Thanks to the movie How to be Single, being single no longer means being sad and alone. The only problem is I don’t live in New York, Rebel Wilson isn’t my best friend and I don’t have a sister who lets me crash at her place rent-free.
When I broke up with my last boyfriend I didn’t want to date, not because of him but because of me. I vowed to be single for a year, and I can honestly say it was the best year ever. This Valentine’s as the “it’s okay if you’re single” nods appear, I want to share how I turned my single year into my best year yet.
Set a goals-list
Two days after the breakup I wanted to be distracted so I wrote a goals-list. I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote nine career objectives. This helped me feel motivated and inspired. My aims included finding an agent for my first book and to be featured in a magazine. Treat your goals-list like a roadmap, start researching all the ways you can achieve these massive audacious dreams and tick them off as you accomplish them. Writing a goals-list will keep you on fire for months afterwards too.
Carve out time for self-care
Self-care, I was almost allergic to the word. My life was full of showers over baths, alarm clocks over meditation apps and screen-time over reading a book. In typical Eat, Pray, Love fashion a wellness guru came to my office one day. She wanted to talk to my team and I about self-love. From afar she told me that my heart was blocked. Blocked? I genuinely couldn’t believe it. Being a fixer, I set up a meeting with her the next day to talk all about self-care. One year on, I still take a salt bath twice a week, go for a daily walk and dedicate the first hour of my morning to meditation, manifestation and reflection. Self-care is incredibly important and is often overlooked, you might be the little engine that could but it won’t run very far without a full tank.
Take up a new hobby
Burlesque, singing, acting or even boxing. Try something completely different, even if you don’t like it at first. You will meet new people for sure and will have a lot of funny stories to share one day. Maybe your friends and family won’t understand why you have the urge to do something new. Sister, you have to live your single life for you, not anybody else. Find one or two hours a week and go along to a new class, you could even take a friend along with you for the laughs.
Celebrate the whole you
We are often told that two halves make a whole, forgetting that you need to be whole first. Use this time to work on yourself, I personally love self-improvement books. My favourite being High Performance Habits and You are a Badass. Think about the qualities you would like to take into your next relationship. Ask yourself what type of girlfriend would you like to be. This time is all about you, so act like it. Show up for yourself and start loving yourself, unconditionally.
Invest in your friendships
I’ve always tried to be an amazing girlfriend, and friend simultaneously. How often does this really go to plan? Nicole Carl, a licensed professional counsellor at Clarity Clinic in Chicago says: “Often times, people get into relationships and start to neglect other people who play important roles in their lives.” While you are single, invest in your close relationships. As a newly-single I made sure I booked every weekend for the first month off to spend quality time with my friends. Now, we see each other whenever we have the chance, I have stronger friendships for it and a really strong tribe of women supporting me.
Being single is such a precious thing and often fleeting. Before you know it you’re suddenly a girlfriend again. Celebrate this time, go out, meet new people and take up a new hobby. You may even discover parts of yourself you never knew about. I never thought I would enjoy meditation, yet here we are. Enjoy standing on your own and give yourself credit. Know that you are doing brilliantly, you don’t need validation and one day, someone just as brilliant will come along to celebrate everything you too.
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