Breakups are hard, and after a breakup you might feel like you will never be happy again. These feelings are common and completely normal, but this is simply not true. You will feel better with time. However, if you are looking for ways to feel better now, there are several things you can do to work through your emotions, boost your mood, and move forward in your life.
EditProcessing Your Feelings After a Breakup
- Give yourself time to grieve and work through your emotions. Don’t force yourself to move on if you don’t feel ready. It is perfectly fine to take your time and allow yourself to feel bad for a while. It may only take you a couple of weeks to feel better or you may need months or longer to work through your emotions. Don’t rush it!
- The longer the relationship was, the longer it may take to work through your emotions. For example, you will likely recover from a 2 month relationship much quicker than a 2 year relationship.
- Accept your feelings as a normal part of the process. After a breakup, you will likely go through a gambit of emotions, such as sadness, anger, and anxiety. While it may seem like you will never feel better, these feelings are temporary and they will pass. Remind yourself of this any time you start to feel overwhelmed or hopeless.
- Try saying or writing something like, “I am angry that my relationship ended, and that is totally normal. Everyone who has been through a breakup has experienced something similar. They survived and so will I.”
- Acknowledge and react to your feelings. Name the feeling, accept it, and let the feelings take over for a little while. Take a moment to say to yourself, “I feel sad right now,” and then allow yourself to feel sad. This is a great way to work through your feelings. Do what feels natural to you in these moments, such as crying, writing about how you feel, or talking about your feelings with someone you trust.
- Try writing in a journal as a way to acknowledge and express your feelings. Spend 15 minutes or longer daily writing about your feelings.
- If you wish you could speak directly to your ex, then write them letter that you don’t send. Say everything you want to say to them, and then tear up the letter and throw it away.
- Keep in mind that even if you deny how you feel, you will still feel that way. It is better to acknowledge what you are feeling, and then let the feelings wash over you like a wave. This may be intense for a few minutes, but you will likely feel better afterwards.
- Talk to people you trust about what you are going through. Sharing with a close friend, loved one, or someone else who you trust is an excellent way to vent and work through your emotions. You may even look into a support group or therapist if you are struggling to feel better.
- If you don’t have a close friend or family member to talk to, reach out to an acquaintance. Ask the coworker or classmate that you have chatted with a few times if they would like to join you for lunch. You can begin a friendship by opening up to someone new.
- Take a break from work or other responsibilities if possible. If you were in a serious, long-term, relationship, the end of that relationship can be a devastating blow. You may not be able to perform your usual work responsibilities as efficiently as you normally would, so taking a break from work may be necessary. If you feel comfortable, talk to your supervisor about what you are going through. Otherwise, look into sick time or vacation time that you may be able to use.
- If you are in high school or college, consider telling your teacher what you are going through. Keep in mind that you will still need to submit the required work, but your teacher may be willing to give you an extension if you have fallen behind.
EditMaking Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Mental State
- Exercise for 30 minutes daily. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. By getting regular exercise, you can help yourself to feel better on a daily basis. Start slow if you have not exercised in a while, such as by going for a walk around your neighborhood, swimming, or riding a bike on flat terrain.
- Find a type of exercise that you enjoy to make it easier to stick with it. Try dancing, kickboxing, or spinning for some fun class options.
- You can find lots of free workout videos on Youtube. Check out fitness channels with workouts that are at your physical fitness level, such as beginner if you are new to exercise or advanced if you are an exercise enthusiast.
- Nourish your body with healthy foods and beverages. The old trope of eating a pint of full-fat ice cream after a breakup exists for a reason. People tend to reach for junk food as a quick distraction from negative emotions. However, this will make you feel worse in the long run. Instead of reaching for junk, eat whole foods that will nourish your body, such as fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Drink lots of water, too!
- Avoid drinking alcohol, using drugs and smoking. These will only produce a temporary change in your emotional state. You will feel much worse after the substance wears off.
- Get plenty of rest to feel alert during the day. Being well-rested will help to make you feel better overall as you go through your day. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. If you have a habit of staying up late, start turning in 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ensure that you are getting enough sleep.
- Make sure that your bedroom is a relaxing place that you only use for sleep! Invest in some nice sheets and blankets to make your bed feel cozy. Block out outside noise with a fan or white noise machine. Make your bedroom dark and cool to promote deep sleep.
- Use relaxation techniques to help yourself feel calmer and happier. Relaxation techniques can also help to improve your mood and promote a higher quality of life. Devote at least 15 minutes daily to relaxation. Some techniques you might try include:
- Deep breathing
- Progressive muscle relaxation
EditUsing Fun Activities to Boost Your Mood
- Work on your favorite hobby or learn something new. Doing something you love or finding a new favorite hobby is a great way to get your mind off of your breakup and start feeling happier. Whether you like to read, cook, sew, dance, or paint miniatures, take some time out for yourself every day to engage in this hobby. If you don’t have a hobby, then look into something that you can learn how to do and get into right away. Some great options include:
- Knitting or crocheting
- Cooking or baking
- Watch or listen to something funny to make yourself laugh. Even if laughing is the furthest thing from your mind, watching something funny or listening to a comedy podcast can help you to laugh a little and feel a little better as a result. Turn on a favorite comedy movie or show, watch some standup, or download a comedy podcast and immerse yourself in it.
- See what comedies are available to watch on Netflix or on another streaming service that you have.
- Check Youtube for short clips and full standup routines.
- Search for comedy podcasts online or ask friends for recommendations.
- Focus on other areas of your life to improve. While you may be tempted to dissect your relationship, try to revive it, or seek out a new relationship, now is a great time to focus on other areas of your life. Consider what you might do to improve your career or grades, physical fitness, spirituality, or other relationships, such as with your friends and family.
- Meet with a supervisor or teacher and ask for feedback on your performance to find out what you can do to excel.
- Join a gym or get involved with an inter-mural sports team to develop your physical strength and endurance.
- Look into churches, meditation centers, or other spiritual resources in your community.
- Call up a friend or family member who you haven’t seen in a while and invite them to coffee or lunch.
EditSources and Citations
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