Nobody enjoys breaking up. Even if you weren’t together for very long, or even if you know that the split is best for both of you in the long run. Getting over a breakup sucks, it isn’t easy. It is still a rejection and it hurts.
There is no easy way to go through a breakup. You can’t take a pill and magically be over the grieving process that accompanies every split (though yes, we wish there was one too). The only way out, terribly enough, is through.
There are, though, some things that you can do to smooth the process for yourself. Here are just a few of them.
Let Yourself Feel Bad
Here’s the thing about grief and sadness and all of the other gross feelings that accompany a breakup: if you push them down now, they’ll just pop up somewhere else really inconvenient later on, like the worst game of whackamole ever. It’s better to give yourself a couple of days to just wallow. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and it’s an important part of healing. Turn off your phone, watch Hallmark Hall of Fame movies all day and just revel in the comfort that comes from taking time off to indulge your inner angst. It helps. Trust us.
After a couple of days of sloth and comfort food, books, movies and pajamas, it’s time to get back to daily life. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make selfcare a priority. This can cover basic things like hygiene, regular exercise and a healthy diet and the more complex and nebulous things like making sure to schedule time in your day to read or spend time on a hobby, etc. Take care of yourself like it’s your new job. You are your priority right now.
No, not that way! One of the hardest parts of working through a breakup is finding yourself with a lot of time to dwell on what has happened. The best way to keep this from happening is to stay busy. Make plans with friends. Join a group that loves the same hobby you do. Take a class. Don’t schedule every minute, but make sure you have some sort of positive social interaction every day. This has the added benefit of keeping you distracted so you won’t be tempted to call your ex.
This is exactly what it sounds like. Go through your apartment and collect anything of his that he might have left there and set up a time to return it to him/her (or mail it back if you can’t face seeing him/her again). Then, go through your apartment and take down/put away anything that has strong connections to your relationship: photos of the two of you, gifts you might have been given, mementos of shared experiences (like the DVD of the first movie you saw in a theater together). It’s hard to heal when you have “ghosts” staring at you all the time. You might decide to put these things back out later, but for now, hide them away.
Set Some Concrete Goals
Set at least three concrete goals that you want to accomplish before you jump back into another relationship. These can be anything from “complete couch to 5K” to “read all of the published Song of Ice and Fire books” (aka the Game of Thrones books) to “learn Italian.” Accomplishing these goals will give you some extra confidence and it’ll keep you from simply throwing yourself into a new relationship because you’re not comfortable being single (aka the rebound).
Remember, getting over a breakup is a slow process. It’s about evolution, not revolution. Healing and rebuilding take time so don’t forget: cut yourself some slack!