After a breakup, it's easy to feel stuck in a rut. And to wallow in that rut and not know the way out. I hear a lot about this through my company - Never Liked It Anyway. We're all about moving on, but we hear a lot of stories from people struggling with it. I sat down with entrepreneur and the brains behind Parachute, Ariel Kaye. Her company makes a range of gorgeous sheets and home decor, all made in Italy - and made without any chemicals or synthetic materials. A huge part of the Parachute business is giving back. For each sheet set you buy, they donate a mosquito nest through Nothing But Nets. Ariel and I got to talking about how giving back can really help catapult you out of breakup land and get you back to your best self. Ariel's advice for moving on after a breakup is to really dive back into giving. Here's some reasons why helping others might be just the ticket. But first, let's start with Ariel's story.
Ariel first noticed that the world of sheets needed a shakeup after a breakup of her own. She had thrown all her sheets and towels out and headed off to Bed, Bath & Beyond to replace them. At the store, she found herself overwhelmed by the choice and unable to really tell which ones were genuinely well made, with quality fabrics. She noticed a gap in the market for quality bedding, without the complexity. Months later, she realized she could create a company that not only created beautiful sheets, but that was also good to the core - and so Parachute was born. Now, back to giving back and breakups - here are some benefits that come when you give back to others.
1. Lessen Your Own Pain
When you start thinking about others, your own pain diminishes. You start to empathize and help those around you and get involved in their world not your own. For Ariel, finding a way to put her skills towards something that helped others was central to the business idea; and a great way to keep her focused. After a breakup, focusing on others problems, not your own, is a great way to gain compassion and empathy and put things in perspective.
2. Doing Good Attracts Good
When you're doing good, you're around other people who prioritize doing good and helping others out. This is probably just what you need right now. So when you're volunteering, be open to the new people you will meet. You already have a solid thread in common and can use that as the foundation to expand your circle.
3. Try A New Role
Teaching someone something, no matter the skill - can be a great way to give back and move on. When you start to adopt different roles - like a teacher, or mentor, or coach - it's a profound way to grow, and grow beyond your current reality. After a breakup, it's important to keep evolving and moving - and trying on new roles is a shortcut to growth. It's a new habit to adopt; and new things are just what you need right now.
4. Reconnect With Who You Are
Find a way to give back to something that really means something to you. Ariel was determined to help people have safe sleep - it was something she felt strongly about and accorded with her business. "If we're giving people a good sleep, we should be able to help others get a safe sleep with malaria nets," she reasoned. When a cause resonates in this way, it doesn't end up being a transient thing, but something you can sustain on a long-term basis. To get to something that matters, Ariel suggests asking yourself some of the big questions like "What really matters to me? What do I care about? And what can I do for others?"