Tips to Heal From a Toxic RelationshipMay 13, 2022
Toxic relationships can have long-lasting effects on not only our mental health but our emotional and physical health too. Toxic relationships can leave us feeling drained, afraid of other people's reactions, doubting ourselves and our actions, and even leave us in a cycle of unhealthy communication patterns. We can also experience other lasting effects depending on the length of the relationship and the tactics that were used against us. Being with a toxic person or a narcissist can cause short-term and long-term anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more.
When we finally leave that toxic person, it can be hard to know or understand what it is that we need. Toxic people and narcissists are great at getting under our skin and getting us twisted around in our own thoughts. Breaking out of that mental cycle, even after leaving them, can take time and effort.
Tips To Begin Healing
For many of us, it can be hard to figure out where to start on our healing journey. So, here are some tips on how to heal from your toxic relationship.
Lessen Contact With Them
You want to distance yourself from the toxic person. The best and most helpful path is to remove them from your life completely. Cut all contact and even create physical distance if that is possible. Block the person on social media. Then block their friends and family on social media too, especially if you are concerned about them using these people as a way to contact you or to keep tabs on what you are doing. However, completely cutting off all contact is not always possible. This could be because it is a parent, someone you work with, or someone you share a child with. If you aren't able to break contact with them, then establish firm communication boundaries. Only do what contact is necessary and required. If they try to veer off, bring the conversation back to where it needs to be or end the conversation entirely. Any discussion that can take place in written form such as email or text, use that so you have written documentation in case you need it.
Allow Yourself To Feel
Your feelings are valid, and you are allowed to express and feel them. Acknowledge what you have been through, how you feel, and accept that you will need time to heal.
Practice Self-Care and Self-Parenting
Self-Care is taking an active role in our own health and happiness; it is taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Even though it can be hard sometimes, it is important to set time aside to take care of our basic hygiene and needs. Exercise a little bit every day, and do something that brings value to your life, whether that is a hobby or being out in nature. Manipulators use a variety of tools to decrease their victim's self-confidence. This could be your self-confidence in the way you look, your job, hobbies, intelligence; it could be anything. So a good first step to increase your self-confidence is to take steps to rebuild what they broke down. This could range from basic self-care, treating yourself, therapy, and seeking out a support group. Self-parenting is our internal parent. It is the way that we view our actions and feelings, and the way that we handle ourselves. When we self-parent, we are embodying someone who is compassionate, kind, centered, and loving. Then we direct that positive energy onto ourselves. When we leave toxic relationships, we can often be stuck with negative thoughts and end up treating ourselves harshly instead of treating ourselves like someone we love.
Support is the biggest tool that you can have to heal and navigate almost everything in life; the support of friends, family, groups, and even professionals. There are so many ways that you can build your support network and even have different support networks to rely on, whether it is relationships, emotional health, physical health, etc. You can find groups on Facebook for children of narcissistic mothers, auto-immune diseases, weight loss, the list goes on and on. You can find in-person or zoom support groups in your local area for spirituality, mothers, women in business, etc. Building and having a support network will make a huge impact on your healing journey.
Getting out of a toxic relationship can seem impossible, but it is the first step to starting your healing journey. You already took the hardest step and finally chose to leave that toxic person. You made a choice for your health and safety. You made a choice for your future and happiness. Now it's time to continue healing and begin rebuilding yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.