There is no shortage of advice on how to survive a breakup, whether it be a brief dalliance or a decades-long marriage. Much of the advice is sound and can help provide hope and perspective as you face heartbreak. However, when you are facing the intense pain and loneliness of the end of a relationship, you can use all the help you can get. Here are six tips for surviving a breakup that you haven’t heard.
“What I Need” Message
Your friends and family want to help you after your breakup, but they may not know how. Send an email or post a message on Facebook that gives your loved ones tangible ways they can help you. For example, I asked my friends and family not to bad-mouth my ex and to send me lots of reasons to laugh.
I ran my first race ever mere months after my husband left. It was a mirror of the challenges that I faced in my life, yet the finish line was within sight and doable. A race of any sort provides you with a purpose and gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment when you need it the most.
Writing is a proven strategy to help you process loss and heartache, yet it only works if you do not use it to fixate on your pain. Structure your journal in three parts and always move through each section in order every time you write: 1) Releasing the Pain – uncensored spewing to release the pain and anger, 2) Solving the Problems – brainstorm solutions and ideas in your life and recognizing what you have and 3) Looking Forward – hope and anticipation for the future. This structure promotes healing and growth while acknowledging the pain.
This is no basic gratitude list! Write a list of why you are grateful for your ex and/or your relationship. It will not be easy. Once you have the list, post it where you can see it often. This list forces you to look at the bigger picture and helps you to be thankful for the lasting good that can come from any relationship. You cannot always change your circumstances, but you can always change your attitude.
Yoga was one of my primary therapists after my divorce. It is much more than glorified stretching; it teaches you to breathe fully, trust yourself and soften to discomfort. The lessons that you learn on the mat will carry over into your life in ways that you cannot even imagine. Plus, many yoga studios are a great place to meet singles when you’re ready!
Most people fall into one extreme or another after a breakup – they either ignore the pain completely and use distractions to hide or they wallow in their misery long after the end of the relationship. In order to find balance between these two extremes, try scheduling time to feel the pain. In the beginning, this may be several times a day where you pause and reflect. Later on, you may only schedule your tears once a month or on special days. Regardless, when the reminder sounds, stop and feel. When the time is up, shake it off and keep living – there are smiles to be found amongst the tears.