So your heart’s been broken. Your heart feels like it’s been split in half, your eyes are puffed up and crimson red from sobbing, and all you want to do is take a break from work and school and just go to sleep.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop for us when we’ve had a breakup. Our lives keep going and everyone seems to be moving forward… except for you.
I have endured a handful of breakups throughout my life, and if there’s one thing I can guarantee you, it’s that there will be a lot of crying, venting, reminiscing, and guilt. However, I can also guarantee that you will get through the pain and that this breakup will mold you into a more resilient, compassionate person.
Here are a few of my tips for getting through that heartbreak:
And when you think you’ve cried enough, cry some more.
Crying relieves you of all the tension you’re holding within your body and mind and helps you cope with your emotions in a healthy way.
Throughout the subsequent weeks (or months) following your breakup, I recommend crying whenever you feel the urge to do so. This will help you obtain instant gratification and will allow you to cope without utilizing any harmful substances.
Avoid people who discourage you from crying and surround yourself with people who will be there for you during this difficult time in your life.
- Have a small support group who will listen to you as you vent.
Having friends is important, but having a small group of your closest friends is especially vital to survive a breakup.
I suggest selecting two or three people (at the most) with whom you can discuss your feelings. Having a small circle of friends will ensure that your emotions are private and not shared with the entire world via gossiping or social media.
Make sure that the people you choose to talk to are trustworthy. You are willingly opening up to these people and showing the most vulnerable side of your feelings, so it’s important to ask yourself, “Do I trust these people wholeheartedly?” The people in your small support group don’t necessarily have to be a friend, either – they can be a parent, sibling, counselor, classmate, teacher, etc.
- Delete your ex out of your life.
Immediately after a breakup, I delete and block my ex’s number, unfollow and block them on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, unfriend them on Facebook, and throw away any meaningful memorabilia I have from them (such as clothing, handwritten letters, photos, etc.).
Why is this so important? First, you’re ensuring that you have no way to contact your ex if you ever miss him/her. In addition, this will help you get over your ex more effectively and quickly as you will not get distracted by what your ex has been up to on Snapchat, nor will you have the ability to stalk him/her on Instagram to see if your ex moved on to another person.
Although this step may seem heartless (and a little selfish), this is absolutely imperative in order to thoroughly get over your ex. You need to be selfish in order to get what you want, and you want to move on from this breakup. So go ahead and unfollow, block, throw away, unfriend, and delete your ex from your life. You can be friends again AFTER you two have completely moved on from the breakup.
- After you’ve mourned the loss, start getting busy.
In a relationship, you spend so much time talking, hanging out, and thinking of your significant other. Now that the relationship has ended, though, it’s time to occupy yourself with the time you have without your ex.
Get a job. Learn how to cook a new dish. Paint a portrait. Apply for an internship. Read a book. Find a new hobby. Learn how to knit. Spend more time with your family members. Learn how to play a new instrument.
By getting busy after you’ve let out all your emotions, you’re allowing yourself to live your life without your ex and granting yourself the freedom that you may not have had during your relationship. Occupying yourself also helps you cope faster, ensuring that you are over the breakup in a jiffy.
- Find healthy ways to cope with your anger.
If you and your ex ended the relationship on bad terms, don’t hesitate to cope with your anger through healthy means! Try punching a pillow, learning tae kwon do, taking a boxing class at your nearest gym, or writing a letter to your ex and setting it on fire.
This way, you won’t give in to the temptation to abuse addictive substances or to harm yourself or others. You can always Google more coping mechanisms, talk with a therapist, or experiment to find out which healthy copying skills work best with you.
- Treat yo’ self!
Take this time to indulge and give yourself the extra TLC that you need. Try treating yourself to a mani/pedi, or cop those shoes you’ve been eyeing for months. If you want to pamper yourself on a budget, try purchasing sheet masks from your nearest drugstore and taking a warm bath, or playing games with your best friends while eating some pizza.
Taking care of yourself will help you feel much more content and will reconnect you to the most important person in your life: yourself. After a breakup, it’s imperative to make yourself feel just as happy – if not, happier – than the way you felt during your relationship.
Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself, either – if going on a shopping spree or eating at a fine-dining restaurant will help you feel better, then go for it! Just make sure that whatever you’re doing is for your personal pleasure and that you feel amazing afterward.
- Take yourself out on dates.
As humans, we crave human connection. We want to feel like we’re special through external validation. However, after a breakup, that feeling quickly dissipates as we are used to feeling that love and comfort from our (former) significant other.
To restore that feeling within yourself, I highly recommend going on a date by yourself. (Yes, you read that right.) People might think you’re lonely or psychotic, but going on a solo-date will help you realize that you don’t need your ex to feel complete or to have fun – you can do it on your own!
I suggest heading to the nearest theater and watching a movie by yourself or driving to your favorite restaurant and eating dinner on your own. It may feel slightly uncomfortable in the beginning, but as you go on more solo-dates, you will notice how exciting these may be and how you are gradually starting to love your own company more and more.
- Accept the breakup and forgive your ex.
No matter how you two broke it off, it’s important to accept that the breakup happened and to forgive your ex for any wrongdoings he/she has done to you in the past. Too often do we cling on to old memories, yearning for our ex to beg for us back and to restore what we lost.
But that’s not reality. You and your ex broke up for a reason. It’s time to move on to a better, more fulfilling life without your ex and to create new memories and friends.
Perhaps the most difficult piece of advice to follow from this entire post is to forgive your ex, especially if he/she betrayed your trust or hurt you in ways beyond what you thought was possible. Sadly, forgiveness may take months or years. It’s crucial to be patient with yourself and to allow yourself plenty of time to process what occurred between you and your ex.
Yes, there may be obstacles along the way. You may have to cry some more, vent to your friends for the hundredth time, and repeat the process over and over again. But I promise that you will find the peace that you deserve and that you will get over your heartbreak eventually. As the adage goes, “This, too, shall pass.” All of life’s challenges – even this! – will pass by and you will move on as time flies. Although it may feel like it, your life is not over. The world keeps spinning, no matter what you’re going through. A chapter of your life has ended, and a new one is merely beginning. Remember to surround yourself with your support group, do what makes you happy, treat yourself, and let out your emotions whenever the feeling to cry strikes.
Good luck on your future endeavors, and stay strong.