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These feelings were mostly expressed via soap opera-worthy sobbing sessions, doors slammed in extreme teen angst, and many, many ill-advised attempts at a reconciliation over the next four years. I like to think my relationship disaster plan has improved over the last 17 years, but no matter how emotionally evolved and mature you are, breakups suck. Also confusing. So here are 19 strategies to cope and recoup during the healing process, before investing in a makeover. One of the trickiest parts of navigating post-breakup reality is figuring out whether you actually want to stay in touch.
Sometimes totally eliminating the ex from your life will serve you better in the short and maybe long term. There are a ton of factors that can go into that decision — how long you were together, whether the breakup was amicable or mutual, whether you share friends, pets, or a living space, etc. Regardless of which choice you land on, taking at least some time totally apart and out of contact may help make your decision-making process a little less stressful. Do you two frequent the same grocery store?
Have a favorite brunch spot that you used to hit up together?
One of the biggest mistakes I made after my first breakup to be fair, I was 17 was convincing myself that I could convince him to regret his decision. It can be tempting to distract yourself with a million activities but feeling your feelings rather than numbing out will help you deal with the situation and move on rather than dragging it out. Keep an eye on your own behavior though, or at least really listen to when your friends say it might be time to stop.
Being able to see the difference between a healthy wallow and all-out depression is what stops you from ruining your other relationships. Your pals can be great for weekend trips and happy hours, but they can really come in handy when stuff hits the fan. If you feel that talking about your breakup will help you make sense of your feelings, lean on your friends to hear you out. Does seeing that your ex watches your Instagram stories spark joy?
Does reading their Tweets help your healing journey? We got bad news sis. Most likely, social media is just complicating your recovery and clouding your ability to move on. We talked about those terrible post-breakup bangs.
But really spending some time to focus on the imperfections may help you find peace faster. Sure, they had a cute smile, but remember how rude they were to waiters? Yes, they were awesome at cuddling, but they were also super dismissive about your work wins. Time to do some emotional house cleaning and eliminate the stuff that makes you sad, brings back a flood of memories, or in any way keeps you stuck in the past.
Donate what you can or give particularly sentimental items to friends for safe keeping. Singing karaoke in your kitchen or screaming lyrics in the confines of your car can lift your mood, remind you how much fun you can have on your own, and maybe even make you smile. But if you feel like a solid eight hours at your desk will help temporarily take your mind off things, go for it. Do this: You deserve to take a personal day or two to sit with your feelings and gather yourself before going back out into the world.
Whether your relationship lasted six years or six weeks, you likely got very used to being attached at the hip to another human. Go for the once-in-a-lifetime stuff like skydiving, a solo trip to another country, or backpacking in the woods!
Forge a new kind of relationship with a plant, a book, a pet — anything that lights up your heart in a real way. Look back on some of your favorite moments and when you felt happy, safe, and supported before your relationship. Or during! The key is noticing why these warm and fuzzy feelings happened. Sometimes the best way to get through a tough time is to take the focus off yourself entirely or explore a totally unfamiliar skill. Volunteer with an organization you care about, take random classes, a sports league — do anything that gets you out of that dreaded comfort zone and opens your eyes to new horizons.
The truth is, talking with a trained professional can help you expedite your healing and really process the tough emotions. Keeping up with workouts and sticking to other healthy habits can help keep you on track and out of a long-term wallow fest but try shaking things up and integrating a new day-to-day schedule. Establishing a new routine — whether that means taking a different route to work or finding a new bar for trivia night — will help you start fresh and remember that your life is — and will continue to be — awesome. Can you believe?
Sex toys may be no big deal to some people — but for someone who grew up being told masturbation was a sin — the idea of exploring sexuality and…. Your personality obviously determines a whole lot about what your relationships are like. But can these things be predicted? Here's what psychologists…. Decide if you should go no-contact. Share on Pinterest. Consider avoiding common stomping grounds. Accept the sad, bad, and blank emotions.
Know that wallowing is A-OK… to a point. Reach out to friends. Marie Kondo your social media. Sweep out the old energy from your home. Create a music playlist. Try something new that you never got to do — alone. Start a new, different type of relationship. Glean takeaways from the positive past. Use your new free time to build new skills or habits. Go to therapy. Establish a new routine. Written by Michelle Konstantinovsky on August 27, Read this next.After breaking up with boyfriend
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How to Break Up Respectfully