Whether you’ve been broken up with or initiated the breakup, breaking up is never easy to do. In fact, surviving a relationship breakup is one of the most difficult ordeals in life. According to The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, a tool that measures the load of mental stress ranks “divorce” and “marital separation” as the second and third most stressful events, respectively, that occur. It doesn’t matter if breakup was amicable and mutual or if it crashed and burned, it’s still hard to move forward from what was and what could’ve been. Whether you’ve been trying to save an unhappy marriage, a sexless relationship, or just a plain old toxic partnership, putting an end to it is not an easy step to take. Which is why we came up with some helpful tips on how to cope with a breakup, so you can focus on rebuilding a brighter and more functional future.
Reach out to your support system
Don’t carry your heartbreak burden alone. Reach out to your trusted circle. Let them know you’re going through a difficult time. It’s a good idea to remember that people offer their support in different ways. Some might hold space for you, others might offer motherly advice, while some might want to distract you from your troubles with a night out on the town. Be open to the different types of support offered to you because they all will help your recovery process.
Acknowledge the type of support you receive from different people, and know which one might help you in a given moment. For example, you need someone’s ear, but your mom likes to talk more than listen, you might call your understanding college friend instead. Most importantly, don’t feel shame for feeling the way you do and for asking for help. We all need help sometimes.
Seek the help of a therapist
Sometimes your inner circle can’t offer you the type of advice, feedback, or empathy that you require. If you feel like you need more help in putting the pieces together of your relationship, you might consider the support of a therapist. A therapist can offer a non-judgmental and empathic space for you to share as well as provide you with tools that can help you learn the necessary lessons from your breakup and assist you with implementing healthy steps in order for you to move forward.
A therapist will also offer professional and objective advice and feedback, a support system totally different from what a friend may give. After all, this is their area of expertise and their life’s work.
Recite positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are powerful cognitive words or phrases that can help alleviate moments of anxiety and stress while also helping us focus on the good things in our lives. Examples of affirmations you might want to recite whenever you find yourself in a head spin, include: “It’s okay for me to feel sad. As I feel feelings of grief, I move toward healing,” “I am seeking out what makes me feel good, not what drains me,” “Their behavior and actions are not a reflection of who I am. Their attitude is a reflection of who they are, not who I am,” “I am moving towards joy and peace everyday.”
As Elle Woods says, exercise produce endorphins and endorphins make us happy. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gym person, you might want to consider joining a new fitness class or a hiking club. Movement can do wonders for the mind and soul, not to mention it can connect you with like-minded people who can help boost your energy and vibe. You don’t have to hit up your local intense CrossFit location to feel better, engaging in an activity like hiking that takes you outside or connected with nature will serve like chicken soup for the soul.
Speaking with the American Psychological Association, Michael Otto, PhD, talked about the correlation between exercise and our moods. “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong,” Otto explained, adding, “Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.”
Delete and block them
No, deleting and blocking your ex from your phone and social media doesn’t make you a bad person — it makes you someone who puts their sense of well-being first. Deleting your ex from your life removes potential triggers as well as the temptation of any emotional dialing or rants. This may be harder to do if you are co-parenting, but there are still ways to distance yourself from your ex. There are a slew of highly-recommended co-parenting apps that contain all correspondence, calendars, essential contacts, and even expense reports within the app. Meaning you never have to stress over a text or an email from an ex if you don’t want to. Remember, it’s all about self-care no matter what.
Accept where you are
We suffer more from heartbreak when we refuse to accept the reality of the situation. We cause more harm and prolong the healing process when we cling onto the past or if we hope that something might change and a reunion might be in the cards. Breakups suck. But the faster you accept the truth of your reality, the faster you’ll be able to find peace. Don’t wish to be somewhere else from where you are right now. Attempt to find the beauty and grace in your circumstances.
Start a gratitude journal. List what you’re grateful for in your life. Maybe eventually you might be able to add to your list the lessons from your relationship. Don’t project into the future or dwell in the past. Meditation helps. Focus on what is, and make the very most of where you are right now. It might not seem like it, but you’re in a really good place. The place of possibility.
Quotes about heartbreak
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
― Mark Twain
“Hearts are made to be broken.” ― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis
“Once you had put the pieces back together, even though you may look intact, you were never quite the same as you’d been before the fall.” ― Jodi Picoult
“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
― Kahlil Gibran
“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…”
― Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight
“You can love them, forgive them, want good things for them … but still move on without them.” — Mandy Hale
“The course of true love did never run smooth.” — William Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
“I didn’t lose you. You lost me. You’ll search for me inside of everyone you’re with and I won’t be found.” — R.H.Sin
“The hottest love has the coldest end.” — Socrates