Self-Care After a Breakup

Going through a breakup at university can be tough. It can be particularly difficult if you are in your first year and still trying to figure out how to look after yourself. Here I offer some things you can do to help cope with it a little bit better. 

1. Let yourself cry and rest

If you feel emotional and need some rest, let yourself have some of that. Breakups can be absolutely exhausting. If you need to cancel plans or have a rather unproductive day, then let yourself do that. This stage can’t last too long because this ends up not being healthy, but definitely allow yourself the time you need.

2. Cut down on contact

Chances are, the person you were in a relationship with was somebody you relied on heavily when you felt down. Whether you choose to stay friends or not, you are probably not going to count on them nearly as much as you used to. This can be a really hard transition. By cutting down on contact, you will hopefully get used not depending on them as much. Ultimately, you want to get out of the habit of leaning on them in order to be able to cope without them.

3. Reach out to family and friends

I know it can be scary to make yourself vulnerable, but some of them will have been in the same position as you. They are also likely to have seen the relationship you were in and therefore understand your circumstances which can help them understand where you are coming from. It makes a huge difference to have a listening ear, and you should definitely reach out to those close to you if you can.

4. Avoid things you know will make you sad

Going through old messages or listening to some Adele sounds like a great idea at the time, but you would regret it later after a few hours have passed and all you have done is cry in your room. Sometimes there is a time where you need to face how you feel and release it, but you don’t want to get into an unhealthy habit of repeatedly doing things which upset you.

5. Keep yourself busy

If you are an overthinker, it is helpful to keep your mind occupied with other things. Try to be at university for the day, study with your friends, or be with people in the evening. What you want to avoid is staying in your room all day, since this could lead to doing the sad things as mentioned in 4. Of course, don’t drown yourself in things to do in order to repress any feelings, do let yourself feel sad every so often. It is all about balance.

6. Write things down

Things will be on your mind and sometimes things can feel really confusing. Writing things down is good for just releasing all your emotions and clearing your mind. It also helps to figure out exactly how you feel, because you are likely to have many conflicting thoughts and feelings.

7. Don’t be hard on yourself

Sometimes the end of relationships can cause people to reflect on the mistakes they made in them. It is important to not let it get out of hand and punish yourself for mistakes. Acknowledge them, and remember you are only human. All you can do is try to avoid making those mistakes in the future.

8. Take your feelings seriously

With everyone at some point in life going through a break up, it can be easy to dismiss how you feel as something unimportant, but break ups can be super difficult sometimes. If you feel you are struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. Talking to someone who is impartial and separate from a situation can be really helpful. Consider Bristol Nightline who you can call from 8am to 8pm on 01179 266 266 during term time. You can also instant message them from 8am to midnight if you don’t feel like talking on the phone. Also, every school at the university has wellbeing advisors available from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays who will listen to what you are going through.

Bristol Nightline - x

Student Wellbeing Service - x