We are in the peak of breakup season and I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of love to give and no longer have a significant other to give it to. The love in your heart is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing gift and it should be given freely for others to treasure. This treasure doesn’t belong to your ex anymore, and you can’t force them to keep something of such incredible value. If they don’t care for it like the treasure that it is, find other ways to give your love this holiday season. It may be awkward at first because the people around you are used to you being MIA, off with your significant other somewhere. But once you make the effort, it is usually appreciated and returned. Thankfully, this is the best time of year to do that because there are so many opportunities to show love, even virtually.
Here are a few ways to refocus your love on something other than your ex throughout the holidays:
If you are on good terms with your parents, they will be absolutely thrilled that you want to spend time with them this winter, whether it's in person or virtually. Help them cook, bake, decorate, and/or clean if you're spending the holiday together. Watch TV with them virtually if you're not. Schedule more video calls. Just soak up these moments with your parents and family.
Friends are the family we choose. It can be hard to find your tribe after a breakup. You spent so much time with your ex, you're not really sure who you're close to anymore. Why not get closer to all of them!? Organize a virtual dinner party, or (digital) gift exchange, or pajama party complete with Netflix. Try to get a Zoom group together for karaoke or dancing. If you ignore your friends, who will give you biased, unqualified relationship advice when you start dating again? You need them!
If you think about it, the people you work with are the people you spend the most time with. You see them every single day for nine hours. If it's not appropriate for you to befriend them, you can show love by showing you care. Do they seem overwhelmed? Ask if there's anything you can take off their plate, or if not, encourage them to do head rolls while taking deep breaths for two minutes. Ask about dogs and kids. They will appreciate it and they will feel less alone. Build each other up. This is your team!
One universal way to show love is by providing an act of service. Charity work is a beautiful thing, but it's not the only way to give love to strangers. Let the dude next to you in traffic pass into your lane. Thank the people behind you with a wave when they do the same for you. They didn't have to do that. See what ways you can support others from afar this holiday season. Charities are in dire need of helping hands, even if it's remote.
These next three are more personal. When you're trying to refocus your love, make sure you don't run out of it by forgetting yourself. Hobbies get your creative juices flowing and put you in the zone, which is an ideal place to be. Make your hobby a habit by doing it every single day if you can, after all, your schedule did just clear up a bit. Take that time you usually spend with your ex and replace it with something like drawing, writing, reading, etc. Your hobbies will help get you in tune with who you are as an individual, rather than part of a pair. Learn what hobbies you like and what your interests are.
Do you know the five love languages by Gary Chapman? Give your body some physical touch with a stretch or self-massage. Give it some words of affirmation because confidence can be hard to find after a breakup. Give it some quality time to rest overnight. Give it the gift of healthy food. Soak up all that your body has to offer you and take good care of it. It's the only one you've got!
If you are religious, spend some extra time getting in touch with your spiritual life through prayer this holiday season. Remember why you celebrate what you celebrate and make sure that meaning doesn't get lost to you. Send some extra love to whoever or whatever you serve. If you are not religious, you can still embrace your own spirituality by practicing mindfulness. Meditation is a way to show love to yourself by getting in touch with your present moment experience, usually by focusing on your breath or a mantra. Inward exploration will reveal your true self, which you can practice by sitting in silence and solitude.
In all the ways you choose to love yourself and others, soak it all in by being present, and practicing gratitude. Being grateful for everything you are surrounded by and how everything in your past has shaped you into your amazing self will reveal new ways to show love in the present moment. It will make refocusing your love away from your ex a slightly easier process and a heartwarming challenge.