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How To Get Over A Breakup And Move On With Life

How To Get Over A Breakup And Move On With Life

Maybe you just got dumped, or perhaps you had the unfortunate task of breaking up with someone. Whether it was long or short term, the end of a relationship can be heart breaking. Someone who was once so close to you is now gone, and that can almost feel like a death sometimes. And in a way it is—it’s the death of love. It may feel like you’ll never get over it, but I can assure you that you will in time. One thing you can do is try and make it easier on yourself by applying some of the following tips to your post-breakup life. I’m not saying that they’ll make you feel spectacular in ten minutes’ time, but they’ll certainly make it easier to move on.

1. Allow Yourself a Break

You’ve just been through something traumatic, and proper attention must be paid. It’s okay to give yourself a little break from life for a while. Before you start running for the kitchen knives, I mean that you need a holiday away from normality. Give yourself permission to focus on yourself and neglect some things that can handle it. Just make sure it isn’t your hygiene. Take a few days off work if you can. Indulge in some of your ‘sometimes’ foods. Do what you need to do on your vacation from the real world. Just don’t break any laws or engage in stalking.

2. Think, But Don’t Obsess

We all need time to wallow after a breakup, but you should only allow it up until a point. What you don’t want to do is become Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Eventually you need to think about the breakup and the relationship reasonably. There are reasons why it didn’t work, and whether they were good ones or not you need to accept them. Think rationally about them and know that things wouldn’t be better if you were still together if you weren’t both happy.

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3. Give Yourself Space

Even if you guys decided to remain friends, you simply have to give yourself time away from each other. If you don’t, someone is bound to get hurt further and you’ll have to deal with two emotional melting pots. Believe me, one is more than enough. Give yourself a chance to get over the person. Or, if you were the dumper, give your ex the chance to get over you. You don’t want somebody to take something the wrong way. In addition to making the healing process easier, it will also give you a better shot at being friends later down the road.

As a guideline, standing outside the person’s bedroom with a boom box would not be giving yourself space.

4. Let Yourself Feel

Bottling your emotions up simply isn’t healthy. I know it isn’t fun, but you need to have your mourning period. Let yourself cry and yell. Assume the fetal position on the couch whilst watching your RomCom of choice. That goes for you too, gentlemen. I’ve seen you do it with my own eyes. Doing these things are good methods of catharsis.

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5. Feel in an Appropriate Way

Again, wallowing is a necessary step in the healing process but you must not let it get out of hand. You need to let both your ex and yourself move on. This can be particularly difficult if the other person finds somebody else, but you simply need to accept it. Don’t let negative emotions rule your life forever, because the only person you’re actually hurting is yourself…unless you plan on boiling some bunnies, but I strongly advise against that.

If nothing else, do you really want to be branded as the crazy ex? Even if the other person was or is a complete douchebag, you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction or power of letting them rule your life well after the relationship is over.

6. Don’t Go Through It Alone

Surrounding yourself with supportive, loving people is one of the best things you can do during a breakup. They will restore your self-esteem and remind you how to have fun. Also, it’s always better to have someone else to yell “bastard” with.

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7. Cleanse

I don’t mean your face, but that’s always a positive thing too.

Take the time to get organized and get rid of any unwanted stuff lying around your home. This means absolutely anything of your ex’s that you’ve been holding on to for the sake of memory. You can do the mature thing and ask if you would like them back, or you could build a ritualistic fire and burn them. Your choice.

In addition to keeping you busy, getting rid of old junk, particularly ones with bad memories attached, will also make you feel clean and refreshed on the inside too. It’s a much cheaper option to colonic irrigation.

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8. Eat Well

Although ice cream is imperative for proper breakup wallowing, at some point you need to put it back in the freezer and start eating healthy. Although it may sound like it, this has nothing to do with ‘looking hotter’ for the opposite sex. Screw them. This is all about you. Adopting healthy eating habits has been scientifically proven to help boost your mood. Although it may seem like chocolate will always make you feel better, some lovely fruit, vegetables and smoothies will do a much better job. You’ll also feel less drained and be far less likely to spiral into a depression.

9. Exercise

It’s all about endorphins, baby.

It seems like all of your happy feelings go screaming for the hills after a breakup, and it’s about time you go and chase after them. The endorphins released during and after a workout will make you feel elated, energized and even happy again. If you’re not much of an exerciser, you can always start small. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or maybe go for a walk. Try doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to get rid of the blues. I would personally recommend boxing so you can imagine that the bag is your ex’s head.

10. Be Thankful

I know that you’re feeling hurt, perhaps even crushed, and that being thankful for anything may seem impossible. Despite how you might feel, there are things in your life to be grateful for, and now is the best time to dwell on them. As an exercise, write down all of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. If there are people on the list—tell them. Doing so may just pull you out of your gloom.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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