There’s no such thing as a “good” breakup. Whether you’re the initiator or the one who gets your heart broken, ending a relationship is tough, no matter the circumstance. And the hardest part is that no one talks about their experiences. For reasons unknown, breakups have been deemed a taboo subject. But we’re here to combat that societal construct.
Many therapists say that going through a breakup is like grieving the death of a relationship. It takes time to become accustomed to a new life without your person. So don’t be afraid to take a mental health day if you need it. Texting, spending time with, and confiding in your partner became a habit, and by cutting off communication, you need to adjust to a new lifestyle by relying on yourself, other people, and different aspects of your life.
We won’t lie: Overcoming a breakup isn’t easy. You can expect it to come with lots of tears and feelings of anxiety, but with patience and optimism (and perhaps some indulgence in self-help books), you’ll ultimately rise above it and realize your self-worth. Here are some tips on how to heal from heartbreak. But remember, growth comes with time.
Commit to a clean break
The best advice I’ve received is to cut off communication from the start completely. The healing process doesn’t officially begin until you’ve stopped interacting with your ex in person and through social media. Each time you reach out, the emotions overwhelmingly flood back, and the pain you experience begins from square one.
Once you decide that the relationship is over, stick to it. Block their phone number and unfollow or mute them on social media. Most importantly, avoid meeting up with them for just “one” last coffee chat or late-night hangout. Getting over an ex is nearly impossible without cutting off communication — cold turkey — and from experience, it’s proven to be the best move long-term.
Write down your thoughts
When you’re feeling emotional, writing down your thoughts can be a therapeutic way to release your worries from your head and onto paper. There’s no right or wrong answer in terms of what to write — just jot down whatever’s on your mind. Once your pen hits the paper, your thoughts and feelings will likely flow effortlessly out of your head.
It’s common to fantasize about a past relationship once it’s over, so making a list of what wasn’t working to remind you why you broke up in the first place might be helpful. You can also write down a list of traits you’re looking for in your ideal partner to manifest a future healthier relationship. Or, come up with qualities you appreciate about yourself to learn to love and accept yourself.
When you’re done writing down your thoughts, you might feel just a little bit lighter physically and emotionally. This reason alone may be the inspiration you need to commit to a journaling habit moving forward.
Reflect from within
A huge part of being single is learning to love yourself and becoming comfortable spending time solo. Of course, it takes time, but when you’re ready, here are some ways you can indulge in a bit of self-care:
- Sign up for a hot yoga class
- Listen to a meditation app, like Headspace
- Go on a walk in an area you’ve never been
- Find a new hiking trail
- Take a milk bath
- Throw a solo dance party in your living room
- Book an acupuncture appointment
- Create a vision board
Talk about it
During times of struggle, keeping in all your feelings and retreating from those around you can be tempting. But leaning into your community and accepting advice from friends, family, or a therapist will make you feel less alone. Don’t be afraid to confide in those you feel closest to because, chances are, they’ve been through a breakup, too.
Holding in your emotions instead of being open about how you feel will just make it harder for you down the line. The more you feel your feelings and accept the situation at hand, the faster you’ll embark on your healing journey.
Learning to spend time with yourself after a breakup is just as important as surrounding yourself with those who care about you. Make plans in advance so you have less time to overthink and spend time with people who make you laugh.
Choose activities you’re passionate about or rely on new experiences to avoid any ties to memories you might’ve created with your ex. Some examples of unique activities to do with friends include:
- Painting at Color Me Mine
- Planning a DIY sushi night
- Taking a cocktail-making class
- Organizing a game night
- Buying tickets to a concert
- Seeing a comedy show
- Axe throwing
Trust that you’ll heal with time
Even though you can’t see it right now, you will eventually heal from heartbreak. It might be a long and painful journey, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel. All you can do is take it day by day. Stay busy, indulge in self-care, surround yourself with those who care about you, and trust the process.
When you believe you’re strong enough to get through this difficult time in your life, you’ll start to rise above it. So, be patient, show yourself some love, and remember to recite daily positive affirmations (“I am strong, I am capable, I will get through this”) to help you conquer the days ahead.