I’m a big believer that a major breakup is the perfect catalyst for some character development. This doesn’t mean that they’re easy though, and when the heartbreak is real, it can feel like the pain will never end. Spoiler: It does end. As cliché as it is, time really does heal. In the meantime, here are five things you can do to help yourself with this process.
- Reconnect with a supportive social circle
Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of going at least a little MIA on our friends when we’re knee-deep in a relationship. Now would be a great time to reconnect with people who care about you to help fill the void the breakup may have left. Feeling loved is one of our most basic needs as humans and having friends to lean on while you heal makes it that much easier. Chances are your friends have been missing you and will be excited to have you back. Spending time with loved ones, in my opinion, is the best way to take your mind off the hurt while reminding yourself that you are still capable of loving and being loved.
- Try new things and find new interests
One of the biggest things you’ll realize after going through a breakup is how much extra free time you have. The last thing you want to do is spend all that free time sulking and being sad about what has ended. You may feel as though a part of your identity is now lost; a significant other often becomes a huge part of who you are. That’s why it is so important to take the time to figure out your own interests separate from the relationship and be your own person. Get out there, try something new and invite a friend to come along while you’re at it. You never know, you might even find a new passion. You can volunteer, try a new sport or craft or join a book club. Did I ever think that mastering the art of jump rope shuffling would become my biggest goal? No, but here we are.
- Give yourself time and space to feel your emotions
Although you don’t want to spend all of your time deep in a Netflix and ice cream binge, this doesn’t mean that you should try to suppress or ignore your feelings. Depending on the relationship, a breakup can feel like a major loss, and it is important to grieve it as such. When the waves of sadness come, let them in, process what you’re feeling, and then let it go. You can even acknowledge the feeling out loud or in a journal: “I feel sad because I lost someone I care deeply about.” Feelings are normal, and when you try to avoid them, they will pile up and come back later to hit you even stronger. Take some time out of each day to do a check-in with yourself. I recommend meditation and journaling to help keep track of your progress.
- Remove things that remind you of them
Yes, this means unfollowing them on social media. If the relationship ended amicably, you might be able to get away with just muting their profiles, but whatever you do, do not social media stalk them. What they are up to is no longer your business. Hide away any photos or mementos you have of the relationship so you aren’t being constantly reminded of what once was. As the saying goes, out of sight out of mind. You’re likely still going to think of them, but removing triggers is a big step in moving on.
- Focus on yourself
The best revenge is focusing on yourself and moving on. When you spend the time to focus on improving yourself, you will see the glow up radiating from within. There are lots of ways to do this, but reading books, eating right and engaging in healthy exercise will make you feel better about yourself while also taking your mind off the heartache. Work on rebuilding your confidence, being a better friend and improving yourself however that may be. Soon, you might find that you are so invested in taking care of yourself that you don’t even miss having someone else around to worry about. A year ago, I had no idea it would take a major breakup to catapult me into becoming my best self. Powerful things can happen when you transform negative energy into something positive and use it as fuel for self-improvement.
Healing is not linear, and though there may be some days that are harder than others, if you stick it out you will find that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you follow these steps, I am certain you will make it out okay. Everything happens for a reason, and this breakup is likely a blessing in disguise. Happy hot girl healing semester!