Finding yourself in an unhealthy relationship can be mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. Many well-intentioned friends love to give advice. Some people might just tell you to pack your bags and just get out of there.
Still, others might suggest taking a break. They might advise you to relax for a bit so you can come back to things with a fresh mind and perspective.
Not all relationships are salvageable. But there are a few ways you can help clear your head, calm your emotions, and see things from a new perspective.
Know the Difference Between an Unhealthy Relationship and an Abusive One
It is critical to note there is a difference between a relationship that is just unhealthy and an abusive relationship.
If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you should focus on getting yourself out of the situation by whatever means necessary.
Purely abusive relationships generally can not be fixed, as the other person feels a need to be in a place of power. Thus, working out those issues would mean giving up that power they have over you.
Escaping an abusive relationship can be extremely difficult due to the manipulative nature of those partners who enjoy physically, mentally, or emotionally abusing others. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, seek help and guidance from close friends and family. If necessary, seek professional advice.
Leaving an abusive relationship is generally only the first step, though. Prepare yourself for a lengthy healing process. Don’t let your struggles define you and use them to push forward.
5 Ways to Detox From an Unhealthy Relationship
Here are five ways you can detox from an unhealthy relationship. These tips are handy whether you’re trying to salvage it or if you need an emotionally reset after ending things.
1 – Take Some Time For Yourself
Despite the common assumption that every couple has to be joined at the hip, sometimes couples can get too much of each other. This fact is exceptionally accurate in unhealthy relationships where one person is very dependant on the other.
Worse yet, you see this in codependent relationships. That relationship is where neither feels they can stand on their own without the other. If you feel like you’re in a smothering relationship where you can’t seem to breathe, it might be time to take some time away for yourself.
Try meditating–science proves it has a very therapeutic effect. It helps to clear your head and rejuvenate your body as you escape from all the stresses that come with social interactions.
Here are some solo activities that can help refresh your spirit:
- Traveling to a new, inspiring place
- Watching your favorite movie to unwind
- Treating yourself to a fresh, hot cup of tea while you think
- Engaging in some pampering self-care
- Calming exercise, such as yoga or stretches
Even in a healthy relationship, you should take some time for yourself can be a healthy way to recharge.
2 – Focus on Your Physical Health
When in a toxic relationship, your mental and emotional health can take a massive turn for the worse. Here is what many people don’t realize.
There is a connection between mental health and physical health. So as one deteriorates, it’ll have a noticeable effect on the other. You might notice a lack of appetite, a more sedentary lifestyle, or even just overall lethargy as nothing seems appealing anymore as your mental health declines from the effects of the relationship.
Mental health and stress can also trigger certain habits, which can cause physical problems as well. Eventually, your overall health will be in decline, not just your mental or emotional health.
Therefore, prioritize your physical well being by getting out and exercising, eating right, meditating, and setting a stable sleep schedule.
3 – Celebrate The Small Victories
The negativity that comes from being in an unhealthy relationship can sometimes feel oppressive. It might get to the point of being all-consuming and seeping into every aspect of your life.
Keep yourself from falling into a hopeless depression. It’s important to celebrate your victories in life, no matter how small.
It’s essential to feel good about yourself and your achievements. So if you’re having trouble seeing the positives in life or your self-worth, start small. Whether it’s finishing that home improvement project, turning in that looming school assignment, or even something as mundane as just getting out of bed before noon, celebrate it. Then, reward yourself for your job well done.
This positive reinforcement can do a lot to help combat the depression and misery that often come along with toxic partnerships. And the pat on the back gives you the motivation to push towards meeting your relationship goals. You’ll find the strength to move forward with your day to day life despite how bad things get.
4 – Enjoy Some Good Company (and Maybe Some Food)
Sometimes simply being in good company can help lift your spirits and help you forget your troubles. And when you pair good friends with nourishing food, you’ll find an ideal escape.
Reach out to those close friends who you can just relax and be yourself around. Find people who you can talk to about your problems comfortably without having to worry about backlash. Surround yourself with those with whom you can just unwind with to forget all your unhealthy relationship.
A change of pace and getting away from your partner for a little while can provide some relief and help calm your emotions a bit. Call up some close friends and organize a get-together, either out in public doing something fun or at one of their homes for some nice peace.
Food also does wonders for your emotional state. There’s a reason people tend to eat more when upset. The taste of good food activates the brain’s pleasure sensors, releasing dopamine, and helping to improve your overall mood.
This is especially true of sweets and chocolate, as it is loaded with antioxidants and acts as a natural stress reliever. Getting out to eat will also help give you a nice change of scenery and a change of pace. You won’t have to cook or clean, and getting out of the house and away from your partner for a bit can be a great way to detox from the relationship, even if only for a few hours.
Take a night to forget about eating healthy, call up some of your closest friends, and splurge on a nice dinner out. Between the food and the company, you will feel much better by the time the night is over.
5 – Finally Have That Much Needed Talk
Sometimes you do need to just get everything out in the open. If nothing fixes an unhealthy relationship, it might be time to confront your partner.
Make sure you create an ‘honesty zone,’ setting up ground rules that you both be open and honest with each other. Then, begin talking it out.
Expect conflicting paradigms and mindsets, arguments, disagreements, and opposing ideas. But despite how heated things might get, don’t stop until you address your concerns. Assess what part you both play in the relationship and work out a solution to the problem together.
Sometimes the source of an unhealthy relationship is nothing more than a difference in expectations. Having an honest talk with your partner can help realign your expectations. And, you ensure neither of you is placing unfair or unreasonable expectations upon the other.
Discovering what each of you is looking to get out of a relationship and what role you both play can help solve a lot of core and fundamental problems with the connection. It can also give you a better idea of how compatible you are with your partner.
Not every relationship is salvageable. But after having a long and honest conversation with your partner, you’ll be able to see what things can be fixed, and what aspects will be permanent struggles in your relationship.
Final Thoughts on Being in an Unhealthy Relationship
Many things can cause a toxic relationship. These things can range from a conflict of ideas about what a relationship should be and the roles each party should play, to simple misunderstanding the wants and needs of the other person.
Using these five tips, you can spend some time working on yourself, boost your confidence, and evaluate your relationship as a whole. Only you can figure out what is the best course of action for yourself. Taking some time away from the partnership can help you see things more objectively, and help you decide whether things are worth saving or merely letting go.
The right choice depends on the circumstances and your personal feelings on the matter, so take advice from others with a grain of salt, explore and examine your feelings and thoughts on the relationship, and decide for yourself what you want to do.