No breakup is ever easy. It can become sincerely difficult to see a way forward. Friends and family may not seem to understand why you’re struggling so much, but you have every right to your feelings and your personal journey of mourning. (Because yes, you are allowed to mourn over a relationship!)
Things may feel pretty dark for a time, but I’ve got two great pieces of news for you:
1) You’re not alone – your struggle and experience is valid and difficult, but you can take strength knowing that many other men and women like you find a way to fight through similar tough experiences all the time. And you can too.
2) The second piece of good news is that you have the power to make yourself feel better. Now, I’m not trying to say you can snap your fingers or simply make a mental decision, and suddenly you’ll feel better; we unfortunately can’t avoid the process of mourning; however, you are strong and capable, and there are many things you can do to help yourself climb out of this hole and back towards your personal “normal.”
Let’s get you started with a handful of solid first steps you can take:
1. Practice self-care. Keep as much consistency, normalcy and structure in your day as possible. Get yourself out of bed, get dressed, get to work, and keep tending to your responsibilities as much as possible. Distract yourself by staying busy, indulging in something you truly enjoy or something you’ve always wanted to do. Keep yourself in the company of others that you enjoy. Be kind to yourself with keeping up on nutrition, exercise and sleep as best as you can. In other words, do not stop caring or neglect yourself because you are in pain. These things won’t remove the pain but will help with the energy and mindset it will take to endure it.
2. Use social media wisely. You might want to stay off social media during this period. Seeing pictures of happy couples on your Facebook or Instagram feed might unnecessarily trigger you. Remember that nobody’s life is as perfect as it appears to be on social media. This is a good time to take a break from it until things aren’t feeling so raw.
3. Rely on your support system. Nobody should have to go through a breakup alone. Calling your closest friend and crying it out on the phone can be extremely cathartic, plus you get to hear someone you love remind you of how awesome you are. Allow your friends and family to be there for you. Remind yourself and give yourself permission to ask for their help for a time.
4. Find a good therapist. Talk therapy can help you with some much-needed evaluation. It can help you see what went wrong in the relationship, what you really need in a relationship, and who you really are. During times of hardship, we don’t think as clearly and validation may be hard to find in the world. Therapy can be a freeing experience, allowing you to be where you’re at and also challenging you to keep things in perspective, shift your focus to cope the best you can and to keep encouraged with hope of healing by thinking ahead.
5. Increase the positive. Find the things that you’re really happy doing, and spend a lot of time doing those. When we can’t change our pain, we can help strengthen the good around us to help us see things through.
6. Practice gratitude. Focus on all the other pleasant aspects of life, such as other people in your life who love you completely, your favorite meal, the warmth of the sun on your skin, the sound of laughter, etc, (whatever you may find pleasant) and practice expressing gratitude for those things or to others.
7. Focus on becoming a better person for YOU. Now is a great time to do those things you’ve always wanted to do. Start exercising, eat healthy, learn a new skill, and travel somewhere new. Grow in as many ways as possible and watch yourself flourish.
Remember, grieving the loss of a relationship is completely normal and it takes some serious time to heal. However, there are things that can either prolong or shorten the process or make it easier or harder. Since it is already hard enough as it is – be proactive in grieving well. Make an effort to do your very best. Give yourself the time and space you need to get through it. Seeing a professional therapist is a great step towards healing. If you need someone to help you through your breakup, feel free to call our office to get scheduled. I would love to be able to help!