No matter how long a relationship was, its end is a sad situation and can cause us to experience a raft of negative emotions, such as stress, sadness, frustration, anger, loss, and more. There’s no single right way to deal with a breakup or a magic formula for getting to a happy place again. However, there are some ways to handle the process that are more effective than others.
It’s best to cut all contact with your ex for at least a time so you don’t “relapse” and get back together or get physical again when you truly do need to break up. You might need to see or speak with your ex briefly to hand over possessions or finalize other arrangements, but don’t keep spending time with them, or you’ll never be able to move on properly.
It’s tempting to keep in contact because you’re used to seeing your ex a lot, and you may want to remain friends long term. However, short term, you’ll cause yourself more emotional stress if you try to force contact before you or your ex are ready. Help speed up recovery time by taking a proper no-contact-at-all break to give yourself a chance to accept the change in relationship status and do some grieving.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Let yourself feel any emotions that come up once the breakup happens, too. Many people try to act like they’re fine and move on right away, but they are generally masking their feelings instead. If you push down the sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, relief, loss, or other feelings that arise, you’re setting yourself up to have to deal with it tenfold later on.
However, while it’s healthy to allow yourself to be upset, avoid going down the path of judging and blaming your ex or other parties, such as friends of the two of you or your ex-partner’s family, etc. Venting might make you feel better for a short while but can have many negative consequences and can cause you to go backward in your recovery. There are always two people in a relationship, and each party has flaws.
Share Your Thoughts
We’re all social creatures, so verbalizing your thoughts and feelings about your breakup to someone else can help you deal with the situation. Speak with a trusted family member or friend about what’s happened and, when you’re ready, you might want to be open to the advice they have for you, too.
Alternatively, you may want to speak with a therapist about the grief and other feelings you’re dealing with. It’s helpful to share your thoughts in a private, safe space where you don’t have the chance of offending anyone who knows and cares for your ex or who has strong (and perhaps not particularly useful) opinions about them or your breakup.
Also, if the breakup gets you so down that you struggle to cope, you might need some medicinal assistance. A psychiatrist can prescribe suitably authorized, safe depression medication to help you feel better, or you can see your usual primary care physician for assistance in this matter.
Another option that can help is writing your feelings down. Journal what’s in your head and heart through diary entries, free writing, poetry, or any other format that works for you. Art therapy gives many people a release from difficult emotions, too.
Look After Yourself Physically
A breakup takes a mental and emotional toll, but it can also take a physical one. You may find yourself unable to sleep properly, eating much more or less than usual, and wanting to stay inactive while you deal with your feelings and the reality of the situation. However, it’s vital to look after yourself to not get into even more of a downward spiral.
Staying active will help you feel better due to fresh air and a release of endorphins while resting and getting good quality sleep will also boost your mood. Be sure to eat nutritious food and stick with regular meals rather than skipping them because you feel too down to bother cooking. Avoid binging on unhealthy snacks as much as possible, and try to swap comfort eating for other things that make you feel good, such as relaxing bubble baths, massages, new books to enjoy, or some cuddle time with your