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By Sarah Miller

Taking care of yourself after a breakup

We've all been there. Even if we initiate the breakup, we still feel sad and angry, possibly scared about the future. I will share with you what worked best for me after my most recent breakup. I needed to let go and trust myself again, because the man I last dated lied to me about some very important things — his background and family situation. Sometimes when I am in a funk, it is hard to refocus on the things that make me feel happy and alive, joyful even. I found the best way to recover was to get back in touch with myself, to treat myself to all the things I enjoy. After so much focus on another person and what to do as a couple, it can be challenging to focus on your own need for joy. In this case, social media was an excellent place to turn to for some guidance on loving myself.

Treat yourself

Although the breakup was my idea and something that needed to happen, I found myself feeling unmoored and lost in all my new alone time. I reviewed my social media accounts to remind myself what I like to do for fun. I noticed a post on my favorite winery, which also happened to be having a sale one of its unique seasonal wines. I felt perked up by the idea of going for a drive to pick up a bottle. My online wish list had several books, so I treated myself to an actual book from a bookstore, at full price. That is pretty unheard of in my life. I usually pick up books from secondhand stores or order them online. I also came across a cake recipe I'd wanted to try that looked interesting and challenging.

I decided to make a day of my shopping and baking. I showered and did my hair. I put on gray tights and a soft gray skirt, topped with a dark blue sweater. I felt really pretty, confident and feminine with my outfit and soft shiny hair. Looking out over the countryside on the drive to the winery and watching the big clouds with flattened bottoms gave me a serene feeling. Baking and assembling the cake made me feel creative, made me feel happy, made me smile. I was excited to dive in to the book I bought, especially since it's about a female actor and writer I admire.

Create a peaceful space

At the end of my wonderful and fulfilling day, I sat and took some deep breaths while gazing around my apartment. I saw my white lights shining softly across the room, my fat gray cat sleeping on the couch. Clean dishes waited to be put away and dirty dishes waited their turn in the sink. I acknowledged all my past with an open heart and mind. I accepted my decisions. I don't know the future, because of course life is always changing. However, that day I realized I can focus on myself and the things I enjoy doing. I can focus on being healthy and nurturing my creativity. My place, my apartment and my place in the world was and is quiet and peaceful.

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