Breakups are hard. They can leave you feeling abandoned, lost and grieving a life you once planned with someone. Even if the separation is mutual, and you know it’s for the best, the deep, guttural physical pain sits inside you.
I have been through three SERIOUS breakups in the last two years, so I thought it was only fair for me to write an article about it. I’m practically an expert now!
Trust me, these tips will help you to get through your latest breakup. If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re recently single and looking for a quick-fix to feel better. Truth is, there aren’t any ‘quick fixes’. You’ll go through lots of emotions over the next few weeks and can start a day feeling great, and end it sobbing on the sofa.
Time is always the best healer. You’ll have good and bad days, but you will feel better week-by-week.
Top 10 Ways To Get Through A Breakup:
- In one sentence, write down why the relationship won’t work
- Contact People Who Love You
- Look After Yourself
- Avoid Looking Them Up
- Exercise On Days You Feel Really Bad
- Treat Yourself In Small Ways
- Avoid Dating Apps
- Immediately after? Create a schedule for your week
- Avoid Self-Destructive Behaviours That Are Numbing
- Refocus On What You Want From Your Life
1. In one sentence, write down why the relationship won’t work
If you’ve been in a super toxic push-pull relationship, it can be tempting to go back. This can be detrimental to your personal growth and mental health (speaking from experience). Really think about why the relationship has ended and summarise in one sentence why you won’t go back to them.
Right after the end of a relationship, your thoughts can feel jumbled, especially if you’re prone to listening to your heart over your head. Writing down why the relationship won’t work will also help you to clarify your own feelings. And doing it in a single sentence will help you analyse and get to the core of why you’re no longer with that person.
I actually got this one from the ‘Guys We F****d’ podcast (on Luminary, although they have a back-catalogue on Spoitfy’) when looking for a distraction and some girl-talk.
This one helped me remain true to my own feelings and decisions. I had something to refer back to when they contacted me, and I felt the urge to provide them with emotional support rather than helping myself first.
2. Contact People Who Love You
Text your friends, call your family – they will be there for you! When you suffer the rejection and shame of a relationship ending, it’s not always easy to reach out.
Truth is, most people you love have been through this and will empathise. When I told my girly friends that my relationship was over, I suddenly had a busy week, full of catch-ups, brunches and walks.
Spending time with and speaking to people who love you will remind you how amazing you are, and how valued you are. Breakups hit your self-esteem hard. You might even find yourself considering going back because you think you ‘might not find anyone else’.
Around people who love you, you can be yourself and work through your feelings about the separation. Plus, you’ll get some brilliant advice!
3. Look After Yourself
If your self-esteem has been hit, you might find yourself struggling to look after yourself.
When you’re having a bad day, understand that getting out of bed and cooking a full meal for yourself is a win that day. You can deal with the mess when you’re feeling better!
Make sure you’re eating well, not staying up until 3am on Tik Tok, and getting out of bed on time. If you stick to your usual schedule, you’ll be able to recover from heartbreak faster and it won’t impact your work too.
4. Avoid Looking Them Up
I don’t care if you have to block them across all your social media – whatever you do, DON’T LOOK THEM UP. This includes posting Instagram Stories so you can check if they have seen it (I know all the tricks!) and seeing when they were last on WhatsApp.
You’ll just end up feeling awful again, especially if you get the impression that they are fine (they’re not).
5. Exercise On Days You Feel Really Bad
On days you feel really awful, exercise will help you get through. Whether you’re a gym-bunny, a runner or more of a podcast-and-a-walk kind of person, make sure you move your body.
Exercise releases a chemical called endorphins which interact with the receptors in your brain. They’ll reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in your body.
If you’re looking for a quick-fix to the pain of a breakup, this is probably it. But be cautious and aware of over-exercising which can be unhealthy.
My personal exercise preference is running. If I’m running after a breakup, I prefer it to be raining (I know, dramatic!). Before I leave for my run, I plan the music I’ll listen to. Lately, I’ve enjoyed a mix of Janice Joplin and Florence and The Machine.
If you’re running in the evening, please make sure you’re staying safe and carry a torch, wear a high-vis and have a safety whistle or alarm to hand.
6. Treat Yourself In Small Ways
This is your chance to treat yourself and show yourself some love. One simple act of self-care is to buy yourself a gift (the more empowering, the better), treat yourself to a take out for dinner or even a coffee when you’re on a walk.
Buying things will help you restore some control in your life, while also allowing you to feel good from something you do, rather than feeling good from someone else. If you’ve had a particularly co-dependent relationship, this is important.
7. Avoid Dating Apps
Don’t get me wrong, dating apps are a great way to restore confidence. But right after a break up, you’ll just feel guilty, cheap and as though you’re cheating a little bit.
There’s plenty of time to ‘get back out there’. This isn’t it: prioritise yourself over your next relationship.
8. Immediately after? Create a schedule for your week
If you used to spend lots of time with your significant other, you might find that you’ve got lots of free time looming, which could lead to feelings of loneliness and may even make you feel like contacting them.
I’m a big fan of lists and planning. If you create a schedule for your week, then you’ll know exactly what you’re going to do and you won’t have any gaps. You don’t need to go completely crazy planning, but make sure you book in time with friends, and start a new series or book.
One of the best books to read after a break up is Florence Given’s ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’.
9. Avoid Self-Destructive Behaviours That Are Numbing
You could be tempted to drown your sorrows through drinking or by finding a new sexual partner. But both of these are short-term solutions and you’ll pay for it in the future.
Remember, you’re only putting off the pain, and it’s likely to come back even worse. Take the time to feel the pain, grieve the relationship and grow as a person.
Additionally, alcohol is a depressant and affects sleep. There is literally nothing worse you can do to your body.
10. Refocus On What You Want From Your Life
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, often your goals and your partner’s can become one in the same. Or you can even forget what you really want from your life.
This is the perfect opportunity to re-develop your personal goals. Whether you’re ambitious with your career, want to get back into a creative hobby like painting or just want to improve your connection with your friends, now is your chance.
There’s no quick-fix to feel better after a relationship ends. It feels like the end of the world, but you need to add some perspective: your favourite people and women who inspire you have gone through this, so you can too. Think of the future, and who you want to be. Does the person you separated from fit that vision?
If not, you’ve made the right decision.