He Left You, Now It’s Time To Do Some Soul Searching

Highway and a tree line with a sunset.

Ending a relationship sucks. You've invested time and energy into this person, and then they are gone, and that can leave a void in your life. When that happens because they leave you, that void can be a bit bigger, a lot deeper, and pulling yourself out of the intense gravitational pull from that void to avoid spiraling completely under and into depression can take work. This is a great time to do some serious soul searching to find out how best to change yourself and your life so the spiraling stops, and hopefully, you come out of it feeling even better than before.

What Is Soul Searching?

Soul searching is often associated with spiritualism. And it is certainly something that can benefit you if you're on a spiritual journey. But not all soul searching involves a quest to the divine. Soul searching is about self-reflecting to find meaning, either in life or in what you're doing with that life. It is a journey to finding more contentment by spending time with your thoughts and analyzing how things make you feel, then making changes to improve your level of happiness and contentment.

When soul searching, you want to take dedicated time to reflect on yourself and your life. Simply sitting down for 10 minutes and pondering things isn't enough. Instead, try genuinely searching your soul for who you are. Consider what makes you content, what things are currently in your life that do not make you happy, and if you're truly living up to your expectations for yourself. Armed with such knowledge, you can change the course of your entire life if you find you need to. Or maybe you will find you like your life just as it is, with just a few minor tweaks.

Outstreached hand holding a compass with a body of water in the background.

The Soul Searching Process

Once you've decided that soul searching is the right way to begin healing your broken heart, a great starting point is to reflect on your life as it is now. Once you've studied your life and its aspects thoroughly, you will have identified some areas to change or improve. Next, you should identify the goals for those areas to know where you aspire to be. Then, make a plan and start chipping away at things.

Taking Stock of The Current Situation for Soul Searching

Taking stock of the situation, sometimes referred to as taking inventory, means you spend time figuring out what is and isn't going well for you. You should focus on as many areas of your life as you can, with some of the major ones being home life, career, relationships with loved ones, past times, general health and wellness, and even spirituality or lack thereof.

When soul searching about your home life, you might ponder where you physically live. Are you in the right area for where you? Does your residence keep you feeling safe and comfortable but allow for change and growth? Is your home filled with the right things to make your life easier with some things that bring you joy, or do you feel down in the dumps every time you return home because you don't like the state of your current living conditions? Do you have a roommate who is making you miserable? Please take note of the things involved with your home life that bother you so that you can figure out how to improve them later.

Do you like the job you currently have? Soul searching about your career provides the perfect chance to ask yourself if the company you work for treats you and the other employees well. Maybe you'll discover that even though the company is fine and you like your coworkers, the job you currently have makes you bored. You might find you lack challenge at work, which reduces mental stimulation and can make you feel sluggish and sad, and you might not even realize why. Perhaps you'll find you hate everything about your current career from top to bottom, and when you think about changing directions, you feel a bit happier.

Your relationships are another excellent source for soul searching. It will help you understand your current support system and provide ideas for improving it. You may discover that you don't spend enough time with your family, perhaps because you spent so much of your time with your significant other and weren't making the time. It could be a distance issue, as well, since you might live far away from your family currently. Have you been maintaining good relationships with your friends? Do you even have friends who count on you and whom you can count on in return? Taking stock of your relationships with friends and family will always return ideas for improvements, as we can all stand to do better by those we love.

How are you filling your time outside of career and family commitments? See if you have meaningful (to you) ways to spend your free time so that you are more relaxed, fulfilled, and rejuvenated. Soul searching about your hobbies and past times can help you improve your job performance, improve relationships, and improve your mood simultaneously.

Analyze your physical and mental health situation. You're going to be feeling some severe feelings right now. You're doing this soul searching because your significant other left you, but other than that, how have you been feeling lately? Study your energy levels each day and how you feel when tackling challenging tasks both when you do them and later that day. See if you are struggling to concentrate at work. Is your mind wandering more than usual when you spend time with your loved ones?

If spirituality is important to you, take some time to ensure you give it the attention it deserves. Spirituality thrives off soul searching, as what can bring you closer to your divine than looking within for guidance? Make sure you are setting aside enough time for it and that it leaves you feeling connected to the world and your place in it. How does your spirituality currently fit in with the rest of your life?

Soul Searching Methods

You might find soul searching a bit challenging if you try to do it in your day-to-day life. It can be hard to concentrate fully on things if you are trying to squeeze it in around meetings, household chores, and everyday life in general. But there are many and varied ways you can isolate time for soul searching. Some are a big undertaking, but with the potential for a big payoff. Some methods are a smaller commitment, but in aggregate, they can give you just the insights you need to enact real change and improve your life.

Woman breathing in deeply outdoors.

Take a Soul Searching Journey

If time and money allow, removing yourself from your current location to one that will encourage thoughtfulness and allow for thorough soul searching can be of enormous benefit. Getting away from the duties of your home life and responsibilities of work and family for a short time will give you the freedom to spend your time thinking and making decisions for your future. If you live in an urban environment, perhaps you could spend some time near a beach or in the mountains with fewer people around. Fewer people means fewer distractions and more time alone with your thoughts.

Make More Time for You

As you take inventory, make a note of things you could be doing for yourself. Then study your schedule and make sure that you take at least an hour dedicated to yourself each day. This could be a walk on your lunch break without your cell phone or going to bed an hour earlier so you can read without interruption. You can take 30 minutes each evening to write down how your day went, which will release pent-up emotions and could lead to a better night's sleep. Join that gym you've been thinking about and work out three or more times each week. Carving out time for yourself gives you an excellent opportunity to use it for soul searching and fulfilling activities.

Embrace Solo Activities

When you were in your relationship, you probably spent a decent amount of time doing fun activities with your significant other. Soul searching about how you had fun with your significant other can provide you with a lot of guidance on what you might find joy in now that you are alone. Flying solo once more doesn't mean you have to stop doing those fun activities. You can take yourself out for coffee and a brisk hike on a Sunday morning. If you enjoyed going to the movies with your partner, try making a dedicated movie night each week or month where you go to see a new release and buy only the snacks you enjoy. Try out that restaurant you kept suggesting, but your significant other was never keen to try. Solo dates are a great way to find happiness again in things you used to do with someone else.

You could also try new things for these solo activities. In relationships, we often sacrifice some of our passions to enable the desires of our significant other. While you are soul searching, you could look at past times you used to do that you've since stopped that you might enjoy picking back up again. Perhaps there is a hobby you've been secretly dying to try but never felt you had the time to dedicate to it before. Now might be the perfect time to bring in some new activities, especially those you can do alone.

Get Outside More For More Productive Soul Searching

Nature is a beautiful balm for injured souls. Doctors recommend sunshine and fresh air for a reason; they have been proven time and again to have measurable health benefits, especially in improving your mood. Making some time as often as you can to get outside will give you some time alone to think and reflect. Getting outdoors during your soul searching process will provide multiple benefits—uninterrupted time to think and the immediate health benefits that nature offers.

Woman doing yoga outdoors.

Move Your Body More For Easier Soul Searching

Exercise is essential in many ways. It keeps our bodies healthy, of course, but exercise also increases our ability to think and solve problems. If you've ever struggled with a problem at work and suddenly felt like you had to get away to think, that's what we're referring to here. Sometimes the best way to let your mind work is to free it while moving your body. Go for that walk, hop on that Peloton, or lift some weights. You'll find that your mind will be better able to focus on your issue, and you will often return from a workout feeling like any idea is possible. You won't gain insights if you are distracted while soul searching.

Talk About Yourself With Loved Ones

Although soul searching is self-reflection, our loved ones are key to our souls. Sitting down to ask loved ones that you trust for their opinions on you and your life can lift the veil on things you'd never think of on your own. Self-reflecting is hard, and sometimes an outside perspective is just what you need to kickstart areas you can focus on for self-improvement. Listening openly and without judgment can give your loved ones a way to tell you how you've changed since you entered your relationship. They might even have some suggestions on how you can improve your current relationship with them and other people you care about.

Unplug From Social Media

If your social media feeds only consist of updates from your coupled friends and family, perhaps a hiatus will keep you from obsessing over your recently departed partner. It is essential if your ex is still on your social media. Understandably, you might not want to sever all contact with him permanently. You probably have some mutual friends that you'd like to still keep in touch with, if for no other reason. But the urge to stalk his life online won't do you any good when trying to get over him. It will cloud your mind with memories and sadness as you try soul searching to rebuild your life alone. Check out for a while, then return later with caution.

Be Mindful of Going Too Far With Soul Searching

It might be tempting to make radical changes to yourself and your life after a break-up. And although change is good and an essential part of personal growth, making too drastic of a change, especially one that is irrevocable, might make things worse and not better. While you are soul searching, note down any significant changes you could potentially make. Later, when you're ready to start taking action on the discoveries you've made while soul searching, give each of these a lot of consideration before deciding to do them.

Changes such as selling your home, moving to a new city or country, quitting your job, etc., might seem like apparent changes to put on the back burner until you're able to explore them fully. But you could uncover some other modifications that might seem less significant but can leave you stuck with the consequences for far longer than anticipated. If you come across some of these while soul searching, you should pause and rethink them. Examples would be making drastic changes to your appearance or selling off all the furniture you and your partner shared. That pixie cut with a buzz on the side might seem like just the look for you, but you should be very sure you want to look at that in the mirror for the next few months or invest in a lot of hats before pulling the trigger. And unless you have the money to spare to refurnish your entire home lying about, perhaps you should change out the bed or the couch only and work on the rest of the items over time. You might even find you don't have as much emotional attachment to some things and decide to keep them.

Woman sitting on a moutain looking at hot air balloons.

Soul Searching After Major Life Changes

Why do people turn to soul searching after significant life changes? Generally, it is a way to deal with the pain. The pain felt after a break-up is both emotional and physical. The loss of such an important person in your life will impact your general happiness levels, impair your ability to eat, make it hard to sleep, and even make it difficult to do the daily tasks necessary to live your life. You can only wallow in those negative feelings for so long before you need to take action. Soul searching is a logical step toward healing that broken heart.

Soul searching arms you with a potent weapon against sadness. It gives you hope that the sadness you currently feel will fade with time. It provides a visible path to the future you want to have, and it gives you something to do with your time to minimize wallowing in your sadness more than needed for the grieving process to work.

Many of the suggested ways to do soul searching above serve a dual purpose. They are also ways to begin making yourself feel better, bit by bit, as you reflect. Taking care of yourself through meditation or self-reflection, exercising, and talking about how we feel with loved ones provides insights that we can use to make positive changes and make us feel a little better at that moment. And each time you do an activity that makes you feel better or sets you up for happiness in the future, you move closer to lasting happiness once more.

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