By: Blair (@unicorn_ninja815)
Keeping your mental health in a positive state during a pandemic and solitude can be challenging to begin with, but when you add a breakup to the list, it is tenfold. I’m sharing my story in hopes that it will help others that might be going through the same situation or maybe having a difficult time with just the lockdown in itself. Whichever it is you are going through, I want to express how channeling that energy into doing things that you love and learning to be grateful for the moment can help you thrive.
Right around the beginning of the pandemic, my relationship of almost seven years failed and my partner and I split up. That’s a long period of time to spend with someone and having to restart your life all over again can be tough. If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship you can imagine how many memories, dreams, and love can be shared in seven years. The harsh reality is, we all change. As we go about our lives and mature with time, we realize what we want out of life and also what we don’t. We learn to set standards. My partner and I had grown apart. I began to feel as though I had lost myself and was backed into a corner without oxygen, so to speak. I believe he felt the same. We both mutually agreed that things weren't working and that we should part ways.
The intensity of the unknown future can be overwhelming, especially when you suddenly face it alone. Typical solutions to a breakup such as going out with friends, having face to face interactions, and creating new memories, don’t apply to atypical situations like the present. I had to come to terms with my feelings about losing the relationship and the companion I had grown so used to having every day. I had to learn to be alone. Really alone. After I processed things emotionally, I began to see a silver lining. Seeing the positive side of things is something I have struggled with for years. Lockdown forced me into self-reflection. With so much time to process I got to the core of things. I validated my feelings and it allowed me to start moving on. It was therapy without the therapist.
I realized I had spent too long neglecting self-care and I was not only unhappy with my relationship, but also unhappy with myself. I started practicing yoga and meditation as a way to clear headspace. Meditation was something I had always considered to be odd. However, the EDM community has opened my mind to many other things that I used to judge. If you’ve never tried yoga or meditation before, I really encourage you to do so! It was enlightening and helped me more than I had imagined. The next step in my progress involved going on an at-home six-week fitness and nutrition plan. The routine made being stuck at home a little more ‘normal’. Losing weight or working toward your goals can be helpful in regaining or building confidence after a breakup. Also, exercise is a great form of stress relief!
I started joining social media chat groups of people who made me feel not so alone. I’ve been connecting with other ravers like myself who are supportive and motivated. The EDM community is so positive and accepting. All are truly welcome here! The friendships I've been making, the music, virtual raves, and zoom parties have kept me alive. I started practicing festival braids on myself for the raves. I know we all really miss going to and getting dressed up for shows. Getting all dolled up, joining zoom raves, and dancing with friends in spirit helped me feel so much better! I joined a shuffle fitness group on Instagram where you are given lessons, everyone shares their experiences and sends in their videos for constructive criticism and encouragement. Shuffling has been an excellent form of stress release.
When I’m having a bad day or just stuck in my head, I dance. Dancing signals to your body that everything is okay!
Getting outdoors can be so great for your body and soul. I’ve always been an adventurer. I love to hike, camp, and explore new places. Every time I go, my mind is cleared and I feel refreshed. Since I have had so much time on my hands I have started kayaking too! Ocean, lakes, and rivers. I go wherever my heart and the water take me! I love it because I can access and explore islands or places you can't normally get to, which means I sometimes end up getting an island all to myself! I joined a kayaking group online for people in my state and I'm so excited to meet and adventure with them!
Throughout all of my alone time, I did a lot of thinking. I have experienced a magnitude of personal growth. By focusing energy into doing things I love, I realized I don’t need a partner to make me happy. I don’t need anyone to help me reach my goals. The only person that I need is myself. I now realize that I was holding myself back because I was trying to please someone else. I have big dreams, and I know that positive things are on the horizon. I know what I deserve, and I'm going after it.
If you're still reading this, I appreciate you so much for sticking with me! I think lockdown has shown us all that we should slow down and appreciate the little things in life. The world tries to convince us that it knows what's best for us, constantly telling us where to look for love, meaning, happiness, and fulfillment; making us chase a mirage. I challenge you to stop looking out and start looking within, you'll eventually discover that all the answers to your questions lie within you!