Breaking up is hard. Relationships can completely alter our lives—our routines, emotions, mindset, and expectations. They can provide us with companionship, laughter, and joy that can make our days better. Even when love isn’t entirely sustainable, when the relationship ends it can be difficult to accept the change and move on. But it’s important to remember that we don’t have to stay stuck after a breakup. We can heal, learn from the experience and start anew. Here are some tips for healing and moving on after a breakup.
Allow yourself to grieve. It’s normal to feel shocked and heartbroken when a relationship ends. And while you may feel pressure to get over it quickly and “just move on”, try not to rush your healing process. Take whatever time you need to acknowledge the loss and deal with the emotions it brings up. Express your sadness through music, journaling, or talking to friends. Give yourself permission to mourn, so you can come out of this experience with a sense of peace.
Practice self-care. Taking time out for yourself is vital to the healing process. Make sure you’re eating healthy foods and getting enough rest. Spend time in nature to appreciate the beauty all around you. Exercise to boost your mood and energy levels. Plan activities that get you out of the house to prevent yourself from wallowing in your sorrows. Practice yoga, meditate, focus on improving yourself, and reconnect with friends. All of these activities can help to lift your spirits and rejuvenate your outlook.
Learn lessons. A breakup can be a great opportunity to reflect and learn from the experience. What were the reasons the relationship ended? How could you have been more supportive or understanding? What qualities do you despise in yourself that you could work on? Those who can take a moment to look inward instead of outward, those who can grasp positive lessons from the breakup--these people will be better equipped to move forward in happier and healthier ways next time.
Grow in independence. While it’s great to be in a relationship, it can also be dangerous to become overly dependent on someone else. Relationships that let us coexist without sacrificing our individual independence tend to last longer. Make sure you remember who you are and what you like doing - these things shouldn’t change during a relationship. Work on developing your hobbies, skills, and interests independently. This growth in self-awareness can help regain parts of yourself that may have been lost (or forgotten) in the relationship.
Fill the void. Part of healing is recognizing that something missing in your life can be filled with something new. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings through productive outlets. Find a new hobby, take a new class, or get a job to occupy your time and make you feel productive. Try volunteer work or even a new sport to fill the void of companionship and bring more structure into your life.
Focus on the future. Yes, it can be hard to let go, but remember that no matter how long a relationship lasted, it doesn’t define you. You are not the sum of your past relationships. Staying focused on the present and the future can help you see that you have much to be excited about. Instead of ruminating on what was lost, try to focus on all the possibilities that lay ahead.
Know that it’s going to be ok. Whatever you’re feeling during and after a breakup, know that it will pass. There will be difficult days, but eventually the pain will set and you’ll be able to come out on the other side, stronger and more resilient than before. Allow yourself to grieve the loss fully and don’t judge the process. It’s just part of the cycle of life.
Breakups can be painful and confusing, but taking the right steps to heal and move on can ultimately lead to a brighter future. Take your time to grieve, practice self-care and independence, fill the void, work on learning lessons, and focus on the future. Most importantly, know that everything is going to be ok in the end.