The dreaded breakup. While we wish it on no one, sometimes it happens. After weeks, months or even years of building something you hope would last forever, it ends. Sometimes it seems like it was out of nowhere and other times, you could see it coming a mile away. Whether it comes as the former or the latter, breakups still suck.
Everyone gets through their breakups differently, it’s like going through the grieving process, but there are some steps you can take to help ease you along the process:
Take Time To Mourn
Yes, take a moment to settle into the truth of the breakup. It’s over and it sucks and you’re trying to figure out why and how’d this happen and everything else. HelpGuide suggests not fighting your feelings and instead go through them and actively identify them. For example, if you are feeling angry one day, make yourself aware of said anger.
“I am feeling angry today because I am confused,” or “I am feeling angry today because I feel abandoned.”
Be honest with yourself and your emotions because trying to lock those feelings away will only prolong your healing process.
Remove Them From Your Social Sites
This one can prove to be a toughy. Regardless of the breakup level, for some reason we still have a natural curiosity about what our ex is doing, especially when it’s new. Cyber-stalking is one of the worst things you can do to get over someone. If you are still creeping on his page, how will you move on?
“You need time and space to heal… and seeing him pop up in your Instagram stories and Facebook feed can be triggering and send you into a spiral of obsessively stalking him on social media, wondering how he can be moving on, or even looking for the new woman in his life,” Samantha Burns said to Cosmopolitan.
Eventually, if you still care to, you can always unblock them down the road but 9 times out of 10, once you are back on track, you won’t even care to.
Indulge In Self-Care
You would think self-care would be a no-brainer but when dealing with a broken heart, we often put self-care actions on the backburner; don’t do that! Forgetting about yourself and your needs is the worst thing you can do during this time. In fact, you might want to pick up some more methods to enhance your usual routine.
In The/Thirty, a woman named Gabby shared exercise became her saving grace after an awful breakup in her 20s. While studying abroad in another country, she met her first true love and after three years of bliss, she realized living in Australia was not for her because she missed being in Canada and she knew he would never leave.
During her rough patch of getting over her ex, she turned to exercise to ease the pain:
“During that particularly difficult period, the only thing that helped me feel better was exercise… running proved to be very cathartic whenever I felt overwhelmed, sad, or confused. Not only did it help me clear my mind from all of the emotions and overthinking my decision, it also helped me visualize a path forward and give me perspective on why I had made that choice. Hot yoga also really helped to clear my mind and to be present in the moment, as opposed to lost in thoughts or stuck in the past. Bonus: I got pretty fit after a few months, which gave me an extra confidence boost once I was ready to date again," Gabby revealed to The/Thirty.
Pick A Power-Phrase
Think of this as a daily affirmation you say to yourself over and over again. Eventually, the words will absorb in your heart and that’s a good thing, sis! Jen Kim, a writer for Psychology Today, shared these seven phrases to help you get by:
“I love myself”
“I want to be happy”
“I always hated his dumb haircut (or something else that annoyed you about them)”
“I’m better off without him or her, because…”
“It’s been ___ days since we broke up and I feel…”
“I will find someone better”
Listen To Science
The Journal of Experimental Psychology published a study on how to downplay your feelings of love for someone after a breakup. What they found was the key to getting over a breakup boiled down to three main actions: “(1) negative reappraisal of the ex-partner, (2) reappraisal of love feelings, and (3) distraction.”
In layman's terms, the first step means to think about things about your ex that annoyed you or frustrated you — this will help you no feel as low about the breakup. The second step encourages you to accept and explore your feelings. Yes, you can accept that you once loved this person and may still have some feelings for them, but you must come to terms with the end of the relationship and your need to move on. The third step is to focus on any and everything in your life besides that person.
Find Solace In Your Support System
Often when we are feeling low we just want to reside in our funk alone, but having a support system you can trust is the quickest way to help you expedite your road to recovery!
Olubukonla Kolawole, PsyD, a New York City clinical psychologist, spoke to Refinery29 about the power of building a support system and while she acknowledged self-comfort is an important tool to tap into, it is also good to have an outside counsel.
“Every time you want to send a text to your partner or are reminded about your ex and want to reach for them, reach for one of your buddies instead. It’s great to have multiple people so you don’t hold yourself back with worry about your friend being tired of having to hear the same things,” Olubukonla Kolawole shared with Refinery29.
So if you have a contact list to help you with this, lean on them and tell them how they can help you. If you love and care about you, they would be more than willing to assist you. But don’t use them as a gateway to spy on your ex.
Seek Internal Closure
You might want to reach out to your ex for closure or an explanation or validation but that may not be the best way to handle your hurt. If your ex broke up with you, it’s natural to want a deeper explanation, but relationship therapist Rachel Sussman, LCSW, told Women’s Health reaching out to an ex in any regard can be a huge mistake.
“If your ex wants nothing to do with you or has already moved on, you might end up feeling worse than you already do, says Sussman. And while she admits that some of her clients have gotten constructive feedback from an ex, they often still don’t feel satisfied. ‘It’s like an addiction, like your brain is withdrawing from a drug, and you can feel very obsessive at this time,’” Rachel Sussman revealed to Women’s Health.
Check out this video, courtesy of Shan BOODY, on how to achieve closure below.
Video: Shan BOODY
Create A Music Playlist To Ease The Pain
*cues up Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton*
For those days you don’t feel like being strong, curate a playlist that helps you sing out your feelings. Although you may think this will keep you in a downstate longer, listening to music can be quite therapeutic and hearing lyrics you can relate to may help you feel not as alone.
And your playlist doesn’t just have to be sad love songs, you can have a What Doesn’t Kill You Make You Stronger playlist as well. Whatever gets you through the day, go for it!
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