Consider online therapy for self esteem.
There’s no question that navigating the waters of divorce or separation is a painful, confusing and difficult process. The breakup itself, and the aftermath – grieving for your broken relationship, dealing with affects on children caught in the middle, and eventually exploring new relationships – can also take a toll on your self-esteem.
But there are ways to conserve your self-esteem post breakup, and even build up new levels of confidence that may have been stripped away during a difficult relationship.
Avoid self-esteem sabotage
It can be tempting to indulge in self-pity or even self-medication via drugs or alcohol following a breakup. Try to avoid going overboard with habits and indulgences that could lead to self-destructive behaviour. It may feel better for a short period of time, but in the long run you could be doing harm to your emotional and physical well-being.
If you have children, don’t assume the worst about the impacts your separation or divorce has had on them. Especially if you were in a high-conflict relationship, staying together with your partner could have brought them more harm than the breakup ever would.
Don’t push yourself to get back onto the dating scene too quickly. It’s important to grieve what you have lost while taking time to focus on yourself, before jumping into a new relationship.
Rebuilding your self-esteem
First and foremost, it’s important to ask for help and seek out support. Navigating a world without your long-term partner can be a really scary prospect, and there’s no need to do it alone.
Trusted family and friends, support groups and professional counsellors are great resources for helping to come to terms with the rollercoaster of emotions you will inevitably be experiencing.
Take some time to focus on yourself and your health – incorporating a gentle exercise regime is a great way to boost your endorphins and start to feel better mentally and physically.
Don’t dwell on the fact that your relationship or marriage has ended; the relationship breakdown does not make you a failure. Think of this period in your life as more of a transition – rather than an end – and focus on the wealth of experience and knowledge you can take with you into the next phase of your life.
Repairing damage done by an abusive partner
An abusive relationship can cause various types of damage to one’s self esteem, along with other serious concerns such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems and physical ailments.Once you have left an abusive relationship, it will take time and hard work to repair the damage done to your self-worth.
Incorporating daily affirmations – positive statements such as “I am beautiful,” “I deserve respect,” and “I am worth loving,” is a good first step in reminding yourself of your inherent value.
Taking care of yourself – mind, body and soul – is essential in recovery from an abusive relationship. Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet, getting adequate rest and partaking in plenty of self-care activities – bubble baths, reading, journaling, etc. – is also important.
As you grow more strength and confidence, and feel ready to pursue other relationships, make sure you learn the warning signs of potentially abusive partners. These red flags can include:
- pressure to move quickly into a serious relationship
- excessive jealousy
- constant phone calls or text messages
Being aware of the warning signs, and how to react safely to them, will help you move forward with dating in a confident manner.
Self-esteem and a new start
Starting new after a difficult divorce or breakup is never easy, but when it comes to issues of self-esteem, it’s essential that you leave the past behind you and look forward onto new horizons.
When children are involved, a civil relationship with your ex will need to be maintained, but that doesn’t mean engaging in a relationship beyond co-parenting. There’s no need for constant contact, over thinking or obsessing over your former partner. Letting go is the best thing you can do for yourself, for your ex and for your family.
Branching out with new hobbies is a great way to challenge yourself, build up your confidence and meet new people. Maintaining consistency with your new routine and activities is essential, even on those days when you feel like staying home and curling into a ball on the couch.
The feelings of sadness, regret and defeat are inevitable when it comes to the breakup of any relationship or marriage – but taking the time to look inward, discover what makes YOU truly happy and pursuing that happiness will be the best thing you can do as you walk your new solo path.