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5 Ways To Speed Up Your Breakup Recovery

Do what feels best for you.

Love & Relationships

Everyone grieves in their own way so recovery times will look different to different people. While one person may be ready to re-enter the dating scene after a few short weeks, it could take several months for someone else. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that it only takes three months to see the positive aspects of a breakup, but I've successfully helped my clients in as little as 30 days move past their pain.


The important thing is to remember to do what feels best for you. Unfortunately, I've also seen cases when people unnecessarily suffer for too long. So, how long does it take to get over a breakup? And what can you do to start feeling better today? Hopefully, you'll find these 5 tips to be helpful in shortening your recovery time so you can start feeling like yourself again.

1.Perform a cleansing ceremony.

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The burning of sage or other herbs, (also known as smudging), is an ancient ritual of purification derived from the Native American culture. This practice is sacred in most Native communities, thus it should be employed with proper knowledge, respect, and intention. I would recommend using sage from an ethically obtained source such as an herbalist or native gatherer and research the history of this tradition before lighting up.

2.Rearrange your space.

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The tradition of feng shui focuses on arranging the pieces of your living space in a way that creates balance and harmony. Feng shui is a Chinese term that literally means "wind and water," both naturally occurring phenomena. Thus, feng shui is thought to be a free-flowing art form that is akin to ideas of abundance, balance, and tranquility. It offers a unique way of viewing the Earth's elements to provide a more inviting environment.

Similar to the Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy, nature replenishes empty spaces. Practitioners of feng shui believe we have the power to create positive shifts in our lives using personal belongings in our homes. The entryway to your home is a great starting point. Spruce it up by removing excess clutter, updating your welcome mat, or adding more light to create more vibrant energy in this space.

3.Social detox.

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When you go through a breakup, the first few days can be overwhelming so the first thing you need to do is maintain a safe distance from your ex. One way to do this is by creating social distance, and I'm not just talking six feet, here. I mean more along the lines of a social detox. Delete old pictures and text messages from your phone and put them on block. And don't forget to unfriend them on social media so they're not popping up in your timeline. You can always re-follow them later.

4.Reflect on the lessons.

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This is something I always suggest to my clients — a moment to reflect on the relationship and not just the good parts. Most people fail to realize the opportunity that a breakup brings to redirect their energy and focus towards personal development. No one likes the pain that comes from heartache, but it can be a catalyst for creating the life and love that you desire.

5.Give your bedroom a makeover.

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If you shared a bed with your ex, then you may find it hard to resist sleeping on their side of the bed, hoping to get one last whiff of them. And right now, the last thing you need is a reminder of that one time the two of you...well, you know. So what's a quick fix for this? New bedding. Believe it or not, a simple task such as updating your linens can do wonders for your mood. Switch things up by upgrading your thread count, adding new decorative pillows, a comfy duvet cover, or might I suggest bamboo sheets.

Reclaim your space with a mini-makeover in your bedroom. These small changes can be a catalyst for embracing your newfound freedom.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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