9 Self-Care Routines That Build Confidence After A Breakup, So You Do You
Here is the sage advice I have to offer to anyone going through a breakup: Woo girl, need to kick off your shoes. Got to take a deep breath, time to focus on you. (OK, fine, that advice actually came from Lizzo. But it doesn't make it any less true.) Self-care may have become synonymous with ice cream and Netflix, and while a lazy weekend at home may feel good, it might not leave you feeling good as hell in the long run. If you're tired of moping, then I have a few self-care routines that build confidence after a breakup that will have you feeling like your old self in no time. (Well, some time. Recovering from a breakup is a process, people. Accept it and embrace it.)
Your instinct — especially right after a breakup — might be to coddle yourself. But while breakups can be a major blow to your confidence, rebuilding your self-esteem is just as important as practicing self-love. You don't even have to make any major chances in your life, either (because you've probably already been through enough change). Here are nine simple things you can do every day to boost your self-esteem post-breakup.
Keep A Gratitude Journal
"Grateful" is probably the last thing you're feeling post-breakup, but that's exactly why it's the perfect time to count your blessings. Rather than mourning the relationship and the person you lost, focus on all the gifts that you have with a gratitude journal. Liz Higgins, LMFT and founder of Millennial Life Counseling, told Elite Daily that journaling after a breakup is an effective way to refocus yourself. "This could be as basic as giving yourself 10 minutes a day to just write the thoughts that come to you," she explained, "or to pick structured prompts, like 'five things I'm grateful for in my life' or 'qualities I feel I brought/bring to my relationships.'"
Work On A Mood Board
Rather than dwelling on the past, figure out what you'd like from your future. I can't say with any certainty whether the law of attraction is real, but I do feel confident that positive visualization can be a powerful thing. But try not to impose deadlines or unrealistic expectations on yourself — instead, let it be fun. By pasting inspiring images onto a poster board or simply creating a Pinterest account, you can collect everything from travel destinations to room décor to new beauty styles you'd like to try. "You have to believe that this can become your reality," breakup coach Trina Leckie suggested. "If you don't believe that it is possible, you won't manifest it."
Go For Walks
Staying active is a great confidence booster for anyone, but after a breakup, it's especially important to keep your body moving. That doesn't mean you have to train for a marathon or take daily spin classes — something as simple as taking a walk does wonders on your mood. "Biochemically, it activates all of those endorphins, which are the body's natural anti-depressants and natural anti-anxiety chemicals," clinical psychologist Erika Martinez previously told Elite Daily. "The more you can exercise, even if something as simple as going for a walk every day for 10 [or] 20 minutes, can be really important. It also gets you out of your head."
Tidy Up Your Space
A clean room is a happy room, but a sink full of dirty dishes is a total buzzkill. Even though it's easy to accumulate takeout containers and unwashed laundry when you're feeling down, try to fight your slovenly urges and grab your vacuum, because you'll feel so much better when your space is tidy. Licensed psychologist Sal Raichbach told Elite Daily that your mental state can be dramatically affected by the state of your space. "Even people who don't enjoy cleaning find that if they approach it as a form of self-care instead of a chore, it can be very therapeutic," he said.
Dress Up Your Intimates
This might seem silly, but wearing your favorite lacy and frilly undies probably makes you feel just a bit sexier than your stained, saggy granny panties. And no, this isn't in case you have an unexpected hookup — hot underwear can and should be worn with the intention of boosting your own confidence. As health and wellness expert Caleb Backe previously reminded Elite Daily, "Sexuality and relationships aren't mutually exclusive." You might even treat yourself to a few new pairs, because sexy lingerie isn't about who sees it, but rather how it makes you feel. And after a breakup, it's important to remember that you're no less desirable and sexy than you were before.
Baths are wildly underrated, and if you have access to a tub, then you should take advantage of it. Grab a book, your headphones, or just some cucumber slices to put over your eyes, and you'll be amazed to see what a long soak in a hot bath can do for your mood. Clinical therapist Alicia Racine previously told Elite Daily that experiencing temperature changes in the body is a surprisingly effective and easy way to help tend to your mental health. And by forcing yourself to slow down and relax, you'll likely remember how restorative it feels to pamper yourself.
Listen To Music
Playing music doesn't just help to ward off loneliness — it also serves as a major mood booster. Listen to music while you cook, while you shower, and while you commute to work, and if you're alone (or just feeling particularly bold), go ahead and sing along, too. Singing does wonders for your confidence, even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket. As clinical psychologist Dr. Soph previously told Elite Daily, "Increased oxytocin and endorphins are only the start of it, as their increase is accompanied by a decrease in your stress hormone cortisol: the perfect recipe for a boost in mood."
Practice A New Hobby
As a newly-single person, you may find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands without date nights and weekend plans. Rather than feeling the void, treat this extra time like an opportunity and take up a new hobby. Whether you decide to try your hand at cooking, gardening, or martial arts, channeling your energy into something new and challenging will keep both your mind and your schedule busy. The best part: You may just discover an untapped talent. "Sign up for some classes," breakup expert Kate Galt suggested. "Keep yourself busy with yoga/meditation/cardio/reading. Go inside and find out more of who you are today."
Say Yes To Everything
It's tempting to turn down invitations and spend all your spare time with Netflix when you're reeling from a breakup, but do yourself a favor and say yes instead. Say yes to dinner and to the movies and to parties, and even if you're not in the mood to socialize, you're likely to feel far more confident out than you would back at home. "Sometimes you need to take a break from thinking about the breakup," breakup expert Elle Huerta previously pointed out to Elite Daily. "It's helpful to force yourself to go to the movies or attend an event that will take up a lot of your attention."
"Breakups are easy," said no one, ever. But you don't have to let them get you down forever. Boost your self-confidence, and you'll feel more prepared than ever to permanently boot that ex out of your life.
Erika Martinez, licensed psychologist
Sal Raichbach, licensed psychologist
Alicia Racine, clinical therapist
Dr. Soph, clinical psychologist
Liz Higgins, LMFT, founder of Millennial Life Counseling
Trina Leckie, Breakup BOOST podcast host
Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert for Maple Holistic
Kate Galt, breakup expert
Elle Huerta, CEO and founder of the heartbreak recovery app Mend