Going through heartbreak? Last week I wrote about why failure could be a blessing. Now I want to talk about getting over a breakup.
If you are going through a breakup and you’re still grieving, I hope to make it a little easier for you.
Here’s 7 tips for how to get over a breakup and feeling better as soon as possible.
1. Develop a routine.
When it feels like your life is falling apart, a routine can provide you structure and stave off total despair. Work out, eat meals and take care of your life at the same time every day. This way, even though you might not want to get out of bed, you have a structure to lean on.
You don’t have to get fancy and turn this into a goal-setting exercise (even though you can), just focus on the basics like eating, sleeping, exercise and work. When you’re feeling better, you can incorporate more steps and get fancy. Give yourself a break right now.
2. Focus on things you’re proud of in your current situation.
Look for the silver lining and celebrate it. Even if that silver lining seems incredibly tiny right now and you’re scared to death.
Find something that you’re proud of yourself for. You can be proud that you’re holding it together. You can be proud that you’re strong. You can be proud that you chose to change out of your pajamas today. You can be proud you’re awake. Just pick one thing and think about that. When negative things come up, go right back to the positive that you already picked out. There is always a positive.
3. Don’t worry too far into the future or think too much about the past.
I’m well aware that sometimes it’s an effort to just make it though the next 5 minutes. If you think about “what you’re going to do for the rest of your life in light of this crisis,” that thought process is guaranteed to keep the hurt and self pity operating at a fever pitch.
Stay in the present. Dwelling on the past is just as bad as worrying about the future. You’ll tie yourself in knots thinking about what could have, should have or would have been.
Letting yourself dwell on the “shoulds” is an exercise in futility and just another way to make yourself feel bad. Those realities are not in this moment. Only this moment is. Choose that.
4. Give feeling sorry for yourself a daily time limit.
Holding it together is really tough, especially when you’re so upset that you’re constantly on the verge of tears and have to say, make it through work or not fall apart in front of your kids.
Once you feel really terrible and know you’re going to lose it, give yourself full permission to wallow, cry– whatever you need to do for 5-10 minutes. Then do it. Go to the restroom or shut your office and bawl your eyes out. Seriously. Get it all out. Don’t shame yourself over it either. However, when the 5-10 minutes is up, think about something else, even if you have to force it. Even if you have to white knuckle it for awhile, it will get easier.
Promising that you’re never going to feel bad about this particular issue is just not realistic, and the more that you attempt to prop yourself up and play pretend, the more that repression will rear it’s ugly head in the long run. However, totally dwelling becomes a dangerous habit.
5. Lean on your family and friends.
Let your family and friends support you in their own imperfect ways. Allow them to provide emotional support while you’re going through this tough time. You might very well NOT want to talk about it. So don’t. Just let them know what you need and they are usually happy to help.
Remember that they might not know what to say or do, so try to be as clear as you can. Usually their silence isn’t because they don’t want to talk to you, it’s more likely that they aren’t sure of the right thing to say or are going through something of their own. Don’t compound your loss by driving people away or judging their reactions to you.
Be clear with them and tell them what you need. If you truly feel worse after speaking with any particular person, just pause for a while until things clear up. It’s easy to get emotional and cut people out right now, but grief makes people awkward. I’d advise you to just focus on someone else. Later you might see it differently.
6. Try your best to take care of business.
You might not want to pay the bills, move out of the house, have the hard conversation or whatever. Just take it in small steps. You don’t have to do everything right now, but if you do SOMETHING to make things better, I promise that with time, getting over a breakup will get easier.
All bad days start with a bad thought. You might not even KNOW what the specific thought was, or it could be painfully obvious.
7. Try new things.
You might very well be rocketed right into survival mode right now and not actively want to do anything (or have cash on hand). It doesn’t matter. Do something new anyway. If you’re at a loss for what to do, think about how you really liked to spend your time when you were younger. Try new hobbies, meet new people, experiment with activities, do volunteer work etc. Add novel things to your routine.
If you’re going through a hard time right now and struggling with getting over a breakup I understand. Please remember that this too shall pass.