There are times when you just need to take a break from your relationship or your family. For those times, there is “30 days no contact.”

Let’s talk about what that is and why and how you do it.

What is 30 Days No Contact?

30 Days, No Contact is just what it sounds like. It’s a planned time out of 30 days that involves no phone calls, texts, emails, or visits. You can’t drop lunch by outside the door. You can’t send messages through third parties. There is no checking up on them to make sure they are okay. Your friends or family can’t do that for you either. This is time for you to focus on you, not them.

Why Do 30 Days No Contact?

30 Days, No Contact is a tactic of last resort. You can’t solve relationship problems if you’re not talking, so you don’t want to close the door to negotiations if there is a chance that things can be worked out. Yet sometimes it’s more effective to take a break. Here are some examples of when it might be time:

  • physical or emotional abuse. Safety is always first. Abuse will continue if there isn’t a reality check that says, “No! This is not acceptable.” For some that means “one and done.” You get one chance to cross the line and that’s it. It’s not 30 days, no contact. It’s no contact for the rest of our lives. For others, it means, “let’s take a time out to consider what comes next.”
  • nothing’s changing and you can’t take it anymore. This could be non-stop, unproductive arguing, limbo without the drama, or things get better for a while and then go right back to how they were. You’re in a situation that needs to change, but you’ve hit a stone wall. Maybe neither of you is willing to make a move. Or it could be that the person who is responsible, or has the power, to make the move isn’t doing it. No contact is a way to step out of limbo.

So basically, you do it when the situation is unbearable, but you aren’t ready to let go yet. This break gives you a chance to stop the bleeding and allow a scab to form so you can begin to heal. It won’t heal if it’s continuously aggravated or the scab is picked off over and over again. If no contact is about giving one party time to make up his or her mind, this can create clarity.

How To Do 30 Days No Contact

Unless you’re fleeing domestic violence and safety is a factor, it’s kind to announce your intention to go no contact. You may want to explain why. Tell the other person what your boundaries are and ask for them to respect your decision. This isn’t time to negotiate. It’s not a discussion. It’s a mandate at this point. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Your credibility and healing are on the line.

Be clear on what you want to accomplish. If this about self care, do the things you need to do to get grounded. Meditate, sleep, eat fresh alive foods, exercise, be with inspiring people, engage in your spiritual practices, and do things that lift you up. You won’t have clarity if you mope around feeling sorry for yourself. When it’s time to make a choice about what to do after the 30 days is over, you want to do that from a balanced, well state.

Journal. Write down all the things you ruminate about. Rant. Calculate. Scribble. Do whatever you do to get your thoughts out of your head. It may create clarity.

Focus on you and what you want. The other person will do what he or she does. That’s not within your control, so let it go.

What I wouldn’t do is think about who did what to whom, engage in “it’s not fair” type of thinking, think about what is owed to do you or do any type of victim thinking. It’s not effective and will only hold you hostage to the past. If you take control of making you happy and giving yourself what you need, none of it will matter anyway. You’re looking forward, not back.

At the end of thirty days, assess. Is this still an issue? Are you ready to make a decision? If so, give yourself and the other person clarity. If not, you can ask for another thirty days.

Sometimes it’s too hard or too confusing to make a choice about what to do with your life when things aren’t working. Taking a break brings you out of limbo and can help clarify things. It gives you a change of scenery and perspective that can help you see things differently.