How can I find peace after leaving a narcissist?

If you’ve just left a relationship with a narcissist, it’s normal to have mixed emotions. On the one hand, you probably feel relief.

On the other hand, because of the toxic nature of relationships with narcissists, you probably developed a strong trauma bond to them. This means your brain becomes addicted to the ups and downs in the relationship.

After you leave the relationship, you may feel a sense of loss, even if you know breaking up was the right thing to do. At times, you may even crave the narcissist, hoping that you can reconcile and the narcissist will change.

Given your mixed emotions, you may wonder if you did the right thing. Remember, it’s unlikely the narcissist will ever change. Leaving was your only way to achieve peace. 

Moving toward peace 

Leaving a narcissistic relationship is a brave and necessary step towards reclaiming your life and well-being. The aftermath can be emotionally tumultuous, but you can find peace and healing, no matter how conflicted you feel.

Below are 12 key strategies that will help you move toward a peaceful life after leaving a narcissist. 

#1 Go no contact

This is probably the most popular, and truthfully the most important, piece of advice given to people leaving relationships with narcissists.

Going no contact means eliminating any method by which the narcissist can reach out to you. Block their phone number, avoid mutual friends, and ensure they cannot access your social media profiles.

Cutting off all contact means the narcissists cannot reach out to you and try to manipulate you or guilt you into reconciling. This means you can heal from the relationship without their interference.

#2 Practice self-care

Now, more than ever, you must make time for self-care. You are probably physically and emotionally exhausted after having been with a narcissist.

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It’s also likely that you’ve neglected yourself for quite some time, trying to meet the narcissist’s every demand. Take the time to engage in hobbies you enjoy, and focus on your well-being by prioritizing rest, exercise, and healthy nutrition.

Caring for yourself will help you to recover from the emotional toll of being with a narcissist. 

#3 Educate yourself 

Now that you’ve removed yourself from the narcissist’s grip, you should take some time to educate yourself about the dynamics of narcissistic abuse.

This knowledge will reassure you that the relationship problems weren’t your fault. It provides a sense of validation that can bring you peace during your healing journey. 

You’ll also be empowered to protect yourself from narcissistic people in the future.

#4 Rebuild your support network 

Chances are that the narcissist separated you from friends and family during your relationship. This isolates you from any sources of social support. 

It’s time to rebuild your support network now that you’re healing. Reach out to loved ones to re-establish contact and establish emotional connections.

It’s important to surround yourself with people willing to listen to what you’ve been through and offer genuine support. Attending a support group for abuse survivors can also be helpful. 

#5 Set healthy boundaries

Narcissists will violate even the strongest of boundaries, and you probably got used to allowing them to walk all over you. To build peace, you must learn how to set healthy boundaries.

Practice protecting your personal space and time, and getting comfortable with saying no when it serves you. Setting boundaries to protect yourself will help you rebuild your sense of control and safety, which is essential after leaving a narcissist.

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#6 Take up journaling 

You probably have numerous emotions to process after ending a relationship with a narcissist. It can be beneficial to start a journaling practice to help you make sense of your feelings. 

A journal can be an excellent tool for processing emotions and tracking healing progress. 

#7 Start a mindfulness practice

Mindfulness meditation helps reduce anxiety and improve emotional regulation. As you recover from the effects of narcissistic abuse, mindfulness can bring a sense of calmness to your life.

The ultimate goal of mindfulness meditation is to teach you to live in the present moment rather than fixating on past trauma. Taking up mindfulness can be an essential component of finding peace after leaving a narcissist.

You can download a mindfulness app on your phone or find videos to follow online. 

#8 Explore new interests

You probably didn’t have much time to pursue your own interests during your relationship with the narcissist. Instead of taking time for your own hobbies, you had to spend all of your time catering to your selfish partner.

Now that you’re free from the narcissist’s grip, you can spend time exploring interests that bring meaning to your life. Engaging in new hobbies or revisiting old ones can be therapeutic in and of itself.

#9 Limit social media

Social media probably isn’t going to give you a sense of peace after a breakup from a narcissist. You might find that your former partner manages to stalk you on social media, which can open up old wounds.

You might also find that the narcissist can find your profile, even if you block them. After all, they can just make a new account to use it to access you.

It might be best to take a break from social media for now.

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#10 Use positive self-talk 

You probably feel pretty down on yourself, especially if the narcissist’s critical words are still running through your head. They probably did a good job of convincing you that you were the problem in the relationship.

Remind yourself that you’re worthy of love, and you didn’t deserve the abuse the narcissist threw at you. Use positive self-talk, reminding yourself that you are capable and strong. 

#11 Create safe, comfortable spaces for yourself

Whether you lived with the narcissist or not, you probably didn’t feel safe in the relationship. Perhaps you shared a home and felt like they were always breathing down your neck, or maybe you lived alone but had bad experiences with the narcissist in your home.

It’s important to feel safe in your space to create a sense of peace. Redecorate your home and create spaces where you feel safe and comfortable. 

#12 Seek professional support

Ultimately, you may need to reach out to a therapist who is experienced in narcissistic abuse. A therapist can help you to process complex emotions and rebuild your self-esteem, in addition to helping you recover from trauma.

There is no shame in reaching out to a therapist for professional support. Narcissist abuse can be severe, significantly damaging your mental health and well-being. 

Peace is possible after narcissistic abuse 

Leaving a narcissist is a significant step toward reclaiming your life and well-being. You may feel conflicted after the relationship ends, but you can create the peaceful life you deserve. 

As you heal, remember that this process is a journey. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to feel completely better all at once. Take small steps toward a more peaceful life, and celebrate your progress. 

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