Divorce and break-ups can be scarring, but one step toward healing is to celebrate the experience you had and consciously welcome the new chapter in your life.
Break-up parties are the new tradition being embraced by some women as a way of coping with grief after the end of a relationship. Typically, the social norm after a separation or divorce is a lot of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as ex-bashing, drinking, overeating or gossiping with friends.
However, adopting a new mindset of celebrating the experiences you’ve gained and welcoming your transition into singledom with a party may be a healthier way to move forward.
Studies have shown that break-ups can cause a long list of detrimental emotions and physical effects including acne, weight loss or gain and muscle aches. Psychologists have also found that during a break-up, the same chemical pathways in the brain are activated that are associated with physical pain. Break-ups are a distressing experience and relationship experts and therapists advise that practicing self-care and reflection are essential after a split.
Here’s how to begin that process and throw your own breakup party.
- Be selective
When you invite people to your break-up party, only select your closest and most intimate friends who you know will support you, be positive and celebrate you. You are sharing an important part of your journey with them and that requires trust.
There is never a more crucial time in your life to surround yourself with positivity and strong women than when you are going through a difficult time. Chances are, your friends also understand the hardship of ending a relationship and know what you are going through.
- There’s nothing wrong with comfort
If you are grieving, chances are you are craving comfort foods and wine – and there is nothing wrong with that in moderation. The key is to enjoy these things as a form of self-care and not use them to numb negative emotions. Food and drink with friends and family can provide joy so embrace it.
Choose a list of your favourite things to cater your party with. And it is a party after all, so some like to inject a sense of humour into the situation by having a break-up cake. It could say something like ‘Single and Ready to Mingle’, or ‘Insert-your-name-here Celebration Party.’
- Set the scene
Set good intentions by creating a nice environment that suits what you are trying to achieve: healing. Make a playlist of your favourite uplifting songs, light scented candles, display fresh flowers, have decorations or place cards. Whatever makes you happy.
You may even want to incorporate a spa experience into your party and have everyone wear matching robes and do face masks. You can have a pajama party or ask everyone to come in cocktail dresses. Again, you can let your imagination run wild and do things that feel good for you.
- Generate thought
Try to incorporate some games or activities into the evening. Hand out some small pieces of paper and let each guest have one, then ask everyone to answer a question. For example, ‘what are you looking forward to achieving this year that is just for yourself?’ or ‘what is the greatest solo experience you have ever had?’
As the evening goes on, have everyone read out their answer. This will give you a chance to reflect on what it means to be alone in a positive way, and all the things you have to look forward to as you move into the future. It helps to shift your mindset about singledom into something valuable, rather than something scary.
It also gives your friends a chance to share their experiences and for you to and learn from and contemplate their reflections as well.
Also, try getting your hand on a deck of Angel Cards and have someone read them for you.
Simply put, sometimes you need to physically shake it off. Greif can put you into a freeze state and weigh you down physically. Putting on your favourite songs and dancing in the living room is a good way to try and rid the body of that negative energy.
Sometimes when you’re sad it can feel hard to move, but exercise and movement is essential for flooding the body with endorphins and feel-good hormones.
Break-ups can happen for all kinds of reasons. Some are messier and more complex than others, but they all mean going through a difficult time and trying to adjust to a new chapter in life. Breakup parties allow for a chance to acknowledge that and manage the changes you are trying to make way for.