My boyfriend and I broke up. It’s fine! Honestly. But for the sake of this story, there’s no more delicate way to announce it other than just spitting it out. As I always say: Better now than 15 years down the line when we’d have to figure out alimony payments, Vitamix custody, and having to see him and his 19-year old actor/singer/maître d'nothing rebound at our French bulldog’s piano recital.
Anyway, I’ve obviously been through breakups before. I’d like to think that I’ve become quite good at them—or more specifically, bouncing back from them. It's not an exact science and varies steeply based on the person and circumstances, so there are no hard and fast rules. Here are some of the methods that I’ve used to expedite the healing process that you may use, adjust to taste, ponder, ignore, or spurn entirely. I hope they never come in handy.
Are you taking care of yourself? Are you being patient with yourself? If the answer to both questions is yes, proceed.
Put down the clippers
Now is not the time to try a half shave. Not simply because it is 2018, but also because there is a 50/50 chance you will feel like Fantine. Do not, I repeat, do not get revenge bangs. Lastly, mute any thoughts resembling “If I don’t deserve them, I don’t deserve eyebrows.”
Rewrite your scent narrative
Scent is the strongest sense linked to memory. Great when you catch a whiff of something that takes you back to your first-grade classroom. Not so great when soul harvesting nostalgia is something you’re trying to avoid. Use this as an opportunity to overhaul every scented item in your routine. An olfactory reset, if you will. Pair the following scents with a chuck under your chin.
Shower scent: Cleansing Slab by Aesop. Faint florals and zest. The kind of sharp, herbal aromatic you probably already love from Aesop. I cut this hotel bible-sized bar of soap into thirds to make it more wieldy, and, using the other 66.67% wrapped in parchment paper, scent my underwear drawer.
Personal scent: Joya Composition No. 6. Cedar, grass, juniper. Smells almost mythical. About as marine and wild as that erotic scene from The Shape of Water, and as universally flattering as white poplin.
Home scent: Tapestry by Otherland. Vetiver and oud are at the heart of this candle. Scorched maple keeps it relevant to this time of year. Smells the way having a house full of people feels.
Lean into the solitude
There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. Set aside some time to distill seclusion into its very best parts.
Thank your friends
If you’re anything like me (a despondent Capricorn), you’re no good at asking for or taking help. So, when your closest friends clear their schedules to take you out to dinner, drop everything to Uber over, or check in on you daily, stop apologizing! Instead, swap out remorse for gratitude.
"Sorry for moping incessantly." → "Thank you for being an empathetic listener and strong hugger."
"Sorry for interrupting your evening." → "Thank you for your company. Are those Oreos in your bag for me?"
"Sorry for the late text." → "Thank you for staying up and offering me blunt, but fair advice."
Find the right soundtrack
Say what you will about her, but there’s a Taylor Swift song for every stage of grief.
Look forward to mornings
I’ve calibrated my evening routine to maximize the regenerative properties of sleep. In the shower, I start with the Curology cleanser, then follow up with Dr. Roebuck’s Daintree Mask. Its base is kaolin clay, which works the way you understand clay masks to work, except this adds AHAs for brightening. I’ll leave it on while doing squats and letting my co-wash marinate. Rinse and scrub mouth region with this Apa Beauty lip scrub to prep lips for the dumb thick layer of Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask that follows. You'll have splendent, clean skin and polished lips to look forward to in the morning.
Nestle into your ugliest, most comfortable pajamas, slither into bed, and sprawl out diagonally—taking up as much space as you like. Call it a night early; you'll need your rest so you can be ready for whatever comes next.