Occasionally dealing with toxic people can be emotionally exhausting, whereas being in a toxic relationship can cause an emotional catastrophe. A continual barrage of criticism, hostility and manipulation can leave you completely disorientated and depleted.
After months or years of treading on eggshells and minding what you say, finding yourself suddenly free can also come as a shock. It’s easy to blame oneself for the abuse and feelings of guilt and anger for letting it happen are common.
Overcoming a toxic relationship is all about tackling these feelings head-on. It’s about self-care, self-love, and self-healing. Rather than engaging in the slippery slope of negative thinking, it’s time to truly rebuild yourself.
Here are some self-care tips to help:
1. Don’t blame yourself
It’s easier said than done, but you’re not the first person to find yourself stuck in a toxic relationship, and you won’t be the last. It isn’t bad or wrong to expect better from someone you love, nor are you to blame for not spotting the red flags earlier on. Beating yourself up doesn’t change anything, since, after all, it’s not your fault you were treated badly.
Instead, let the past be the past. Focus on the future, pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, and, most of all, forgive yourself. Remember: it wasn’t your fault – it was theirs.
2. Recharge your batteries
Emotional exhaustion isn’t like physical exhaustion. A relaxing bath and a good night’s sleep simply don’t cut it when it comes to reenergizing your power sources. Instead, overcoming a toxic relationship starts by practising self-care so put yourself first for a change.
Take the time to exercise, journal your thoughts, and eat healthily. But also treat yourself – be it a day out at the spa, going to see your favourite sports team, or booking the trip you’ve always wanted to go on.
3. Avoid all contact
Toxic relationships can sometimes mimic a drug dependency. You know they’re bad for you, and yet it still hurts (or even feels impossible) to cut it off. If you truly believe you’ve had a toxic relationship, then please know that you don’t have to stay friends. Removing them from social media, blocking or deleting their number, and distancing other connections are important steps to take when overcoming a toxic relationship.
That said, we know it’s not always practical for everyone to go full no contact. Suppose you share a child or have a working relationship. In these cases, set firm boundaries and limit your communication to essential exchanges only. Whatever you do, try not to get sucked back in; toxic people rarely change.
4. Find support
Now is the time to embrace your friends and family. If you cut them off while in the relationship, apologize and explain the circumstances. You don’t have to be alone during this trying time and in fact, it’s crucial you surround yourself with love and friendship. As it turns out, one of the ultimate forms of self-care is forming quality connections with other people.