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Five Ways to Beauty Your Way Through a Breakup

No need for raggedy sweats and a pint of ice cream. You won't just "survive," you can thrive after your "crazy stupid love" is lost.

July 29th, 2011

 

EverettSteve Carell, left, and Ryan Gosling star in "Crazy Stupid Love"
Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Crazy Stupid Love

“It is easy to spot us: women facing divorce. We’re the ones with the dark circles, pasty complexion, bitten nails…we are not a pretty sight,” YouBeauty reader Nina* writes in her divorce blog.

The sting of a breakup can take its toll and mimic physical pain—a hardly surprising research finding for those who’ve gone through it.

STUDY, EXPLAINED: Breakups Can Feel Like Physical Pain 

Though the beauty pitfalls of a breakup are often swift and obvious, most ladies instinctually know they have to "get it together" to get out of a funk.

One motive for looking great is to show off to your ex, as Steve Carell’s character Cal tries in the latest romantic dramedy “Crazy Stupid Love.” It’s not fiction: Some people become “committed to proving how much their ex is going to lose,” as YouBeauty Relationship Expert David Sbarra, Ph.D. puts it.

Although it may seem great to flaunt your fab self in front of your ex, that’s merely a bonus of bettering yourself for you. “A beautiful new style enhances your self-image. It can improve your self-esteem to look in the mirror and see a new you,” says Psychology Advisor, Art Markman, Ph.D.

So skip crash dieting or maxing out your credit cards on a new wardrobe. You can hone in on renewing your body and mind, so you start your single life as beautiful as ever.

COLUMN: When Leaving Your Ex, Love Yourself

1. Release built-up energy.

“When we go through something as emotionally draining as a breakup, we hold the pain of these situations in our bodies on a muscular level,” says beauty expert and hairstylist Eva Scrivo, author of “Eva Scrivo on Beauty.” She finds that the connection between mind and body influences how we project our own personal beauty.

One great way to release negative energy is to exercise—it’s proven to makes us more beautiful. Try yoga, a Rocky-inspired run or just a mindful walk. Exercise lifts mood and sends nutrients rushing through your bod for your skin’s healthy glow. It may even help you tackle those skinny jeans you’ve been eyeing in your closet.

And it goes deeper than that. “Bodywork [like yoga or a massage] gives the opportunity to release toxicity and emotional pain. In yoga I’ve seen tears streaming down women’s faces. It gives our bodies a chance to shed some of the armor we’ve built up through difficult periods of our life,” says Scrivo.

A year after her divorce, Nina started yoga. She first found it difficult to muster up confidence when she “felt mediocre-looking and tired.”

“Are you kidding...What women look like this these days?” was Nina’s first reaction to the yogis at class. “Their bodies are gorgeous. Now I’ve got to compete with Yoga Barbie?” she jokes.

Nina may not have mastered her headstand or have designer yoga duds, but she’s stuck with it (admittedly, for the better).

MORE: Your Complete Guide to Yoga

If you feel intimidated in your workout place, particularly with yoga, “You need to go to numerous classes, instructors and facilities to find the type of yoga and environment for you that makes you feel comfortable,” Scrivo advises. Some classes are very competitive, while others are “very ‘granola’ and nurturing.”

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