Recovering from a relationship Breakdown

 Recovering from a relationship breakdown


Surviving a relationship break down can be heart wrenching and turn your world upside down. Here are some tips for surviving a break-up that may make things a little easier.


  1. Be a friend to yourself.


As human beings we tend to be our own worse critique and are often much harsher toward ourself compared to others. This can be a particularly devastating trait of ours particularly when dealing with the grief of a break up. On top of the actual heart break, loneliness, confusion and sheer emotional pain, we often feel guilt, shame, regret, and at times self-loathing. Although easier said then done, it is imperative that we practice self-kindness in the days, months or even years (if needed) after a breakup/divorce. The simplest way to be kinder toward yourself is often to think of someone you are close with, and naturally have compassion and respect for. This may be a sibling, parent, child, co-worker, or friend – whomever comes to mind when you think of being compassionate. When you are being harsh with yourself, think of that person and then think of what it would be like if they were the ones being hard on themselves and then think about what they actually need and deserve to hear instead.  It is probably going to be vastly different compared to the criticism you are laying on yourself. We are often very understanding, validating and almost maternal when comforting close friends and family – the task is to apply that to ourselves.


For more information and guidance on how to apply ‘self-compassion’, please refer to the work of Kristen Neff who has done vast work on this psychological concept/strategy. 




  1. Self-care


Break-ups can be very physically and emotionally draining. Take the time when your grieving to look after yourself – possibly more then ever have before. Break-ups are essentially a grieving process as we are losing someone from our life who was ordinarily a huge part of it. Here are some ideas for self-care; get a massage, have a nice meal you enjoy, take time to do things you enjoy to relax and unwind, go on a walk, spend time in nature.



  1. Rebuild yourself

Often after a break-up people feel a sense of aimlessness, and even a sense that they’ve lost a part of themselves or don’t quite know who they are anymore without their partner. Take some time to think about the things that are most important to you, the people are most important to you, your interests, hobbies and personal/financial/career goals. Get back in touch with what these are again now that you have more time on your hands and more mental space for thinking about you. For example, were there specific hobbies you used to devote time to before getting into a relationship, or was there a friend/family member you used to see more often before?



  1. Reflect


After some time, our emotions will subside and our capacity to reflect and reason about the relationship and the break-up itself will improve and come to light. Take time to think about what you may have learned while in the relationship; what you learned about yourself, your partner, about how relationships work, about communication, about your values, about your goals, and what you value in a relationship and in a partner. There are always positive and negative elements to every person and to every relationship. Reflect on these elements and use the relationship as a learning curve and a guide for what you do/don’t want in a possible future relationship. Remember; adversity leads to growth.

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New Blog Post

Title of post - Know your Signs


Being able to emotionally regulate can be difficult at times, particularly with emotions like anger which can seem very overwhelming and all-consuming. One key step in gaining more control of any emotion you may feel is to be more aware of what is happening in your body in moments where you start to feel overcome by an emotion. Our bodies are always giving off signals which communicate to us how we may be feeling at any one time. Typical signs of anger in the body may be muscle tension, a quicker rate of breathing, an elevated heart rate or a sense your heart is ‘pounding’, shakiness throughout the body including the hands, sweating, jaw clenching, and several other signs. Everyone has different bodily signs and its important you understand yours so you can become aware of your emotions and then take action to self-regulate.



Post 2 –


Title of post – Get away from the Trigger


If you are angered by something – it is usually the person you are conversing with, or someone in your near proximity, or even the environment itself…So change your environment and remove yourself from the trigger and do something to self-soothe and then you can revisit the conversation or environment once you are calm.


You may take some time to write down what your main triggers are AKA what makes your irritated/frustrated/upset. If you know what they are then you can become more aware of them and act quicker to take steps to regulate your anger.


Post 3 –


Title of post – Soothe your System Part 1


Once you know what signs your body indicates when you are starting to become angry (through becoming more mindfully aware of your body), you can then do things to try to soothe your nervous system and gain more control over how you are feeling. One way to self-soothe is to slow down your nervous system through deep, slow breathing. When we become angry, fearful, nervous, or even excited, our breathe becomes more shallow and more quick in pace, as our body is preparing to take some action – i.e. we are in ‘fight or flight’. The key is to slow that process down by slowing our breath. There any many different techniques for deep breathing and you may use a video to guide you or a phone app, but the main idea is to breathe slower and deeper and to exhale longer then you inhale. Try doing this the next time you notice some anger arising.


Post 4 –


Title of post – Soothe your System Part 2


Other ways to self-soothe when you notice signs of anger may include the following –


-Focusing on your external environment as a source of distraction and to get more into the present moment. This may include noticing 5 things you can see in your environment. This may also include noticing which sounds and smells are in your environment.


-Activating your sense of touch to get more into the present moment - holding and squeezing a stress ball or sitting on the ground and feeling how the floor feels beneath you, or walking on grass. You can also wash your face with cold water or jump in the shower and focus on how the water feels.


-Exercise – go for a walk, run, do some push-ups, star jumps, do some stretches – just get moving and release some of that tension and activation in your body.


-Other ideas – write down how you are feeling once you have calmed down a bit. It could be single words, or sentences or even just scribbles – release and express. You could also paint your feelings. Get creative.

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New Blog Post

Social anxiety can quash our ambitions and limit our capacity to make the most out of our interactions. It is more common than one might think and likely has been exacerbated by the Covid lock down periods which limited opportunity for human connection and practicing foundational social skills on a regular basis.


See below some strategies for managing your social anxiety  –



  1. Notice what is happening in your body


When we become anxious our body goes into fight, flight or freeze mode, preparing our bodies to fight off the perceived threat, which in social anxiety may be a crowded room full of people or having to present a speech, or even just meeting someone brand new. Our bodies will tell us that our anxiety is present through signals such as our racing heart, sweaty palms, shakiness in our hands or other extremities, rapid, shallow breathing, muscle tension, and fidgeting, among others. Getting to know what your body’s signs of anxiety are is really important for gaining more awareness of when your social anxiety is kicking in. Once you recognise it, then you can do something to manage it better; you cannot change what you do not know.


  1. Calm and centre yourself


There are many ways to calm down your body when it goes into a state of overdrive AKA anxiety. They key is to create the opposite sensation to what is happening in your body, which generally means slowing down your bodily systems including your breathing as well as calming your mind from the many thoughts which may be inundating it.


If you notice your breathing faster and taking less air in – do the opposite. Slow down your breathing and make sure to take more air in by breathing at a slower rate and more deeply.


Here is a video explaining how to use paced breathing, which will enable you to learn to breathe more slowly and deeply.


Grounding is another technique which encourages us to focus on the senses of our body, making us more aware of the present moment, and allowing us to distract ourselves from our thoughts and sensations of anxiety. The key 5 senses include what we can see, touch, hear, smell and taste.


Here is a video explaining how to practice using the 5 Senses Technique to manage your social anxiety:


Remember that the mind and body are always communicating with one another, so calming your body will in turn calm your anxious thoughts.


  1. Observe and accept


Social anxiety can create many fear-invoking and uncomfortable thoughts. Some familiar one’s might include; Is everyone staring at me right now? Do people think I talk weird/think what I am saying is boring or unintelligent? Everyone can see how nervous I am, they can see my hands shaking and palms sweating. Before you get swept up in these thoughts when you’re trying to focus on holding a conversation, observe that the thought is occurring – i.e. thinking to yourself ‘I notice I am having socially anxious thoughts right now’….And then to accept the thought for what it is ‘…and ‘I accept that I am having these thoughts – but they are just thoughts and not the objective truth – this is my social anxiety talking…’.


If we believe every anxious thought we have then we are bound to feel anxious and out of control. Thoughts are just thoughts though, and we can choose how much they impact us and whether we perceive them as the truth or not.


  1. Do the opposite


Social anxiety often makes us engage in behaviours which may feel comfortable in the moment – as they often protect us from interacting more in social situations. Some examples include; avoiding eye contact, having closed body language (e.g. arms folded, stooped shoulders, trying to appear less noticeable), staying quiet and/or speaking quietly or mumbling, looking at your phone, sitting on your own or away from the crowd).


Next time you feel an urge to engage in one of these behaviours, don’t. Try practicing more eye contact, using mor open language (arms unfolded, more upright posture), contributing a bit more and/or speaking a little bit louder and clearer, spending less time looking at your phone, sitting or stander a bit closer to the crowd/person). Although it will feel uncomfortable and will take practice to get used to, you likely find that others will see you as more social, more confident, and more approachable and this will likely impact how socially confident you feel (and behave) as well.

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Knowing a Narcissist

Do you know someone who believes they are superior to others, craves continual admiration and is hypersensitive to criticism? If so, you may know a narcissist.

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