Breakups are no joke. They can seriously impact your mental and physical health, as well as your life in general. Depending on how connected your life is to your ex, you may be dealing with the logistics of it all for a long time. If you’re married, there are serious matters to consider like children, money, and mutual property. Even if you have none of those things with him or her, your life will be shaken up simply from the grief. I just went through a breakup recently. My heart is still raw and I feel the void. The first piece of advice I have is to not make any life-changing decisions while you are emotionally compromised. That said, here are some secrets to navigating a bad breakup.
Secrets to Navigating a Bad Breakup #1: Accept the Situation
I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time rehashing the whole relationship attempting to figure out what went wrong. Much of this evaluation ends up pouring self-doubt to the brim and makes healing much more difficult. Though much of what went wrong may very well be our fault, it doesn’t have to create a bog of self-hate. A better way may be to understand that we are all human and make mistakes. And, truthfully, no one is ever 100% right or wrong. Accept that the relationship was for a season of your life. Take the lessons you learned from this time and try to make improvements for the next one.
Secrets to Navigating a Bad Breakup #2: Allow Yourself to Feel
Breakups cause a wide span of emotions from anger, sadness, rejection, to full out depression. It can be easy to disconnect from how you feel in order to protect yourself. I know I’ve done this. Sometimes, it’s easier to not feel then it is to walk through it. That said, in the long run, hiding or running from your feelings will come back to haunt you. I recommend giving yourself a set amount of time to grieve and work through your emotions every day. When you have reached your time limit, switch to normal activities. This is in addition to the pop-up grief that will happen unexpectedly.
Now that you have a safe space to feel the emotions you’ve held back, be kind to yourself and don’t judge what comes up. Bottling up or judging your emotions is not only bad for your soul but can lead to physical symptoms too. Crying is a natural response to sadness, frustration, and grief for the end of a relationship. Even the worst of relationships can cause feelings of grief, so be gentle with yourself.
Secrets to Navigating a Bad Breakup #3: Remember Who You Are
You may have lost some of your ideas of who you are and control while in a relationship. Though this may not have been a problem or a bad thing, we can still feel a little lost after a breakup. It’s kind of like how you feel after you’ve been on a bike for a long ride. When you get off, your body still feels like you’re sitting on that seat feeling the wind in your face. It takes some time to adjust to a change in your position. Give yourself a chance to get your balance again.
You have time to remember who you are: your likes, your dislikes, your interests, and your motivations. Meeting up with old friends is a great way to find your new normal. This transitional time is valuable and can offer you the chance to reflect on who you are now, but also who you want to be in the future.
Secrets to Navigating a Bad Breakup #4: Take Control
Use this opportunity to take control of your life. You’ve had a big upheaval, but you can take control back and make positive plans for your future. Coming out of a long-term relationship can affect your finances and other important parts of your life. It’s important to review any accounts, credit, and contracts you had together, as to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes. Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help if you need it. Companies such as Crediful can work with you to help solve and manage any credit problems you may have sustained.
Think about what you’d like your future to look like. Do you have any career aspirations or college courses you are interested in pursuing? This is an opportunity for you to think clearly about your future, without having to compromise. Do you have any hobbies or interests that you have neglected, or perhaps never attempted? You are in control of your own destiny.
Secrets to Navigating a Bad Breakup #5: Take Positive Actions
Holding onto anger and resentment is like holding onto a hot coal; it only burns you. Instead, replace negative thoughts and actions and channel your energy into doing something positive for yourself. Rather than picking up a bottle of bourbon, go for a walk, phone your best friend or simply have a relaxing bath. Choose positive actions that will boost your emotions and health, rather than feed your negativity. At least try to make better choices…:)
Exercise is another great way to get rid of pent-up emotions. The endorphins your body releases during exercise are a natural way of boosting your mood. Not only will regular exercise help to stabilize your emotions, but it will make you look great too. Use this time to do everything in your power to look and feel great.
Breaking up is never easy, but by accepting yourself and the situation is a good way to move forward. Your relationship may not have turned out the way you imagined, but it did have a purpose in your life. Whether you will ever know that purpose, I cannot say. I do know that you will be OK, and you will once again find yourself if you look. Take the opportunity to recognize all the good things that you can achieve now and in the future.