“Take the power to control your own life. Take the power to make your life happy.” ~Susan Polis Schutz
Are you reeling after the end of a toxic relationship with a narcissist?
The end of a toxic relationship can feel like the end of the world. While we all understand logically that maybe it’s for the best, the pain and fear that come with this kind of change can feel unbearable – our emotional side takes a while to catch up, to say the very least.
So, you have a couple of choices here. Once you have taken the time to recognize and release your emotions (which you’ll need to do if you’re going to heal, especially since most toxic partners cause us to keep our emotions buried during the relationship due to ridicule, invalidation, and intolerance), what’s next?
Starting Over After Narcissistic Abuse
How do you get a fresh start and truly begin to create the life you want?
The trick is to take the lessons you can, and to leave the rest behind – and then springboard into a new life.
You can reinvent yourself. Now that you’re free, you have the opportunity to write a new chapter in your life. To become whomever and whatever you want. To design your life with full intention. Imagine the possibilities!
What will you decide to do with this opportunity?
9 Steps to Level Up Your Life After a Toxic Relationship
Take your life to a new level after the end of your toxic relationship with these tips.
Step 1: Clean house.
Take all of those photographs, love letters, mementos, gifts, and so on and pitch them in the trash. If you’re tempted to keep them for sentimental reasons, consider your ex-partner from three relationships ago. Do you still have anything remaining from that relationship?
If you just can’t let go of those items yet, put them all in a box and put the box in the basement or garage. You can throw them away another day. Someday, you’ll be surprised that you ever wanted to keep any of it.
Step 2: Check your health.
Now is a good time to start that workout program you have been considering to make some positive changes to your body. Exercise will uplift your mood too. Lift weights, go running, join a yoga studio, or play tennis. The activity doesn’t matter as long as you get some exercise and move onward and upward. Personally, I’m all about just walking with my music in my ears or dancing around the house like no one is watching (usually when no one IS actually watching, if I’m being honest – I’m a terrible dancer!)
Step 3: Start at least one new activity.
There are plenty of things you’d like to do but haven’t yet. It’s time to start doing one of them. Join a softball team or a dance studio. It doesn’t matter what the activity is, as long as you like it. Hopefully, it will be an activity that includes other people.
Step 4: Evaluate yourself and your toxic relationship.
Take a short period of time and examine your toxic relationship. There’s no point in repeating mistakes in the future. Figure out what went wrong and how you can avoid a similar fate. Understand how you can overcome this in the future and work on your self-confidence so you can set better boundaries. Give yourself permission to unconditionally accept yourself and to set boundaries that feel right to you – not boundaries that someone else sets for you.
Step 5: Give yourself a total makeover!
A lot of toxic partners control our behavior and our appearance – we aren’t allowed to wear makeup or cut our hair, or maybe we’re made to wear a certain type of style. Either way, freshening up your look can help! Change things up a little bit. Get a fresh start by updating your wardrobe, coloring your hair, or even getting a fresh new cut. You’ll feel better. It’s like a new beginning that all the world can see.
Reconnect with old friends.
When you’re in any romantic relationship, other relationships can suffer. And narcissists tend to isolate us from the people we’re close to anyway – it allows them to control us better. Now that you’re free, it’s time to reconnect with old friends and create some new memories. Make it a point to contact everyone you’ve lost touch with. Maybe a group dinner is in order.
Learn something new.
It’s fulfilling to grow in a meaningful way. You’ve been living for someone else for too long – and chances are that the narcissist controlled both your time and your choices. You may have even been ridiculed for the interests and hobbies you wanted to indulge in. So now that no one is judging and controlling you, why not pick something that interests you and develop yourself? You might want to learn how to play the piano, paint, or skydive. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to dance. Make it happen.
Take a trip.
Get away by yourself or with a friend and explore someplace new. It can be a great start to a new life, and it can be very freeing for someone who has been living under pressure with a narcissist for so long. Where would you like to go? Think outside the box and be daring. Go get your passport if you don’t already have one. The world is your oyster.
Meet new people.
Spend casual time with a variety of people, instead of focusing all of your energy on one person. Try dating people you normally wouldn’t. Maybe you’ve just been dating the wrong people in the past. Keep it fun and simple. Tip: Wait until you’re feeling strong and healed before jumping into a new relationship. Personally, I chose to wait a year after my divorce to ensure that I was really healed and ready to open my heart to someone new. You can wait longer or for less time, but it helps to sort of give yourself a pre-determined time limit so you can avoid jumping into something you’re not ready for without thinking.
Make the most of your newfound freedom and take some time to make a few modifications to yourself and your life. Try some new activities and reach out to your old friends.
Your life might just become the best it’s ever been.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. If you feel you need additional help and support in your narcissistic abuse recovery, look for a trauma-informed professional trained in helping people who are dealing with overcoming narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships. Depending on your particular situation, you might benefit from Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching, or you might do better with a therapist. But, first, you have to decide what to do from here – if you’re unsure, start with my free Narcissistic Abuse Recovery quiz. With your results will come recommended resources for your situation. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.
- Sign up for our free email newsletter service that includes a free guided recovery experience via your inbox.
- Start your narcissistic abuse recovery here with our free narcissistic abuse recovery support system and program.
- Join one of our free online narcissistic abuse recovery support groups!
- Join one of our private small coaching groups!
- Get private, one-on-one narcissistic abuse recovery coaching or counseling.
- Get a therapist who will work with you online. Check out our guide to finding a therapist or psychologist who understands narcissism and narcissistic abuse.