Breaking up with someone can be one of the most devastating experiences that a person can go through. To make matters even worse, it can raise countless questions that we often times don’t have the answers for. We can even find ourselves experiencing a rollercoaster ride of different emotions. One second we may be sad and crying, and then the next happy and relieved, to downright angry and resentful. But what is most important to remember about a break up is being able to find positive coping strategies that can make moving forward a little bit easier.
MY EMOTIONS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE: After a break up, whether it was mutual or not, it is normal to experience a plethora of different thoughts, feelings, and reactions. After all any new major experiences that we go through, in the beginning there always seems to be a time where we are trying to figure out what our next step should be and are uncertain about what our future will now look like. Being able to experience different feelings and emotions is a necessary part of the process because without them we could find ourselves not fully trying to come to terms with what our “new” reality really is. Also, it is only through experiencing different feelings and emotions that we are able to pinpoint why we may be feeling the way that we are.
SELF REFLECTION IS IMPERATIVE: Self-reflection is a key piece to being able to fully process the break up and to acknowledge what our role was in it. Self-reflection can also help us to have a better understanding on how our choices and decisions impacted the relationship, may it be good or bad. This also gives us the opportunity to advocate for ourselves and have clear expectations on some of the things we might want to work on or change for future relationships. Additionally, self-reflecting can help us to pinpoint things that we do not want in a future partner.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO HEAL: Everyone will react differently after a break up. But it is important to give yourself time to heal. Understanding a break up is essentially being able to grieve a loss. Most people only associate grieving with death; but breaking up with someone is a loss. It’s a loss of something that once was, you are now forced to change certain aspects of your life and even future plans that you may not have originally intended to. Just like grieving the loss of someone who may have passed away, it is crucial that you take time out to yourself. It is ok during this time to have both good days and bad days. Or to even take a day or two off from work if necessary. If you are not taking the necessary down time to heal yourself you could find yourself essentially using a “band aid” approach. What I mean by a band aid approach is you may try to do things that will give you a temporary quick fix or solution in an effort to not have to think about or work past the break up. An example of that could be to excessively use alcohol or other drugs to “get your mind off of things”, but this again would be just a temporary fix and could ultimately end up causing more harm than good and lead to other negative problems or behaviors.
THERE IS SUPPORT OUT THERE, YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL ALONE IN THIS: It is important to understand that after experiencing a break up that you do not have to go through it alone, there is help out there. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can sometimes make the process of moving forward from a break up easier. But if that is something that you don’t feel comfortable with, some people find it helpful to talk to a therapist to get an unbiased perspective about your situation. Therapy can also help you gain stronger coping skills and can allow for validation of your personal feelings, along with gaining new insights. Lastly, if you take nothing else away from this article please understand that things will GET EASIER, AND THINGS WILL NOT ALWAYS FEEL THIS WAY, JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD NO MATTER WHAT.