Break-ups suck! Whether you’re the one who did the breaking up or you’re the one broken up with, the end of a relationship brings up all kinds of difficult feelings. The emotional cocktail can feel disorienting, unsettling and even overwhelming.
Rest assured this emotional upheaval will end and you can take actions to assist in your healing. Here are five approaches to make yourself happy after a breakup:
1.) Get Grateful
“What?” you may say. “I just got my heart ripped out and blended in a Vitamix and now you’re telling me to be grateful for it?!”
Make the time to brainstorm what you are thankful for in your life. Putting your thoughts to paper allows you to better process concepts as you write, read and reflect on each point.
There are no rules when it comes to gratitude lists. Nothing is too small or too insignificant to make the list. You can include something as simple as your train showing up at the perfect time for your morning commute, your favorite muffin not being sold out at the coffee shop or your friend who lives two states over knowing exactly when to call.
Maybe one day you’ll be able to have gratitude for the lessons learned from the time with your ex, but don’t rush it. You’ll get there when you’re ready.
When we lose someone through death or an unresolved conflict like a breakup, we experience a grieving process. Someone who was dear to you is no longer as close as they once were. In order to come to terms with this loss, you need to allow yourself to mourn it.
There isn’t a short cut or a way to sidestep the grieving process. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. The way out of the sadness is through it.
You don’t need to face this grief alone. You can reach out to safe people within your life and ask for help. You can also seek professional guidance to assist you in navigating the healing process. Counseling can help you better understand yourself and get perspective on your circumstances.
3.) Change up Your Routine
When in a relationship, you can get into routines and frequent certain events or places. After a break-up, give yourself space from those familiar and feeling-filled situations. The sadness is hard enough without adding to it with reminders of what once was.
Go on an adventure in your own city. Try out different coffee shops, a new grocery store or greasy spoon diner. Start creating new memories. Offer yourself a safe space to be single — you can do this by giving yourself physical space from reminders of people, places and things you shared with your ex.
4.) Take Good Care of Yourself
When in relationships we can let our own needs and goals take a backseat. Pull out and dust off your to-do lists and recommit to them. Make plans to go on that trip to Ireland, take that dance class or try rock climbing.
Also, be sure to nurture yourself. Get the sleep you need, make yourself nutritious meals, drink water and stay active. It can feel like too much work, but you’re worth it. If you are physically well, you’ll be better able to heal emotionally.
Yoga classes and mediation workshops are great venues to quietly and thoughtfully care for yourself. You’re not alone in these settings, but you can be silent and sit with your feelings. You’ll notice you can sit with the uncomfortable emotions and survive.
5.) Don’t Creep on Your Ex
This is waaaaaay easier said than done. 88 percent of respondents to one poll admit to creeping on their exes via Facebook. Since we are all connected with Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and other online platforms, it can be hard not to look at your ex’s profile online. You may tell yourself there is no harm in it, but no good can come from it.
You will end up comparing your insides to your ex’s outsides — the persona they’re presenting to the world. It isn’t an accurate depiction of where they’re at or who they’re with. You’re guaranteed to come away feeling worse.
Healing after a break-up isn’t a linear journey. It’s cyclical. Some days you will feel you’ve made great strides in reclaiming your life, while other days you’ll feel nearly as raw as the first few post-break-up days. The rollercoaster will level out if you can stick with it. Try practicing these five approaches and you’ll find hope and relief from the break-up blues.