You may not be celebrating a happy birthday this year, but my tips for blossoming after a breakup will help. Whether your relationship recently ended or fell apart years ago, your birthday won’t be as bright or cheerful as it was when you were together…but it can still be good.
Your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband may have packed up his heart and left you, but he didn’t take your soul. Your ex took his stuff and his presence, but he didn’t steal your spirit, life, or joy! Don’t let him take everything away from you. He took his love and companionship…but he didn’t take the essence of you. Don’t give him that. It’s not his birthday; it’s yours. Find ways to give yourself the gift you need most this year: tender loving care, compassion, and gentle acceptance of this season of your life.
This week’s theme for “She Blossoms” is birthdays and loss. Yesterday, I wrote 5 Tips for Surviving a Birthday When You Aren’t Happy, mainly geared towards women who lost their husbands. These tips on how to have a happy birthday after a breakup will help you cope, whether your relationship fell apart weeks, days, or hours ago…
First, here’s some helpful advice from a reader who is six months past her breakup:
“It gets better, you get over it and it’ll be okay,” says Franny on How to Break Your Addiction to a Toxic Relationship. “After six months, I feel so much stronger and clearer than I did just two months ago. The first two months after the breakup were the hardest. It was overwhelming. There were days where I couldn’t do much of anything except wallow in the pain. I felt so rejected and lost, but, I did a lot of journaling. I talked to a friend, I talked to you on this blog, and I used the Mend app on my iPhone. All of that has helped me slowly accept the breakup and move on.”
This birthday may be hard because of your breakup, but take heart. Hold on, and the day will pass. Next year — though it seems far away — will be a whole different celebration!
In the meantime, here are a few ways to survive your birthday after your relationship has fallen to pieces.
5 Ways to Have a Happy Birthday After a Breakup
My “She Blossoms” articles are broken up into five different categories: Spirit, Heart, Soul, Body, and Brain. These five tips will help you take care of yourself spiritually, emotionally, creatively, physically and intellectually this year, on your birthday. Even though your relationship ended and you just want to curl up and sleep forever.
Sleep, you can do later, when you’re old. Now, your task is to figure out how to have a happy birthday after your relationship ends and you’re sad…
1. Spirit Blossoms – Let yourself cry, because breakups are sad
Don’t try to move on too quickly. A lot of post-relationship advice is about overcoming depression after a breakup, but you can’t rush the healing process. Give yourself time to heal and grieve the end of your relationship. Allow yourself not to have a happy birthday this year, because you’re heartbroken. Even if you wanted the relationship to end, you’ve still lost someone you care about.
Here’s an unusual tip for having a happy birthday after a breakup: let yourself have a sad day. Give yourself the gift of self-acceptance, surrender, and patience. Give yourself the gift of time to heal and move forward into a new season of your life slowly, at your own pace.
2. Heart Blossoms – Have a creative pity party
When I’m feeling sorry for myself after a long, hard, exhausting day of writing (I know it sounds namby pamby, but it’s true — writing is surprisingly tiring), I let myself pout. I whine and complain and sing the blues. I don’t struggle to stop feeling sorry for myself, because I’m an adult, it’s my party, and I can cry if I want to.
How can you have the most creative, pitiful happy birthday party the post-breakup world ever saw? Invite a friend (or everyone) over for a “poor me” birthday unbash. Ask your friends to mollycoddle you, pity you, and console you. Tell them to feel sorry for you and play up your terrible breakup because it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to you, worse than cancer or death or accidentally killing a dog, even. This tip for having happy birthday party after your relationship falls apart will backfire, which means you’ll actually end up having fun. Jammit!
3. Soul Blossoms – Paint your birthday happy
Paint your bedroom. Create a mural of flowers (or skulls), rainbows (or dead black things), or hopeful, positive words like Joy, Peace, Love, Hope, Freedom, and Jesus. Learn how to mix colors to create vibrant hues and tones.
Search for artistic and creative ways to honor your birthday, and you’ll open your mind and spirit in ways you never thought possible. And who knows, maybe you’ll plant new seeds of life and hope! What better way to say “happy birthday” to yourself after a breakup than that?
4. Body Blossoms – Give your body the birthday gift of rest and exercise
Which do you need more: rest or exercise? Do yourself a favor, and get both! Splurge on a day of yoga, massage, spa and sauna. Maybe a manicure and pedicure (though that’s not nearly as healthy as yoga and massage). Maybe your back needs to be aligned, your chakras cleared, your muscles needled by acupuncture or hot stones.
Doing something physical is a healthy tip for having a happy birthday after a relationship ends. Work up a sweat with a group hike, or a solo kayak. Go for a swim or bike ride, or a walk alone in the woods. What does your body need more or less of?
5. Brainy Blossoms – Change your name
A couple years ago, I asked God to give me a new name. I didn’t want to be the old Laurie anymore; I wanted to be brighter, healthier, stronger and more authentically me. I used to wish my name was Rosie, but even that seemed like part of the old me. You know what God renamed me? Blossom! And I love it. I blossomed after my 45th birthday; and in a week from today, I’ll turn 48 years old. I’m flourishing in ways I never dreamed possible…and it all started when I asked God to give me a new name.
What do you wish your name was? Who have you always wished you were? This is your chance to change your identity and self-image. A breakup or divorce is the perfect time to let go of who you were, and start becoming who you want to be. And, the best birthday gift you could give yourself is the freedom to be who you’ve always wished you were!
Tell me: who will you become? How can you partner with God — your Creator — to blossom into the woman He created you to be?
Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below. I read every comment, and would love to hear from you. And don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do or how to have a happy birthday after a breakup. May you find strength and courage to walk into the next season of life…and Blossom into who God created you to be.