How to Survive a Breakup

6 minute read

By Jordana Weiss

There are plenty of ways to handle a breakup. If you’ve done it before, you may think you’ve found the best possible method. But every breakup is different. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about breakups with a search online.

We’re here today to bring you a few tips on how to get through your newest breakup. It isn’t easy. Making big life changes never is. However, it doesn’t have to be long before you’re feeling like you’re back on top of the world again.

Process why you broke up in the first place

One of the most important things to do when you first break up with a partner is to determine why you broke up in the first place. If you were the person who initiated the split, chances are that you’ve already done a lot of processing in your decision to end the relationship.

If you were the person who didn’t initiate the decision, chances are there are a lot of unanswered questions in your mind. Do your best to listen to your partner’s reasons in the moment, and understand why they are seeking to leave the relationship.

Some of the reasons they give may be things you’ve been thinking of as well. Really seek to understand the reason behind the split, and it may give you some clarity on how to move forward.

Mourn the relationship

One thing that people sometimes forget when a relationship ends is to mourn. It doesn’t mean that you have to be unhappy for the rest of your life, but it is important to give the relationship its due. Acknowledging that things are over can be painful sometimes, but admitting to yourself that things are truly over between you and your partner is a necessary step.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to feel and express your sadness. It’s ok if you don’t feel sad at first – you might feel elated that you’ve left the relationship, but it’s still important to give yourself time to heal.

Be kind to yourself

This goes along with mourning the relationship. Many people force themselves to get out there and start meeting new people as soon as they leave a relationship. While this might help soothe your hurt feelings for a while, a much better solution is to be kind to yourself, and this means giving yourself as much time as you need to heal.

Don’t feel bad if there are days when you don’t leave the house, or if all you accomplished in a day was getting off the couch and making yourself a box of macaroni and cheese.

Stay on top of your schedule

This may seem counter-intuitive, but sticking to a schedule can actually be very helpful if you’re going through a traumatic and emotional period in your life. Investing your time and energy into your work, or hobbies can really help lend some much-needed structure to a period that has the potential to be fraught with emotional turbulence.

Keep your work going strong, and keep any standing engagements you may have, but don’t feel bad about turning down the occasional outing if you feel like you need some time at home.

Keep busy

It’s really tempting to call off all of your social engagements if you’re going through a breakup. Some days you might not feel like leaving the house, and that’s ok. However, it’s important to keep your schedule full so that you’re less tempted to dwell in uncertainty and sadness.

Don’t overschedule yourself, but it’s important to maintain the activities that make you feel like your best self. Be sure to throw in some self-indulgent activities that you may not have made time for in the past, like a mani-pedi or a massage.

Reach out to friends

When we’re in the middle of relationship uncertainty, one of the best things we can do is stick by our true friends and our family, who can give us support and confidence. Many people feel awkward spreading the news of a break up, so try confiding in a close friend and giving them authorization to spread the news as they see fit.

That way, you won’t have to deal with uncomfortable questions and inquiries. Friends also know exactly what to say to help you feel better, so don’t be shy about asking for love when you need it most.

Take some time away from social media

If you’ve recently experienced a breakup, the temptation to spend your time on social media casually stalking your ex is real. It’s a completely understandable feeling. You’ve spent so much time with your ex over the course of your relationship together that it seems bizarre when you’re not in touch anymore.

If you’re feeling some jealousy, the temptation to see who they’re talking to now can be very strong. Social media can bring you nothing but sadness and jealousy post-breakup. The smartest decision you can make is to take a social media break.

Take care of your body

Many people find that once they’re in a relationship, they’re not as eager to hit the gym, or they may find themselves slacking on their strict diet regime. Once you’re single, you may feel the need to start hitting the gym again.

Exercising is a great idea if you’re feeling sad or down, but try to focus more on challenging your strength and endurance, and less on your weight or appearance. You can also ensure that you maintain your strength and energy by eating healthy, nourishing food, instead of doing the traditional post-breakup binge on ice cream and potato chips.

Take some time for yourself before jumping back into the dating pool

If the first thing that you did post-breakup was install Tinder or Grindr, step away from the phone. It’s really tempting to go out and “play the field” after you’ve left a relationship – especially if its been a long time since you’ve been with anybody else.

However, this generally doesn’t turn out well in the long run. Rebounding with someone else when you’re in a vulnerable state can lead to even more heartbreak and hurt feelings.

Explore your own interests

Remember all those times when you were forced to watch your partner’s favorite movie (again), or had to compromise on where to go on your latest vacation? All of that compromising business goes out the window when you’re single. It can be hard to adjust to single life, but one thing that you can take joy in is the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

Want to take a bath and eat ice cream at 2 a.m.? Do it! Want to take yourself out to a screening of your favorite new movie? Anything is possible! Use this time while you’re not in a relationship to focus on yourself and cultivate new interests.

Give back

There is plenty of research out there that shows that people who give back to their community through volunteer work are less likely to suffer from depression, and more likely to experience an increase in their well-being. Being active in your community ensures that you’ll never feel lonely, but you can also take pleasure in knowing that your work is improving the lives of those around you.

Just make sure to pick something that you’re interested in, so that you’re more likely to keep it up. There are plenty of websites like VolunteerMatch that can help you find the perfect placement in your neighborhood.

It’s ok to not be ok

Many people feel uncomfortable experiencing emotion. It’s understandable but at the end of the day, your body will force you to experience those feelings whether you like it or not. If you keep pushing them away, eventually things will bubble up in ways that you’ve never imagined.

Don’t be afraid to take some time when you’re in the first stages of a breakup and experience all of these feelings. It can be uncomfortable, but it’s not fatal. Know that things will get better. It may not be in a day, a week, or even a month, but eventually, you will feel better. This is temporary.

Jordana Weiss