The great thing about a new season, is that it’s the perfect excuse to start fresh. For many (myself included) this past winter was about working on and being the best version of yourself. If you think of yourself as a plant (roll with me here for a minute) – on new years you started to pull out the weeds, then for the past few months you’ve been watering yourself by taking care of your emotional and mental state, and now we’re here. We’re ready to bloom. They say April showers bring May flowers, so now is our time to showcase the work we’ve done and get back out into the world, healed et al.
When I wasn’t feeling too hot at the beginning of the year, I thought of what I can do by myself and for myself that make me feel just a little bit better. Just a little bit happier. Just a little bit more in control. I’m only human so some of these things have to do with my appearance or material things – which of course are just quick fixes – but ultimately put a smile on my face, no less. But other things like dealing with my wide-range of emotions (#geminilife) and investing time and an active effort to grow, have long term effects, all coming together to help me feel anew.
Sound familiar and want to hop back on the happy train?
Here are my top 7 ways to get those petals back this spring based on what’s worked me, from the frivolous to the ballsy.
Refresh Your Look
One of my favourite things about starting anew is the excuse to get a refreshed look. This isn’t anything new. Celebs like Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and Demi Lovato are known to switch their hairstyle and colour right after a break up. Most recently, on the heels of her divorce announcement, Kendra Wilkinson cut off and died her signature long platinum locks for a short, brunette do. And it’s no wonder – it makes you feel refreshed and put-together when you may be feeling anything but. Plus it captures the attention of others giving you a little ego boost, which not going to lie, is always a plus when you’re feeling less than. Within 48 hours of my last breakup, I went to see Tara Barry at Sassoon Salon in Toronto to turn my grown-out ombre hair into a full head of fresh blonde highlights. I then went upstairs and saw Wesley Hanlon for one of his signature precision haircuts. This wasn’t a drastic ‘new style, new me’ look, but more about going back to my once-signature colour and a clean-cut, creating a more well put together look. You know the expression that if you smile and act happy, you’ll eventually be happy? Same goes with a new ‘do. Plus, getting out of the house to go to a salon in a chic area in your city also forces you to be social and put your best foot forward. Better to unwind on your stylists then complain about your life transitions to your baristas or whoever you run into after the fact.
Treat Yourself To A Little Spring Shopping Spree
Been wearing that same, black, oversized, Zara turtleneck sweater all season coupled with your tried, tested and true Lululemons? Yeah, about that – we tend to wear things that we that we feel comfortable in or if we have something a little dressy to go to, we stick with a tried, tested and true uniform of sorts. Instead of hiding behind oversized tops and dresses or all black everything, grab a few spring pieces that fit and flatter your body that you feel comfortable in and show off your favourite feature. I feel best when I wear something new that compliments my curves. Down and out on budget? Try a clothing rental place like Fitzroy Boutique that has dresses and jumpsuits for all shapes in sizes to rent, without committing to a big price tag when you need to doll up for a night on the town. Plus their staff are stylists who can help you find the perfect pieces to accentuate your assets.
Book That Last Minute Vacay
After every break up I’ve had (there have been a handful, you guys!), I always get out of the city for at least four days. It’s less about running from my problems and more about removing myself from the situation so I can see things from a refreshed perspective. We get so wrapped into our storyline du jour, and act in learned behaviours after a split, but getting out of town for a mini vacay to possibly cry is always what the doctor ordered. It not only changes up your routine, but you can catch some good ol’ vitamin D and focus on nothing but your fine ass self. My go-to is Booking.com because I can coordinate everything online and last minute, at that.
Get Your Flirt On
Flirting is a great way to ‘put yourself back out there’ smoothly and safely. It’s innocent, fun, playful and lets you get your toes wet with talking to new, intriguing people. Whether you’re sliding into someone’s DM’s to give them an innocent compliment, or ask the guy on the subway next to you what he’s reading, flirting does the psyche good. If you’re not ready to date just yet, flirting lacks any sense of pressure or fear of rejection, because you have no means to an end. For the bold and frivolous? Send a drink over to a babe’s table just because – find out what he ordered previously and have a server bring it to him as their bevy of choice is getting lower. #powermove
Host Your Girls For a Cocktail Hour
You don’t need to go all out, but you can buy a few bottles of prosseco which is easy on the buget, and host your nearest and dearest for an intimate, at-home fete. Talking shit out and actually seeing people even if you don’t want to, will allow you to really flourish in the support. After one of my splits, I hosted a girls cocktail hour at my condo. I got all the accoutrement to make fresh margaritas and called it for the same time that an episode of The Bachelorette was airing – a perfect segue into talking dating/ex-boyfriend shop.
Challenge Yourself Professionally And Personally
If you’re getting over a break up, work is truly the best saviour. You now have so much extra time, so use that time to your benefit. Work harder, longer, and go above and beyond in your field. This is the perfect time to challenge yourself and set bigger goals for your work life. You got this.
Read Frivolous Books
Whether you choose some good ol’ chick lit, grip lit, or memoirs written by your fave celebs, there’s a book for just about everything. Last month when shit felt heavy for me, I opened up an advanced reading copy of When Life Gives You Lululemons, a spin off from The Devil Wears Prada that focusses on the character Emily (played by Emily Blunt) after she leaves Runway magazine to work in crisis PR. Is this book a moving piece of literature? No. Did it make me smile, laugh, relate and be transferred into a different life? Absolutely. Reading is reading is reading. Who cares what you flock to? Grab a book, and head outside and soak up the sun and the delicious words and characters in whatever YOU’D like to read.
Here’s the thing, there’s no magic pill that will make heartache and heartbreak any easier. And sure you can run into another relationship, or download a dating app to get that quick fix ego boost, or a new guy to hop under, but those things are band aid solutions to deep down wounds.
To be at a place where the sun is shining and you’re growing makes all the hardship worth it. Because you’re now just a little more experienced. Just a little more in the know. To come out from a not so good situation, with a lesson, is to live life as it’s meant to be lived. And it’s just the reminder that we all need that with the rain comes the sun. With the bad comes the good. And that we’re much stronger than we tend to give ourselves credit for.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Jen Kirsch)