Surviving a break up is not easy. If you love and have a strong connection with someone, you will feel a painfully deep void where you once had happy companionship and passion. On an intellectual level, you know you’re getting sound advice when you hear it’s time to get on with your life. You may wake up ready to move on, fully intending to do so… but then that one song will come on, and you’ve dissolved into a puddle of tears again.
Surviving a break up is easier said than done.
It is my wish you never have to go through it, but if you do, surviving a break up is easier if you follow these tips. You WILL be able to think happy thoughts again and you will love again.
1. Let yourself grieve!
Losing someone you love is excruciatingly hard and the grieving process is very important to your healing. The emotional turmoil can be devastating. Don’t let anyone tell you to “move on” or “get over it.” Cry, cry and cry some more. Tears are emotionally cleansing and literally physically healing as well. Emotional tears have been shown to contain more toxins than the kinds of tears you shed while chopping onions, and that’s a good thing! It means that stress toxins are being released! Don’t be afraid to start crying because you think you’ll never stop. You’ll stop when you’re good and ready! A caveat here – if you can’t stop crying, even though you feel like it’s time, then get some professional help. There’s no shame in that! Depression causes chemical changes in the brain and you may need some help restoring the balance.
2. Get some help.
Emotional support is necessary, whether it’s a friend, family member or a professional counselor or therapy group. Don’t tough it out alone if at all possible. You might be surprised that some of your closest friends just don’t know what to do in this situation and they may withdraw. Don’t hold it against them. Accept help from whoever is willing to give it. The universe sometimes works in funny ways, and situations like this can bring the most unlikely help into your life. Be grateful for it!
3. Keep busy…
but ONLY if you’re also giving yourself plenty of time to sit and do nothing, to lie in bed and watch old movies or whatever “I don’t feel like doing anything” means to you. Keeping TOO busy will only prolong the healing process because you’re more likely to stuff your emotions down and deny yourself the release of feeling them. Be assured, they’re going to surface no matter what, so it’s best to get them out when they want to come out. That means: be busy when it feels right, and don’t be busy when it feels better to just “be.”
4. Never go into a rebound relationship.
They almost always bomb, and then you’re back in the same boat and actually feeling worse about yourself because now you’ve had two back to back relationships that failed. Give yourself time – how much is up to you – to fully heal and get back on your feet before opening your heart to a new love.
5. Try to make a clean break.
If you’ve been dumped, don’t go around to your ex’s place to check up on them. Don’t ask mutual friends what your ex is up to. They have moved on, and you can’t heal when you’re still energetically tied to them! It helps to realize that you are complete and okay without them! Remember, you had a life before your ex came into it, and after surviving a breakup you will have a life and new relationships as well.
6. Balance personal time and social time.
You do need time alone to process and heal, but too much time alone in isolation shuts you off from support. Do seek out the company of your friends, but do not spend all of your time together talking about the breakup. Surround yourself with happy thoughts and uplifting people.. If you’re in need of some alone time even when friends are insisting you go out with them, spend the time alone. Listen to your inner voice!
This is the best way to relieve the stress of a breakup. Trying to drown your sorrows with booze or numb yourself with drugs only leads to a much, much longer grieving process than allowing yourself to deal with it. Every day, take at least 15 minutes to sit quietly and focus on nothing but your breathing. It will help curb depression, anxiety, anger and other negative emotions. Meditation is a perfect way to learn to stop obsessing. Anytime your thoughts get stuck on that infinite loop of the past, firmly tell yourself, “STOP” and redirect your thoughts to something that makes you happy. It’s fine to think about your ex, of course, but when it becomes obsessive, it’s not doing you any good.
8. Focus on yourself.
A relationship’s end can be the catalyst for a completely new, fabulous chapter in your life, with new opportunities, possibilities and adventures. But… word of caution… LET YOURSELF HEAL FIRST! Don’t rush out and make drastic changes. Make the effort to improve yourself right now, in small ways. One great, positive thing you can do to improve yourself is to learn to speak kindly about and to yourself. Have you ever listened to your self-talk? Have you ever noticed that maybe you put yourself down and belittle your achievements when you talk to others? STOP it!! Speak positively to and about yourself. Make it a habit – and soon that confidence will radiate outward, very, very attractively!
9. Do something every day for YOU
Move your body. Exercise releases endorphins, a feel-good neurochemical. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, every day (you can go hard some days, easy other days, as long as you keep moving). Eat well, too. Nourish your body in this time of extreme stress! Treat yourself with loving kindness and eat the healthiest foods you can. And, get enough sleep. Your body needs it and your mind needs it. If you wake up crying, or can’t get to sleep, take the time to write in your journal. The simple act of writing down your thoughts helps you release stress.
10. Let yourself feel your feelings.
Journaling is a great way to express whatever sadness, anger, frustration, hurt, etc. you feel. It’s a way to have a dialogue with your heart. By the way, some of the world’s greatest art came out of personal crisis – an artist’s “blue period” is often the seed to his or her masterworks. Surviving a breakup will make you stronger and more complete.
11. Be grateful.
Be grateful for the time you had together, and for the things you brought into each other’s lives. Be grateful for the things you learned from the relationship. Be grateful for the good things in your life. It’s really impossible to feel gratitude and depression at the same time. Write at least 10 things that you’re grateful for, every single day. Happy thoughts will speed your healing process like nothing else can!
It’s natural to feel so down after a breakup that it feels impossible to do anything that might make you feel better. That’s okay! It’s okay to feel numb and have a strong desire to curl up in a ball and make the world go away. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and make the effort, one small step at a time, to go out and be with friends, to exercise, to journal, to meditate, and pursue your passions.
The grieving process is not wasted time, it’s healing time. It’s a time you can use to create a wonderful new you and a happy new life. Remind yourself, “this too, shall pass” – and most of all, be grateful that you are grieving, because it means you are capable of love – and you will love again …. there is nothing more certain.