It feels like the air just was sucked out of your lungs. The love of your life walked away, and it feels like your world is ending. Surviving a relationship break-up can be one of the most difficult things we ever do and on an emotional level, it can be one of the most painful processes in our lives. Losing a boyfriend/girlfriend can feel like your heart is literally being torn out. Many people do not have the coping skills to deal with the pain of a breakup so here are some helpful strategies to cope with your breakup in the healthy ways.
Be Open About Your Feelings. Talking or writing your emotions out can be cathartic. When we talk it over with a friend it helps us think about it in a different way. It also helps us stay connected with others during a time when it is easy to withdraw. Sometimes things feel too personal to share with someone else which is where writing it down for yourself helps you see it from a different perspective. Doing both is even more effective.
Take Care of Yourself. In moments of stress, we often forget to take care of ourselves. It is the time to slow down and find refreshing activities. Give yourself permission to do things you enjoy. This could be indulging yourself by being pampered at your favourite spa, eating your favourite foods, or doing activities you enjoy like reading, exercising, sunbathing, playing sports or games.
Return to Your Routine ASAP. A breakup can cause a sense of instability. Routines help us feel like we have some control and provides a stabilizing effect on us. This might include routines around waking-up and bedtimes, meals, school or work-related activities, exercise, and time with others.
Hold Onto Faith in Relationships. It is easy to become bitter and assume all men/women are bad or untrustworthy. But holding onto this belief will only causes yourself pain. Instead balance the thought with some men/women are untrustworthy but there are some great men/women out there. Then list the ones you know to prove it to yourself.
Don’t Rely on Your Ex for Support. It is not helpful to depend on your ex after a breakup. It is a lot harder to get over someone if you are continually seeing them or trying to maintain a friendship. After a significant period of no contact a friendship might be possible but wait till you are emotionally strong again to decide if that is what you want.
Avoid Unhealthy Coping Strategies. There are several unhealthy ways to deal with a breakup: drinking excessively, doing drugs, overeating, self-harm, gambling excessively, or becoming a workaholic. These only compound the problem as you try to avoid the feelings of loneliness or pain. Allowing yourself to feel these emotions will cause them to pass and you’ll be able to engage in the happier moments of life again.
Look at the Relationship Realistically. We can learn a lot from all the relationships we have been in, particularly ones that are painful. It’s very helpful after a relationship ends to spend some time thinking about and writing down what you have learned so that you can have better relationships in the future. However, don’t use this as an opportunity to beat yourself up or blame yourself for the relationship not lasting. Learning promotes growth, while self-blame (feeling you’re a failure) only extends your suffering.
Remind Yourself That You Can Survive. It might not feel like it, but this pain will pass. You will feel joy and you will laugh again. At some point, you might be interested in someone else. Remind yourself that even though it does not feel like it right now, you can survive this.
By using these suggestions, it will not take away the pain of the loss but instead help you move through the grieving process as quickly as possible. This will help you move on and have more satisfying relationships in the future. If you feel stuck in the pain, we are here to help. Please reach out.