’s actions. Be patient with yourself, as you begin to recognise what the relationship has taught you.
Implement Positive Affirmations
Shifting your mindset can only happen when you choose to surround yourself with positivity. It is possible that negative self-talk may occur from time to time. Nevertheless, you should be careful how you speak to yourself on a daily basis. Remember that your words matter as they can have a profound effect on your outlook. One useful technique that you can incorporate is saying positive affirmations and words of encouragement during times of sadness, frustration, confusion, or anger. This will make a huge difference in the long run, as you do this more and more often.
Keep A Journal
As you adapt to this new situation, you may struggle to understand and process all of your feelings and thoughts. What you may need is a safe and healthy outlet to reflect on everything by yourself. Therefore, it may be a good idea to start a journal and record your thoughts every day. It may be as simple as noting down what you did throughout the day or the different emotions you experienced throughout the week. Honouring your feelings as they come and go can be a great way to reflect on your growth as time passes.
Embrace Who You Are
At times, toxic relationships may lead to denying or hiding important parts of our identity. Consequently, it can be easy to lose sight of your interests and goals. Because of this, you may need to take some time and find out what parts of yourself are longing to be expressed. It is recommended to make space for any hobbies or activities you may have left behind in the past. This means that now is the ideal time for you to rediscover anything you were unable to do while you were in the relationship. For example, this can be anything from taking a dance class to cooking your favourite meal.
Regardless of where you are at in your journey, it is always a good idea to continue educating yourself about harmful relationships. You can learn about signs of toxicity, different reasons why people stay in toxic relationships, as well as potential barriers that may exist to leaving a difficult situation. Developing this knowledge and awareness can help prevent you or your loved ones from entering a similar situation. As a result, you will be able to identify ways to seek support and create a safe and positive environment.