Healthy ways of coping with a breakup
So you’ve lost a great love and you’re feeling miserable. You might be tempted to crawl under a blanket and cry for weeks, or relentlessly stalk your ex on social media while desperately trying to work out where it all went wrong. But instead of making the experience even more difficult on yourself, why not try some healthy techniques that’ll help you to move forward?
Here are some ideas to help you take the first steps in moving forward:
Detaching is as much emotional as it is physical. Move away psychologically from the attachment you’ve formed towards the other person. This could mean spending more time with your friends, engaging in enjoyable activities, and disallowing yourself to look at old photos of the person you’ve broken up with. It also helps to detach on social media so you’re not tormented with daily updates about the person. We know it’s hard, but clicking unfollow is vital. You do not to see what they’re up to while you’re in a vulnerable state.
Writing in a journal allows you to explore your feelings in a safe environment. Instead of calling up your ex and blurting out your feelings, you can contain them and explore them in your own home. This will help you sort the rational emotions from irrational ones. As you write down your thoughts, you start to connect the dots a little better and can better understand what and how you are feeling.
Embrace the feelings
Pain is a part of life, but the only way out is to walk through it. If you sit with the feelings and allow yourself to experience them, they’re more likely to pass swiftly. If you avoid the pain it’ll likely manifest in other areas of your life and ultimately have a detrimental effect on your future relationships. So grab a cup of tea, your cat, a blanket, The Notebook, and just feel it.
Focus on the present
It’s so easy (and common) to allow our minds to live in the past or the future. Very rarely do we focus on the here-and-now. When you’ve broken up with someone (or worse, were broken up with), it’s tempting to remember the good and bad times, often subjecting yourself to a painful review of what’s been lost. Similarly, you might naturally worry about the future and what it looks like without that person. Knowing you can’t control this is the first step to remaining in the present. What is happening now? What does today look like? Remember, that is what you have the power to change.
Exercise serves two purposes after a breakup. First, it gets you off your couch and assists you in doing something healthy and positive for yourself. Second, it allows you to sweat out all that stress, anxiety, and associated negative feelings. Remember, endorphins. It’s science.
Focus on the good things you have
Spend some time each day being thankful for what you do have. If you have good friends, a clean bill of health, a nice home, a fab career, or all of the above, think about how amazing those things are and what you have to look forward to. It’s easy after a breakup to sulk, mope and be miserable. Focus on what’s still working for you and how you’ll invest more into it.
Giving to others makes us feel great about ourselves. It also reminds us how lucky we are when we spend time with someone less fortunate. This can be a humbling experience. Reach out to a friend in need, or volunteer for a charity for a couple of hours. This will give you something worthwhile to do and will take your mind off the breakup, serving a greater purpose.
When you’ve invested time, energy and resources into a relationship, it’s only natural that it’ll take time to recover and regather yourself when the relationship ends. You won’t feel okay overnight, but you will do in time. The old saying “time heals all wounds” comes to mind. Be patient with yourself and keep making efforts to move forward in a healthy way. It will get better.
Creative activities like writing, painting, and playing a musical instrument can help you to explore deep feelings in a beautiful way. Why not turn your pain into a piece of art? Even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly creative, there’s always something you can try your hand at.
Just about everyone goes through heartbreak at some point in their lives. Instead of wallowing in a corner, use these tried and tested ways to move on from your pain and be ultimately wiser for the experience.