Relationships are hard and require investing a lot of energy and emotion. We put ourselves out there and try to create something special and worth cherishing with the person we believe is a good fit for us. Still, we’re all bound to fail to build a successful and harmonic relationship, and often these stories end in a breakup. But, if the relationship was more than just unsuccessful, but in fact toxic, we have a lot on our plates after it’s over.
Healing from a toxic relationship is a process and it won’t happen overnight. The important thing is that you’ve recognized how negatively it’s impacted you and are ready to start your recovery. Below, we’ll share the 8 best tips on how to heal from a toxic relationship.
The first step is usually the hardest and it implies you need to admit you were in a toxic relationship. Many women find it hard to accept this as the truth, for a number of reasons:
- they’ve been with the person for a long time
- they still have mixed emotions
- they feel humiliated
However, acknowledging that your relationship was toxic is the first step. And, if it checks some or all of the boxes below, it certainly was toxic:
- you had low self-esteem and felt worthless
- you felt demeaned
- you lacked supported
- you were constantly trying to prove your traits
- you were verbally attacked or insulted
- you felt lonely
Recognize and accept that the relationship you were in was a hostile emotional environment. Once you accept it, you’ll be ready for the next step.
Thinking about what’s happened or why things worked out the way they did won’t help you heal. In fact, it will make things hard for you or even make you float in the past for a long time.
This is why you need to let bygones be bygones.
Yes, it’s easier said than done, but here are some small steps you can take to try and leave things behind you:
- don’t check your ex’s social media
- don’t call up their friends
- refrain from looking for where it all went wrong
- don’t relive your old memories or look at old photos
We’re not saying you should ignore the relationship that happened. On the contrary, you need to work on solving your issues. But we’re not saying you need to do it the right way, and cling to the past.
Changing your everyday location can contribute to the healing process. You need to let your mind rest and focus on something new instead of staying trapped in the past.
Your home, apartment, coffee place, or even city can remind you of the things you did with your ex. So, try taking a brief vacation and step away from all those things for a while.
It would be best to do it with friends you love, or family that supports you. Try to have as much fun as you can and enjoy the people who are truly there for you. This will put things into a different perspective and help you love life again.
So many women who exit a toxic relationship try to find the person to blame, and usually, it’s themselves. Blaming yourself for the failure of a relationship that wasn’t working is simply wrong and something you shouldn’t do.
Firstly, it takes two to tango. And, if your ex-partner treated you poorly, that’s none of your faults.
Secondly, you had no idea things are going to turn out the way they did when you first entered the relationship. No one ever does. So, there’s nothing you could’ve done differently.
Finally, it’s your ex-partner who treated you poorly and made your relationship into a toxic one. You just found a way to recognize that and end things before they went too far.
When you come out of a toxic relationship, you’re feeling tired, drained out, and miserable. You don’t want to spend time with people and explain why and how things ended.
But, you need to live and find a way to let new energy enter your life. So, why not take on a new hobby? Introducing a new activity is great for so many reasons:
- doing something you love
- learning something new and boosting your confidence
- meeting new people who won’t ask questions about your ex
It’s truly a great way to make your days creative, inspiring, and fun again.
Did you know that there are women’s support groups that can help you go through the healing process easily and with friendly guidance? You should consider joining one and experiencing the benefits.
These groups are usually led by trained professionals. The women in the groups all share similar problems- they’ve been verbally or physically abused, treated poorly, and are in need of help.
It could help you feel accepted and understood once again. You can also volunteer at some of these organizations and help women with more severe problems and trauma.
While the easy part of healing from a toxic relationship is covered, we still need to talk about the hard one- your emotions and mental health. Just like any other health issue, mental health problems need to be dealt with and won’t go away on their own.
A great first step is to start journaling.
It’s very simple. Choose a notebook or digital document that will serve as your journal and start practicing daily emotional check-ins. Write about how you feel, what you’re thinking about, and how things are inside your mind.
Getting it all out of your system is better than holding it inside. Plus, you’ll be able to read back at some of your entries and learn about your progress over time.
If none of the self-healing methods help you, or you simply want additional help, you can always turn to a professional.
Therapy is highly recommended even to people who aren’t struggling with post-relationship syndrome, so it’s bound to help you with depression or anxiety. Therapy helps more than 80% of women when done properly, or combined with the right treatment.
In therapy, you’ll learn how to manage your emotions, how to handle anxiety or depression, and how to work on improving your mental health every day. Your therapist will be the guide you need to finally and definitely leave that toxic relationship behind you.
Healing from a toxic relationship is challenging and hard, but it’s something you need to do if you want to continue being a stable, happy woman who’s ready to love again. The tips we’ve shared above will help you not only heal but learn how to love yourself for who you are and never let anyone treat you poorly again.
Start using these tips today and hopefully, you’ll get back on your feet before you know it.
Nicole Garrison is a certified therapist, couple’s counselor, and blogger. She volunteers at numerous women’s support groups and loves writing about healing, self-love, and mental health. She’s also an editor at TrustMyPaper.