When you breakup with a loved one, the first few days, weeks, or even months can be devastating. It is hard to understand what to do with yourself and your life. Mourning the loss of a once loving relationship can feel like grieving the death of a loved one. A breakup has various stages of separation – it goes from shock, denial, anger, and depression to begging, relapse, and acceptance.
Healing from a devastating event like this is not a linear line. Whether you made the decision to break up with your partner or vice versa, or it was a mutual decision, there are a few steps you can follow to take care of yourself and come back stronger.
Breakups can be hard. But with the right approach, it always is possible to become much better and happier. We have listed 33 steps you can take to ensure you can come through this tough time. Read on!
What To Do After A Breakup – The Dos
1. Try Keeping Yourself Busy
You are going to be tempted to contact your ex. Make sure you minimize that temptation by trying to focus on yourself. You need to keep yourself busy for the first few weeks. It will get better with time. Get your dose of feel-good chemicals by spending time with friends and family and focusing on self-care. Increase your endorphins by exercising.
2. Reach Out For Support
You are going to miss your ex. But instead of reaching out to them, reach out to family and friends. You may also visit your therapist. Get an accountability partner, because discipline is not going to come easy during this stage of recovery.
3. Go For A Digital Detox
Stop checking the social media accounts of your ex. More importantly, delete their presence from your mobile phone. If you are reluctant, remember that you can always befriend them later, when you have truly gotten over the heartbreak.
Delete photos, old messages, and unfollow all their accounts. Take a complete break from social media. Block their number if you have to so that you don’t obsess about them not contacting you.
4. Redesign Your Physical Space
Changing your physical space can help you reset mentally. If you stay together, move out as soon as possible. Change your space as much as possible. This can be as little as changing your bedsheets and putting away that framed picture of the two of you.
The more you can lessen your exposure to your ex’s memories, the more you lessen your chances of a relapse. Move your furniture around and metaphorically make space for new experiences to come in.
5. Plan Something Fun Without Your Ex
Create new memories that don’t include your ex. This can help you move on faster. Book a self-love holiday so that you can have something to look forward to.
6. Reflect On The Relationship
After the initial pain has passed, look back on the relationship and analyze it. A breakup is sometimes the shakeup required when you want to redirect your life.
Breakups are a good time to go inward and evaluate what lessons you can learn. These things happen so that you grow, evolve, and become more conscious. Pain is an amazing teacher. Use this pain to fuel your fire and create the life you want to live.
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7. Cut All Contact
This is an absolute must after a breakup. Maintain distance and don’t text, call, email, or meet your ex. You may otherwise end up in a fight, causing further anxiety and hurt. Cutting all ties for good when the relationship is over puts you on a quicker path to healing.
Create an Emergency Contact List with all your BFFs’ numbers. When you feel like calling your ex and begging them to come back, call your friends and bitch (on a lighter note) about them. Select an activity that you can do instead of texting, calling, or stalking your ex.
8. Let Out Your Emotions
Cry, scream, sob your eyes out, and yell. As long as you don’t hurt yourself or somebody else, it is absolutely fine. Find ways to release the pain you may be feeling. All breakups are hard. Don’t take the healing process away from yourself. Otherwise, the resentment will grow within you.
You will feel some negative emotions initially. Honor your feelings and understand that they will get less intense with time. You can try listening to sad songs. This can actually make you feel better. Find a private place, let your tears run, and provide yourself some relief.
9. Accept That It Is Over
Coping with a breakup is tricky. You can reach acceptance way sooner by staying away from your ex. This method relies on time more than anything else. Try to analyze the situation objectively even if you don’t agree to the breakup. Don’t obsess over what you could have done differently. There are infinite could-haves and should-haves, and thinking about them will only cause you more pain. It really doesn’t matter anymore.
Your only mission now is to get to a place where you are not battling with yourself. Do this with love and compassion and don’t beat yourself up about anything. It may take some time for you to catch up with reality, but you have to accept that the relationship is over.
10. Find Yourself
Chances are that you lost a piece of yourself after the breakup. Now is the chance to find yourself again, and this can be a fun process. This is one of the positives points of your breakup, so embrace it wholeheartedly!
Try a new hobby you always wanted to do or try taking scented baths. You can eat chips and chocolate bars for dinner if you feel like. Just chill. There are a lot of things that made you YOU, and you just have to find them again.
Alternatively, you can try and discover new things about yourself. The journey to finding yourself is hard because most of us don’t even have the time to just sit down and think about what we actually want. It can be a long journey, but you can take your time. It will be worth it.
When you are ready to have some fun again, get all your girlfriends together and go hang out. Go dancing, shopping, or on a roller coaster. Do something that makes you laugh, smile, and feel good from within. Be spontaneous and crazy. Enjoy life. Reconnect with some of your long-lost friends. Develop new habits or learn a new language!
12. Pay Attention To Your Thoughts
As you move forward in life, don’t deny or grasp on to the memories of your ex. They may pop up suddenly into your mind. Acknowledge them, smile, or shed some tears. Then, let the memory go.
Don’t look at pictures intentionally or at old texts you got from them. It is now just about you and your present. Your ex is a part of the human being you are today, and you can be grateful for that, but the chapter is closed. Let it go. Don’t try to escape your feelings – face them and declutter your soul.
13. Become Stronger
Ask yourself some hard questions. What kind of relationship do you want? Understanding what you are seeking before getting into a relationship is very important because this can protect you from experiencing another heartbreak. Meet new people when you feel you are ready. Make sure you take your time to get to know these people before starting a new relationship.
14. Live A Mindful Life
It is good to gradually develop a mindful life. This way, your mind will stay peaceful and calm, no matter what. Being mindful will help you understand what makes you happy. You can try adding 10 minutes of meditation to your daily routine to clear out all the unnecessary feelings and thoughts.
15. Give Yourself Time To Grieve
No matter why you broke up, your feelings are valid. Processing your feelings is a journey in itself. You lose a big part of your life when you break up with a loved one. The person was your friend, your lover, your confidante, and maybe your roommate.
They have probably been a daily presence in your life for a long time, which is why you need to grieve their loss almost like you would grieve the death of a loved one. It is absolutely okay to feel lonely one day, angry the next, in complete denial the day after, and back to feeling lonely again.
16. Delete Your Ex’s Number
Maybe you both decided to stay friends. Friendship may happen later, but now is not the time. Very few ex couples make a seamless transition into being friends immediately (and if you think you have, see what happens when you start dating someone new).
If the breakup was initiated by your boyfriend, delete his number from your phone so that you are not inclined to contact him anymore. It will help you avoid the embarrassing drunk-dialing or texting emojis.
Distance is hard, but crucial. Stop trying to drop by to get that one sweatshirt you “absolutely need.” It isn’t going to help with your healing process at all. The quicker you can adjust to living your life without your ex, the better it will be for you.
17. Schedule Plans
In the initial days after your breakup, you are likely to not feel so great, so try to distract yourself. Make plans with colleagues, friends, or family so you don’t get the time to wallow in sorrow. Go for a dinner date with your bestie. If you have been neglecting non-romantic relationships when you were in a relationship, be ready to apologize (and never do that again). You may also try forging new friendships.
Before you dash off to find new friends, remember to strictly stick to friends who make you feel good, instead of those who bring you down. Your heart is a wounded baby right now, and you need to pamper it!
18. Do Those Things You Loved Doing But They Didn’t
Remember how Chinese food used to be your favorite cuisine, but your ex was so against it? Order some noodles tonight, and enjoy the taste of freedom! When we meet someone special and start spending time with them, some of our favorite things get overlooked.
It is time you start practicing yoga, board gaming, bike riding, or whatever it was that used to make you happy – things you may have put on the shelf while you both were together.
19. Read A Good Book
Is there any better and a more affordable way to escape your reality than an absorbing book? Put one in your bag and head to a park or a coffee café. It will get you out of your house, and you never know who you will end up meeting.
20. Keep Yourself Moving With A New Workout
Exercise can help your body get a dose of mood-uplifting endorphins and serotonin. If you have never worked out before, it is okay. Make sure you start now. Because it is quite difficult to sob through an entire Zumba class.
Get a new experience by exploring a new place. It doesn’t need to be a lavish solo trip either. Simply start by going to a new park or go hiking.
22. Rethink Your Definition Of Closure
There is such a thing as closure. However, too many DMs, calls, and “last talks” only reopen a wound. True closure can only be achieved with time. After a while, you achieve enough time and emotional distance to look back and analyze why it didn’t work.
23. When You Are Ready To Do So, Forgive
Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made while in the relationship, and forgive your ex. We don’t forgive for someone else’s advantage; we forgive for our own benefit. Letting go of the hate and bitterness will help you find that peace with an ex eventually. It will also help you move forward.
24. Avoid Common Places
Do you two go to the same mall? Do you have a favorite lunch spot that you both used to hit up together? Even if you avoid running into your ex at your favorite bar, the chances of getting emotionally affected by these known sights and sounds are very high. Cross off these go-to places and try mixing up your daily routine. Avoid the obvious heartache-inducing places. This will help you sidestep the unnecessary brooding and depression.
25. Accept That It Is Not Your Fault
Remember this – you are not responsible for the thoughts or behaviors of anyone else. Convincing yourself that you can “win” them back will just elongate your mourning period. It will also make moving on way harder. Reflect on how you can take steps forward, not backward.
26. Accept Your Emotions – The Sad, Bad, And Blank Ones
Grant yourself permission to feel wonderful, terrible, indifferent, and everything in between. You need the self-love to grieve and heal. Also, don’t just throw yourself in the arms of other people to make them jealous. That would be quite childish. You deserve better.
27. Begin A New, Different Kind Of Relationship
When you are swept in a romantic relationship, it can be hard to remember that relationships do come in all shapes and sizes. They aren’t always just about making out and holding hands. Forge a new type of relationship with a dog, a plant, or even a book – anything that fills up your heart with joy.
28. Go To Therapy
Talking to a trained professional may expedite your healing process and help you accept the tough emotions. Also, signing up for therapy does not mean committing to it for a lifetime. Sometimes, you just need a couple of appointments to get the necessary coping tools. Being open to receiving therapy can have a great impact on your healing process.
What To Do After A Breakup – The Don’ts
29. Don’t Have Breakup Sex
You are going to crave breakup sex, but don’t do it. While it is only natural to seek the comfort, if you do have it, you are only recreating an emotional bond whether you want it or not. If you are trying to get over someone, do not get on top of them! Sex with an ex will not let you get over them. It will instead keep you further attached.
30. Don’t Stalk Their Social Media
Although it is tempting to Insta-stalk your ex, resist that temptation. Before you check their Insta, stop and ask yourself, “Am I being kind to myself?” Yes girl, you know the answer to that!
Replace that urge with a positive action that makes you focus on yourself. This may mean going for a jog or writing a letter of gratitude to someone. The first few times you try to do this, you will find it extremely challenging, but the more you practice self-control, the easier it becomes.
31. Don’t Rush Into A Rebound Relationship
Don’t get into another relationship too quickly trying to make yourself feel better. In the long run, if you haven’t really gotten over your ex, you will always find yourself secretly comparing your current partner and your ex. Also, you will just prolong the inevitable pain.
32. Don’t Get A Breakup Haircut
Or wait for a while before getting those bangs or coloring your hair green for the first time in your life. The same advice goes for getting that tattoo, quitting your job, and any and all other major life changes. Your emotions are likely to be going on overdrive, and you most probably are not sleeping or eating well. These factors can affect your judgment.
33. Don’t Obsess And Fume Over What Went Wrong
We learn a lot about ourselves and others through our relationships — both the happy ones and the not-so-happy ones. However, going around in circles and feeling resentful and angry isn’t going to let you learn about yourself. It may keep you stuck in the past.
Try to acknowledge that the relationship ended for a good reason, and focus on what you would like to give and receive in your next relationship. Therapy and meditation are two peaceful ways to let go of hurt and anger about the ways you were wronged.
Remember, if your relationship didn’t work out, it is because that person was not meant for you. Someone else who is meant to be yours will fit the bill someday, and they will love you just the way you are. All the best!