No matter how many you have been through, breakups are awful. But, no matter how tempting it may be to curl up into a ball and drown your sorrows in endless pints of ice cream, there are better means of dealing with a broken heart. While there’s no magical cure-all for a broken heart, there are plenty of healthy ways to start moving on.
Give yourself time to grieve
Getting over a relationship takes time, and it’s okay to feel a sense of loss when one ends. It’s important to try not to rush the process, or to deny what you’re feeling. Anger? Sorrow? Betrayal? They’re all completely normal reactions to a breakup. If you need a bit of extra help processing your emotions, write down down your feelings in a diary or a letter to your ex — just don’t send the letter. If talking it out is more your thing, seek out a trusted friend to confide in, or consider talking to a professional therapist.
While you shouldn’t expect to feel better straight away, keeping yourself busy can help you through a breakup. Try to see it as an opportunity — make the most of your new free time to do things you couldn’t do before, or catch up with friends you haven’t seen in ages. Make a pact with yourself to say yes to everything you’re invited to, even if it’s just for a week. You’ll be surprised at how something so simple can make such a huge change to your life.
Lose yourself in the things you love
A breakup can also be a chance to spend more time by yourself. Being single means you don’t have to compromise what you choose to spend your time on — so spend it doing what you love. Take a day to yourself to curl up with a good book, plan a movie marathon, go for a long hike, or do anything else you’re passionate about.
Take up a new hobby
Better yet, take this time to discover something new. Think about something you’ve always wanted to try — and then just do it. Sign up for that pottery class you’ve always wanted to take, learn a new language, or book some kickboxing lessons. Investing time in yourself will help keep your mind off your ex, and you may even discover something you love along the way.
Go on vacation
Get away from it all — literally. A change of scenery might be just what you need to stop thinking about the breakup for a little while. It might be a weekend away with friends, a family vacation, or a solo trip; whatever it looks like, taking a break is one of the best things you can do.
Don’t contact your ex
It may be tempting to drunk text your ex, stalk their social media, or reach out to ask them for closure, but don’t! Until you’re genuinely over them, talking to your ex is a bad idea. Block them on social media and delete their number to remove some of the temptation. As for staying friends, it can work if it’s what you both genuinely want and if your intention isn’t to get back together eventually.
Revitalize your space
Deep cleaning your physical space can work wonders for your headspace, too. There are probably a lot of things in your apartment that remind you of your ex, so why not do something about it? This could be as simple as getting a new houseplant, or as drastic as buying all new furniture. Even rearranging the furniture you already own can make your home feel like it’s brand new.
This is not the time to start skimping on self-care. You should be doing the things that make you happy, so start prioritizing your wellbeing. Take a long bath, put on a face mask, book a massage, or do whatever it is that relaxes you. Yes, even if it’s spending some time with your favorite romantic comedy, a box of tissues, and a pint of ice cream — but not every night!
This is something we should all be doing anyway, but it’s especially important during rough times like right after a breakup. Mindfulness doesn’t have to take up a big chunk of your day — even a few minutes can help clear your thoughts and keep you centered. It’s important to find a method that works for you, such as using a meditation app, taking up yoga, or even just taking a little time every day to get in touch with your emotions.
Most importantly, a breakup can be an opportunity in disguise — a chance to build a brand new you, or to rediscover things about yourself that you may have forgotten. Relationships are about compromise, but sometimes you might find you’ve compromised too much without even realizing it. Think about where you’ve been holding yourself back. This could be something big, like putting off a career change or a big move, or even something as small as not ordering food from your favorite takeout place because your ex didn’t like it. Whatever part of yourself you’ve been suppressing, it’s time to let the real you shine.