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32 Tips For Rebuilding Your Life & Helping NC Stick

NC is a beginning, not an end. Go ahead & rebuild your life in the way that you'd like.


  1. Remove the memories and the gifts. This can be tough but it's for your own self-preservation. Box up any keepsakes and put them in shoe box (or where you store other ex items) and put it far out of reach. Put photos away, take photos out of your purse and basically give your home a good cleanse so that it looks like your space not Heartbreak Hotel.
  2. Return possessions. Don't wait for them to do the right thing and don't get caught up in a messy cycle of trying to chase them to collect their stuff and people who need NC tend to leave something behind that gives them leverage for coming back into your life at a later date. Really, the cost of postage or driving it over and leaving the box outside their place is worth it for your piece of mind. Be careful of holding on to their stuff as a way of preventing letting go.
  3. If required, get agreements finalised - this is for working together, separation, selling a property, or when you have kids together. If you're concerned about how the separation is being handled or you're not getting anywhere with selling / renting out the property, use a mediator. Certainly arrange a written agreement as this protects you if you are both jointly financially responsible for something. If you have kids, you can email me to request a short guide to NC when you have children.
  4. Limit the opportunity for 'interruptions' and distractions. See the classHave You Tackled Your Contact Channels? Don't forget to ask mutual friends not to pass information about you or them.
  5. If you feel that you need extra support or feel like you're grieving several losses because NC has opened up an unresolved wound, try grief counselling.
  6. If you haven't done so yet but you have already decided that you will, get on with that farewell letter or phonecall so that you can move on. Don't string it out.
  7. Work out what your boundaries are. Moving forward, what do you recognise as your limits? What do you now know is unacceptable in your relationships? How do you know when you're feeling uncomfortable, scared? Do you recognise where you need to batten down the hatches with your own behaviour? If you know that you have habits that aren't working for you, set some boundaries about what and how you will handle these situations next time.
  8. Organise your diary for the next three weeks and keep busy. While it's important to have some routine and try to go to work when you're supposed to and keep arrangements already made, I would make a point of ensuring that at the times when you're most likely to be tempted to break NC, that you're otherwise occupied, even if it's trying out something new or going to the gym.
  9. If you've lost sight of who you are or would like to meet new people, try So many readers have had great experiences with it.
  10. Work out what your values are - grab the guide from your course page. This will help you to ensure that the things that you do moving forward, are reflective of the values that you have or are working on.
  11. If you don't try grief counselling, do check for support groups in your area. There may be one specifically on breakups or on grief. If you feel that you've found it difficult to separate out who you are from them and are even engaging in what feels like compulsive behaviour, locate your local CODA group which is for codependents anonymous. Even going to a couple of meetings and listening to other people may be the wake-up call that you need.
  12. Address the real problem. When NC and unhealthy relationships come about, it's because you're avoiding an aspect of you / your life. What is it? Whatever it is that you're avoiding / neglecting, it's time to face it. Sometimes we break NC because we are out of control of another aspect of our lives - this is just pseudo control and you still need to address your issues instead of running from them.
  13. Limit temptations. You did an assessment of when you tend to break NC or feel tempted to plus you have a Feelings Diary, Day Tracker sheets and no doubt some level of awareness of where you tend to be vulnerable. If you know that have a couple of glasses of wine is going to turn you horny or angry dialling, lay off the alcohol. If you know that boredom is your trigger, have a list of 5 things to do when you're bored and do them. Calling/texting your ex because your bored is not a solution for boredom. You need to learn how to occupy your own mind and time.
  14. Take up exercise or at least try walking when stressed. I went to the gym a few times a week while doing NC and I'm not really a gym person. I pounded that treadmill, admittedly to The Best of Britney Spears which for some reason is great gym music and I ran off my frustration. I also walked a bit more and I found that I became more observant of my surroundings and interested in where I lived.
  15. Try meditation. Headspace is a great resource and they have a free iPhone app.
  16. Try yoga. I've had quite a few readers write in and tell me how yoga has made a difference. It's also very good for learning to listen to you.
  17. Work out what your needs are. Don't worry about what you think others will want your needs to be and listen to you, not the voice in your head that keeps going "But shouldn't I be more..."You've already suppressed your needs in a relationship. What do you need to feel happy and authentic? Make sure it stacks up with your values.
  18. Address your beliefs so that you don't undermine your own efforts and can live a life that reflects healthier beliefs. Grab the Get Out of Stuck guide from the course page,
  19. Do a short (0-3/0-6), medium (6-18 months) and long-term (18 months +) goal list. Incredibly useful they give you a focus. Also ensure that your values, needs, and beliefs are in line with your goals and if not, tweak whatever you need to.
  20. Cut ties with any exes that you're 1) not over and 2) not genuine friends with. You can be friendly without being friends.
  21. Make sure you do your NC and post NC timeline so that you can plan ahead for successfully sticking to NC.
  22. Sort out your CV/resume if you've been frustrated with work or looking for a new challenge.
  23. Depending on your schedule, task yourself with trying something new every week/fortnight/month.And stick to the challenge.
  24. Change your routine especially around your 'hotspots' where you're most likely to feel vulnerable.
  25. Volunteer. There are people out there that really need help which is better than putting your efforts into trying to change another person so that they can give you the relationship that you want.
  26. Process your anger - Unsent Letters.
  27. Increase self-awareness - keep a Feelings Diary.
  28. Think 'big picture'. What is it that you want? What are you doing right now that runs counter to that? It's likely that the relationship that you're doing NC on is not part of what you want and neither is dragging down your self-esteem.
  29. Move everything around in your place if you spent a lot of time together in it.
  30. Take a break. I traveled and really enjoyed myself during NC. Trust me, should you ever feel tempted to break NC or you even fall off the wagon, it's remembering all of the good things that you've been doing for you contrasted with the crap feeling that will help you back on the wagon.
  31. What couldn't you do in this relationship? Write a list and find ways to incorporate them into your life now. This is an opportunity for you to rebuild your life in the way that you would like it to be.
  32. Instead of feeling bad about doing NC, think of it as doing the right thing for the relationship. Do nice things for you that nurture your body, mind and spirit. Find out how to make you happy off your own steam.