The immediate aftermath of a breakup is almost always painful. And no matter how many times we go through it, breaking up with a partner hurts. You were convinced that it would last forever. There were all those plans and promises that you were meant to keep. And you felt that together, you could work through anything and conquer the world! Until... poof!
Trust me, been there, done that. And best of all, pulled through!
While the degrees of it may vary, heartache is a defining factor of any breakup. Ever heard of the DABDA stages of coping with grief? No? Well, chances are that you’ve experienced them regardless.
While grieving is in no way a linear or uniform process for all, these stages summarise the aftermath of most cases. And painful breakups are no exception. But hey, we’re here to help you out with our heartbreak survival guide that comes from a place of love, support, and tons of personal experience. So, if you’re looking to deal with your grief and move on, here are some tips:
1. Cry Cry Cry
No matter what society has tried telling you about being a “cry baby”, it is extremely important to acknowledge and actually feel your feelings. And if that means that you need a good cry after having your heart broken, you do it, girl! In fact, don’t hold yourself back from putting those mushy sad songs to some good use. Avoid bottling things up inside you, they’ll only keep resurfacing. And trust us when we say that you’ll definitely feel a teeny bit relieved after these initial few sessions of the waterworks.
2. Revamp Your Routine
In all probability, you are bound to have developed a certain routine around your interactions with your partner. For instance, the times of the day that you spoke, or how often you met during the week etc. Breaking this familiar cycle and getting yourself into a new one is a great step forward when it comes to moving on. Try to fit in new activities in the time slots when you would’ve generally interacted with them.
3. Lock Up Those Memories — Literally!
Yes, you should cherish the good times that you’ve shared. But if you find yourself getting overwhelmed each time you glance at a gift that your ex gave, it’s probably best to lock them away. Kind of a “Breakup Box”, if you will. What you’ll be trying here is the “out of sight, out of mind” tactic, which probably isn’t as easy as it sounds. But at a time when your thoughts are running around in painful circles, not looking at these knick-knacks and notes may just help. Feel free to pull it out and reminisce once you’ve worked through the painful emotions and memories.
4. Cut Away The Contact Cord
No matter how strong you may think you are and how amicable the breakup was, it is ALWAYS a good idea to give yourself some time and space to process this massive change in relationship dynamics. Take it from someone who’s been through some harsh breakups, you are really not helping each other by constantly checking in. That’s what your friends are for. If blocking them on social media is what it takes to steer away from the temptation of getting in touch, do it! No matter how badly you want to talk to them, resist the urge to follow through. In fact, we’d go so far as to term this as one of the most important recommendations from our heartbreak survival guide. If you feel like you’re at your worst right now, can you imagine how horrid it feels to be talking to an ex you’re still in love with while knowing that there’s really nothing that you can do to fix it?
5. Your Ex Is Not Your Next
Speaking of “fixing it”, don’t! There must have been some conviction on either or both of your parts to have brought it up and followed through with the decision to break up in the first place. And you may not want to believe it now, but that is reason enough for you to realise that it’s over for good. In all likelihood, “giving it another chance” is bound to increase the frequency of your misunderstandings and just prolong the inevitable parting of ways. While remaining friends with your ex is not unheard of, it takes a great deal of objectivity to rekindle even that part of your relationship. And it’ll be a while before you both truly reach that stage, or it might not even happen. And that’s perfectly fine.
6. Reign In The Rush And Give It Time
All that being said, ensure that you take as much time as you need to heal and recover. And there is no set time frame for the same. Moving on can take from just a couple of weeks to even a few years at times. It all depends on the person and situation. However, know that rushing into another relationship can be one of the worst things that you can do. No one deserves to be a rebound, and if you haven’t processed your own emotions, you’ll carry the hurt around. And chances are that you’ll end up projecting this pain onto your next partner as well. Instead, in that time, strive to focus on yourself – heal, grow, and feel better. After all, when Ariana said, “Thank You, Next”, her next was a girl called Ari, because self-love is the shiz!
7. Get Busy
Yes, acknowledge and feel your emotions but also recognise when to distract and constructively engage yourself. While we wouldn’t advise throwing yourself into work and other tasks, indulging in activities you enjoy can go a long way. It may feel impossible but take that trip, have that slumber party, devote yourself to that hobby, learn a new language!
8. Vent, Talk, And Express
Identifying a zero-judgement space and venting it all out tends to help more than you can imagine. And no, it won’t fix how you’re feeling in an instant. But there will be that momentary lightness, and you’re bound to get by bit by bit. In fact, a supportive friend circle can play a crucial role in tiding you over this emotionally taxing period. Reaching out to your BFFs is always a good idea, but even more so when you need that instant hype boost or a shoulder to cry on. You can also use a journal or any other space that allows for creative expression. And remember, no matter how big or small the problem may be, seeking therapy is always a good option.
Last but not the least, the ultimate pro tip from our heartbreak survival guide is to recognise that healing is a process that you need to patiently embrace as you grow into the best version of yourself.
P.S. Blasting “Shout Out To My Ex” by Little Mix on loop always helps with that much–needed affirmation and reassurance.
Shout out to my ex, you’re really quite the man
You made my heart break and that made me who I am
Here’s to my ex, hey, look at me now
Well, I, I’m all the way up
I swear you’ll never bring me down
Happy healing! You got this!