Conventional wisdom says it takes just 21 days to establish a new habit. So what if that new habit involves getting over a breakup? Is it possible to exorcise your ex, clear your head, and heal your heart in just 3 weeks? In my workbook It’s a Breakup, Not a Breakdown Workbook: A 21-Day Action Plan to Plot Your Revenge, Spoil Yourself, and Find Out How Good Your Life Is Without Him, I walk you step by step through your breakup recovery. Here’s a day-by-day breakdown of the fun, fearlessness, and fabulousness you’ll experience:
Day 1: Throw a pity party for one
Turn off your cell, call in sick to work, and slip into your best PJs (No sweats for you, Sister. You’re pining away in style!). Stock up on chocolate, Cheetos, and Kleenex. Spend the day crying, emotionally eating, and watching Sex & the City reruns. Go ahead — give yourself permission to embrace your inner drama queen!
Day 2: Live in denial for a day
Okay, you’ve had a good cry and the breakup still stings. Before you announce your breakup to the world, spend a day in denial. Pretend the breakup never happened. Act as if your ex never gave you the ax (or vice versa). Better yet — pretend your ex never existed!
Day 3: Delete your ex from your online (and offline) life
Like it or not, the breakup did happen and unfortunately your ex still exists. Today’s the day to build an impenetrable fortress around your heart so that your ex cannot break it again. Delete his phone number from your cell phone, his email address from your contacts, his profile from all your social networking sites. And if he calls, emails, or stops by to check up on you? Screen that call, delete his email (without even reading it), and hide under the covers, pretending nobody’s home.
Day 4: Widow for a day
Now that your ex is out of your life, it’s time to mourn the death of your relationship. Go ahead, Girl. Slip into your finest black ensemble, open a new box of tissues, and let the waterworks begin. Today, you’re writing a last will and testament (bequeathing his morning breath to him while keeping your joint CD collection), performing a eulogy, and dancing on your ex’s freshly dug grave!
Day 5: Get mad
You’ve had time to mourn the bastard. Now it’s time to shake off the gloom and get pissed. If you’re up to it, gather your girlfriends and throw an ex-boyfriend bash complete with photo burning, letter ripping, voodoo doll torture, etc. Or, if you’d rather get pissed in private, throw a solo ex b.f. bash. It’s your prerogative!
Day 6: Get bitter, then get better
At this delicate post-breakup stage, bitterness is your new best friend. By being bitter, you’re harnessing your pain and using it for good, i.e. exorcising your ex. If you haven’t already, start journaling and/or blogging about the breakup. Go ahead – get in touch with your breakup bitterness!
Day 7: Get even
And because nothing helps a girl through her post-breakup pain quite like getting even, it’s time to start scheming. Make a list of all your ex’s dirty little secrets and plot various ways to expose them. Put your pinky to your lips and let out an evil cackle as you indulge in fantasies about how your ex’s life will be ruined once you’ve spilled his secrets. (Don’t worry – you won’t actually engage any of these risky revenge fantasies!)
Day 8: Announce your breakup
Now that you’re in touch with your post-breakup rage, it’s time to tell the world all the dishy details. Call and/or email your friends and vent about your ex and the breakup. Don’t stop there — go online and update your social networking profile(s) with your newly single status. You can even let off some steam by sharing your story on a breakup message board. This is one time when airing your dirty laundry in public is the right thing to do (just don’t name names!).