How to Cope Post Break Up
We’ve all been there. I’ve certainly been there several times. The dreaded break up. Whether it comes out of left field, or it was a long time coming, it’s fucking hard. Getting dumped SUCKS, and you know what? It sucks being the one doing the dumping, too. Regardless of the scenario, the end of a relationship is one of the most challenging things we can go through. I’m sharing a few of my top tips that I’ve personally used to help you get through this shitty time.
It’s easy to become paralyzed with sadness post break up, which leads you to stay in bed all day, or to sit on your couch glued to Netflix. Doing nothing alone in your apartment allows an unnecessary amount of grief to build, so get up and get moving. Create a list of things to do, even if it’s as simple as tackling everyday to-dos. For example: wake up, make your bed, drink coffee, take a shower, get dressed, walk the dog, eat breakfast, go to work, take a walk during lunch, buy a book at the bookstore, go to the gym post work, get dinner with a friend… etc. When we’re sad, sometimes we need to break our day down, task by task, in order to not get constantly get caught up in our emotions.
Allow yourself to be sad
Here’s the thing though, at some point, we have to allow ourselves to feel the sadness. We can’t keep it bottled up all of the time, that’s just not healthy. A few years ago when I was going through a break up, one of my closest friends Chinae Alexander gave me an incredible piece of advice. She told me to set a timer for my emotions. For example, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes, and let yourself feel ALL the things. Cry, let it all out. Punch a pillow if you need to. Curl up into a ball. Whatever you gotta do. But when that timer goes off, you pull yourself together, wipe the tears off your face, and get on with your day. Allow yourself to be sad, but contain it so that you can still live your life.
You may be tempted to call, text, or even see your ex in person, but once the relationship ends, rip off the band-aid. Think of it as allowing yourself to create your own space (both physically and emotionally) to process what has happened, and to move on.
Unfollow your ex on all social media channels
On that note of cutting contact, unfollow your ex on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. That may even mean blocking them if they have public accounts so that you don’t cave into checking up on them. That may feel extreme, but remember this is about doing what’s best for you right now in order to heal.
Lean into the support of friends and family
This is a super emotional time, and you don’t have to do it alone. Friends and family are around not just for the good times, but for the hard times too. Surround yourself with people that you can lean on, whether it’s getting lunch with girlfriends or calling your mom. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people that love you. They want to help.
Get away for the weekend
Whether it’s with friends or alone, if you have the means to take a quick trip out of town, do it! Even if it’s simply a day trip. A change of scenery can help you breathe some new energy into your soul and help reset your headspace.
Return their things
It’s likely that you have some of your ex’s things around your apartment. Their physical things will end up taking up emotional headspace. Gather them up and return them however feels best to you. If that means packing them up in a box and sending them back via mail so you don’t have to see them face to face, do it!
Break a sweat
Whether you already have an exercise routine, or you haven’t hit the gym in years, exercise. Seriously, like go book a SoulCycle class or go for a run in the park. I know it may be the last thing you want to do if you’re currently sitting on your couch with tear stained cheeks, but exercising is an incredible way to release emotion, create endorphins, and a way to simply do something positive for yourself. Sweat can be the best therapy.
If you’ve been in a relationship, being alone all of a sudden can be scary AF. You’re not used to being just around, well, you. But try to reframe your perspective. For the first time in a long time, you get to be selfish, and that is such a positive thing! You don’t have to worry about a single other soul right now. You get to decide whatever it is the hell that you want to do. How exciting is that?! Empower yourself to feel that being alone right now is actually a really fucking awesome thing.
Pick up an old hobby/try something new
When we become comfortable in relationships, it’s easy to let certain parts of ourselves die (dramatic, yes, I know, but it’s true!) or to adopt the interests of our partners. I want you to ask yourself, what did you like to do before you got into a relationship? Or ask yourself, what have you always wanted to do or try but never gotten around to? Photography, cooking, running, writing, drawing, bird watching, yodeling, interpretive dance (lol!) whatever it is, now is the time!
Learn that it’s ok to do things alone
I know you’re not used to doing things alone, but it’s time to learn that you don’t need someone glued to your side in order to do, try, or experience things. Start simply: go to a movie by yourself, or take a walk in a new neighborhood. At some point try getting a meal by yourself. Maybe you attend some sort of meet up alone! Soon enough, you’ll feel empowered by knowing that you don’t need no man or woman in order to live your life.
Refer to instagram accounts that help put your feelings into words
There are some instagram accounts out their that so beautifully put into words the challenging emotions that we experiences. Some that I love are:
Therapy is something that everyone should seek out, in my opinion. Talking to someone and getting professional help can be absolutely transformational. If you’re unable to afford a therapist, look into options like a therapy app, such as TalkSpace. I’ve never used it before, but it could be a great alternative option for you.
A few quick “don’ts”
Don’t feel like you have to pretend to be “ok” all the time. Allow yourself some time and space to feel and process your emotions.
Don’t contact your ex’s friends to get more information.
Don’t look up (aka stalk) your ex on social media. Nothing good will come of it.
On that note, don’t stalk your ex’s new partner, whenever that happens. It will stir up feelings of jealousy and comparison for no good reason.
Do not, by any means, get drunk and drunk dial or drunk text your ex. Instant regret. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Don’t try out a new look right away. Aka don’t chop off your hair and dye it a new color. Change is totally cool but at least give yourself a few weeks before making any big physical change.
Don’t start dating right away. Give yourself some time to process the break up, and to date yourself.
Lastly, remember that break ups are something that we all experience in this life. It can feel beyond soul crushing in the moment, and even for a few months after the fact. But you will get through it. And you will come out stronger on the other side.
Sending you so much love.