Losing your companion, best friend, cheerleader, and partner in crime through a messy breakup is devastatingly painful. You’re left feeling lost, weak, unworthy of love, unmotivated, and crushed. The recollection of the cute dates you used to have, all the adventures you experienced as a couple, all the morning cuddles you had, and all the dreams you shared makes you scared of your own thoughts. Every happy moment you shared now comes back to you with a huge lump of anger, frustrations, sadness, and regrets.
Evidently, this has to be and will certainly be the most difficult and challenging time of your life. However, the healthiest thing to do is to get back on your feet and move on. You have to pull yourself together, dust yourself up, piece your broken heart back together and, with time, learn how to live without your ex. To help you get back on your feet faster, we’ve shared in this post a few tips that you’ll find helpful along the way.
- Be in touch with your emotions
Allowing your feelings to wash over you might sound counterintuitive. However, this approach is in fact among the most certain routes to accelerated healing after a heartbreak. First of all, allow yourself to be sad, angry, devastated, and plain miserable for as long as necessary. Cry your pain away. Lay still in bed and rest. Cuss as much as you want. Stare blankly at the wall. Be sad. Acknowledge your feelings.
Secondly, don’t fight with your thoughts or try to suppress your grief. Reassure yourself that you are not crazy, weak, or petty for being consumed by sorrow. This will help you hit your emotional rock bottom in a few short days. Hitting rock bottom leaves you with only one way to go, and that way is up. It allows you to get back on your feet faster.
Thirdly, being in touch with your emotions also means allowing sorrow and happiness to coexist. Sadness and happiness don’t necessarily have to be opposite emotions that cancel out one another. The two feelings can coexist. If there still are things/people in your life that make you happy, don’t shut them out. Allow them to make you happy. Also, be deliberate about finding tiny moments of joy, real or fictional. You can derive joy in simple things such as the beauty of the sun shining through your window in the morning or admiring your pet as it snuggles up against your body at night.
- Immerse yourself in self-care
You’ve cried, you’ve been miserable, and you’ve gone through the emotional roller-coaster of a hard breakup. It’s now the time to switch gears a little and focus more on boosting your feel-good hormones, notably dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. That’s where self-care comes in. Immersing yourself in self-care stimulates your brain to produce more feel-good chemicals, which consequently improves your emotional strength.
Here are some of the self-care activities that will aid the production of more feel-good hormones:
- Substitute junk foods with healthy, fresh foods. Cook your own food if you can. While at it, add more leafy greens and fruits into your diet as they are known to increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the human body.
- Dedicate one day every week for all-around pampering. Getting yourself a full-body massage, for example, will stimulate your skin, tissues, and muscles, which consequently injects more endorphins into your bloodstream.
iii. Go out. A few hours in the tranquility of nature will significantly lower your stress levels and, in turn, regulate your blood pressure. Being in the sun for 15-20 minutes will also increase serotonin production in your body.
- Get your heart pumping more efficiently by adopting and maintaining a regular workout routine. That will in turn trigger the release of more endorphins, giving you a prolonged happy rush.
- Increase your social interactions- reach out to family and friends a lot more. Socializing will calm your troubled mind, which then accelerates your healing.
- Be deliberate about forgetting your ex
Forgetting your ex, especially if you’re still in love with him, is not going to be easy. You won’t just wake up one day and realise that you no longer miss or love him. It will take a sequence of deliberate actions on your part to flush him out of your system. To get you started:
- Build a support system. Recruit two or three people into your inner circle and task them with the responsibility of pulling you away from your ex. These are the people you’ll be reaching out to whenever you need to pour your heart out.
- Stop blaming yourself for the breakup. Stop trying to rewrite your story with your ex. It is all over and in the past! Tell yourself that it’s not your fault that he left. Remind yourself that you are not broken, that nothing is wrong with you. Dismiss all those counterproductive “what-ifs” from your mind. Be deliberate about leaving it all in the past and moving on.
iii. Reach out to a therapist for help in uncovering the unhealthy behavioral patterns that you’ve probably picked up since the breakup. The therapist can also help you avoid the relationship pitfalls that you probably ignored and that may have contributed to the breakup.
- If there are sentimental items in your house that remind you of your ex, send them to him or give them out as donations. It is hard to move forward when you have his footprints all over your house.
- Head to the salon for a fresh start
You probably have been complying with your ex’s physical preferences for so long that you forgot how you actually love your hair. It’s now time to find your own kind of ‘sexy’ by booking a salon appointment for a hair makeover. A new hairdo will help you rediscover the inner beauty that you’ve been suppressing for the sake of your partner’s happiness. It will help you regain your confidence once again. It will hand the control of your beauty back to you. That’s exactly what you need for a fresh start.
- Be cautious about drastic hair makeovers. Don’t make any rash decisions. Only go for a hairdo that you know you loved before you met your ex or a hairstyle/color that you admired even when you were in a happy relationship.
- If you are skeptical about visiting your regular hairdresser for the fear of being judged, it is okay to shop around for a different hairdresser who doesn’t know you or your situation. If you are in San Francisco and are looking for a new hairdresser, here are a few San Francisco hair salons that we highly recommend.
- Unfollow him and your mutual friends on social media
Continuing to follow your ex online will only leave you devastated and confused. Sometimes you will get angry at him for seeming happy when you’re crying over him. Other times you will feel like you need him back in your life. But then if you see him getting comfortable around other women, you will certainly feel betrayed and cheated. You don’t want to go through this emotional roller-coaster again. Just block him, delete his number, and block his email. Even if you know his number off-head, deleting it on your phone is still important because it stops you from seeing any potentially heart-wrenching WhatsApp statuses.
Blocking your ex also prevents you from going off-the-rails crazy on your timeline. The idea that he could be stalking you on social media can easily compel you to post unnecessary and sometimes embarrassing stuff. Sometimes you’ll feel like you should prove to him that your life is exciting and rewarding without him in it; how self-reliant and flourishing you are. That is not good for your mental health.
Note: On top of blocking him on social media, it is important that you also block all the mutual friends you met through him. Such friends will always remind you of him. Sometimes they will innocently post pictures of him having fun and that will certainly get to you. Don’t wait for that to happen.
- Treat Yourself to Self-Care
During the challenging aftermath of a breakup, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care as a means of healing and self-renewal. Here are five nurturing activities to help you navigate this difficult time:
- Retail Therapy: Embrace the healing power of shopping as a form of self-expression. Whether shopping for party dresses, a new outfit, a favorite book, or something that aligns with your hobbies and interests, indulging in a thoughtful purchase can boost your mood and sense of self-worth.
- Spa Day at Home: Create your own spa experience with a relaxing bath, scented candles, and soothing music. Pamper yourself with skincare treatments, a manicure, or a DIY facial mask. This self-care ritual can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Explore a New Hobby: Channel your emotions into a new hobby or activity that captivates your interest. Whether it’s painting, cooking, dancing, or learning a musical instrument, engaging in something new can provide a sense of accomplishment and personal growth.
- Mindfulness and Meditation: Practice mindfulness and meditation to calm your mind and reduce stress. Dedicate time each day to focus on your breath, clear your thoughts, and reconnect with your inner self. There are many apps and online resources to guide you in this practice.
- Outdoor Adventures: Spend time in nature to recharge your spirit. Go for a hike, a leisurely walk in the park, or simply sit by a peaceful body of water. Nature has a calming effect and can help you gain perspective during challenging times.
- Repurpose your energy
If dating someone new isn’t feasible for you, why not try repurposing your energy to something more exciting? That will help you combat feelings of depression and anxiety, especially now that you have more free time on your hands. You can for example:
- Start engaging more in community development programs, e.g. volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
- Get a pet. Get another one if you already have one.
iii. Throw yourself into your work and career. Enroll in as many professional online courses as you have time for. Chase your professional goals with a little more vigor and dedication.
- Start a business on the side.
- Learn a new skill, e.g. how to code, cook, or play a musical instrument.
- Join a book club.
vii. Travel the world and engage in all kinds of physical activities, from surfing to bungee jumping.
Breakups are extremely difficult. Please stay strong if you’re going through one right now. We hope that the tips in this post will help you heal faster and get back on your feet.