The 4 Most Proactive Things You Can Do After A Horrible Breakup

How to finally heal from the mess.

Proactive woman after a toxic breakup Eugenio Marongiu | Canva

A toxic relationship can be one of the most emotionally taxing things we can experience. They can leave us feeling drained, angry, worrisome, and stressed. Because a toxic relationship can feel so incredibly overwhelming and confusing emotionally, there are times when we feel as if we will always be affected by the person's toxic behavior.

We may feel there's no way we can ever truly heal. But here are steps we need to take to help ourselves heal from a toxic relationship.


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Here are the 4 most proactive things you can do after a toxic breakup

1. Set your boundaries, and stick to them

When a person exhibits toxic behavior, we find ourselves confused about what it is we need. This is because the person has used emotional manipulation and guilt in an attempt to make you feel like your feelings, needs, and thoughts are wrong so they can get what they want.

She says no after a breakup Nicoleta Ionescu via Shutterstock


The key here is to recognize when the other person is being toxic and set a clear boundary when that happens by saying something like, "Don't talk to me like that" or "I don't appreciate your comment." It's also good to follow up the statement with a comment like, "If you don't stop, then I will leave."

Most of the time, the person is probably not going to accept or respect your boundaries. So it's important to be firm and follow through with what you say you will do.

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2. Create a distance between you

Regardless of whether the person is respecting the boundaries you set with them or not, it's vital to create at least some distance. In creating distance, you will allow yourself to fully focus on and deal with your stuff, which is something you can't do when in a toxic relationship.


3. Commit to taking care of yourself and your body

Make your self-care a daily commitment. Start every day with a meditation or prayer. Go for a daily walk out in nature. Do yoga. Go for a run or do some other kind of cardio. Eat more fruits and veggies and less processed foods.

It's also important to start a practice of regularly checking in with your body. Before you sit down to eat a meal or when you notice you're stressed, stop and focus on your body, and ask yourself, "How does my body feel?" The more and more we take the time to tune in and ask ourselves how our body feels, the easier it is to calm down and find peace.

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4. Seek out a support system

Because these relationships are emotionally draining, it's important to find a support system when learning how to cope. Find a therapist or coach who specializes in relationships and boundaries. Find a therapy group with other people going through a similar thing.

You can also seek out friends who can empathize and help you through the process. Just be mindful about falling into the whole "blame game" trap with friends, because it happens very easily. Own your own experience and take personal responsibility for what happens to you in your life.

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Jennifer Twardowski is a writer and Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and others.