Breaking up is hard to do. Here are 10 things you can do to help yourself stay on-track
Breaking up sucks, no matter who ended the relationship: and in those tricky weeks or month afterwards, you might find yourself falling into bad habits, or trying to get back into the relationship you just left.
Don’t beat yourself up if this happens! These impulses are very common. But it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself both physically and mentally while you’re going through such a hard time.
So here’s a healthy list of things you can do to help yourself through it.
Let Yourself Be Sad
Going through a breakup is hard. It is okay to feel sad, and in order to fully move on you need to process the emotions you are feeling. Taking some time to think about your feelings and learn how to best process them will help you move on more quickly.
Speaking to close friends about any anger, sadness, or nostalgia you’re feeling can be a great way to express yourself and think of ways to keep on the positive side. Spending time alone can also be important to help process things.
Take your Space
In the immediate aftermath of a breakup it can feel very tempting to message the person you’ve just broken up with. We get that – but wouldn’t rate it as the best idea in the world.
It’s likely that neither of you has had time to process the complex, deep emotions that come with ending a relationship, so your conversations may not be positive or constructive.
There’s also a big chance that reaching out to your ex will prevent you from moving on. Cutting contact is probably one of the hardest things to do, but it is also the most important. Finding a friend or family member who you can speak to when you feel the urge to talk to your old partner can help a lot.
Start a New Hobby
When a relationship ends, not only does someone close to you leave your life, but a lot of new free time comes up.
Sure, you could fill this void with back to back reruns of Big Bang Theory, but why do that to yourself? Instead, think of it as a great opportunity to pick up a new hobby or activity you were interested in doing before, but didn’t have the time for.
Learning a new skill, or picking up an old interest and building old skills will give you a new focus and help you develop yourself.
Keep a Journal
Talking about your feelings and giving yourself time can be helpful, but sometimes writing things out can give you more clarity.
Remembering how you felt, the lessons you learned, and having a record of the positive and negative things you remember from your past relationship can help you know what you want out of one in the future. It can also serve as a handy reminder for future-you about what worked and what didn’t work while you were moving on.
Keeping yourself focused on developing you during this time is important. When you set small goals, like exercising a few times a week or acing the next exam, you can focus on what’s going on in the present and have an opportunity to celebrate small victories.
Whenever you go through a difficult emotional period, it wears out your mind and your body. Reward yourself with something positive, whether that is some comfort food or taking a day to do something you find relaxing, treating yourself can give you some relief.
Indulge yourself, yes, but don’t let indulgence become the norm. Moving on is easier if you feel good physically and mentally.
Eating healthy foods that give you energy, sleeping enough (but not too much), and staying active will keep you in the right state of mind to deal with the breakup.
Switch up Your Room
A lot of the time, a certain space, smell, or image can remind you of the person you’ve just broken up with and trigger negative emotions.
These negative emotions are important, so don’t automatically shut them out. But making sure the space you live in allows your mind to focus on something else will also make dealing with things easier.
Sometimes reorganising or redecorating can help you feel positive about your new beginning, and give you a comfortable space to retreat to when things get hard.
Switch up Your Look
Breaking up does not mean you need to alter anything about who you are or how you look. But sometimes a fun change can help you transition, kind of like re-decorating can.
I always like to get a risky haircut I have been thinking about getting for a while, just to switch things up. It can make you feel good about yourself and give you back some control in a positive way.
Find the Positives
It’s a totally natural impulse to start listing your faults and your ex’s faults right after a breakup. Some of that is OK, but it doesn’t usually end up helping anyone or making you feel any better.
Reminding yourself of your strong points and finding ways to bring them out in your day-to-day life can be really empowering.
A few months after things ended, once you have had enough distance from the breakup, remembering what worked in the past relationship can help you sort out what you want from future ones and will leave you with some positive memories. After all, you are great.