The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Break-ups can be tough, and to some people like myself, it can feel as though your whole ecosystem is crumbling down in front of your eyes. I had been in my relationship for three and a half years, so it felt like a death of a friend—my best friend. This was also my first real relationship and first heartbreak. I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no right or wrong way to feel in this situation. Here are the steps I’ve taken, to begin my healing process.
“Sit in the dark and watch a really sad movie and have a good cry and wallow, really wallow” (a quote by Lorelai Gilmore). This is the time to wallow in self-pity and let yourself feel the emotions through songs, sappy rom-com or TV shows. According to a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, wallowing can help speed up the healing process. My favourite movie to watch when dealing with heartache is My Best Friend’s Wedding, a classic tale of rejection in the most brutally honest and gentle form. Sometimes you are just not the one, and you need to love yourself first. Accept the rejection and move on.
2. Allow your friends and family to be there for you
Within the first few days of my breakup, it felt like my world was falling apart—and I hate to be that girl. I locked myself in my bedroom and ignored texts and calls from my friends and family. I felt unmotivated to eat (which I guess is where wallowing can go a little too far). My friends and family wanted to be there to support me, check in on me and make sure I’m still taking care of myself. Eventually, I realized that they were concerned for me, so I finally responded to them. My roommate pulled me out of bed so I could hang out with them in the common space or out on campus. I felt sick inside but being amongst my Laurier community helped me gain my hunger ques back and feel a little bit better.
3. DO NOT CONTACT
Absolutely cut off all communication with your ex and keep your distance. This was a bit challenging in my case since we’re in the same friend group, which makes it a complicated and awkward situation. I had to accept it and take control of my own thoughts and emotions. They don’t want to talk or check up on you? Do they want to talk to other people? Let them. Only time will tell and the only thing you can do is focus on yourself and the people who are showing love to you.
4. Write a letter you won’t send
I hit rock bottom when I was sobbing on a bench in the park at three in the morning. I ended up going back home to my parent’s house, to take a break from the school environment. At that time, I gathered everything in my room that held a memory or reminded me of my ex. I put some music on and began to write a letter to my ex; one that I have no intention of sending. A letter that expresses my anger, frustration, confusion and sadness. Then I began to lean into what I was grateful for in our relationship and then what I’ve learned throughout the course of our relationship. Through this, I was able to set high standards for the next person. Writing the letter helped me to put a pin on my emotions and re-evaluate my relationship. It also made me realize my self-worth and that I deserve so much better. Oh, and then throw everything out (or store it away out of reach).
5. Find closure
You might find closure through the letter you’ll never send, or maybe when taking a hot girl walk with a friend. When the time is right, you might feel that you’re ready to reach out to your ex to get some answers and find closure, so you can move on. I kind of broke the no-contact rule, but after having a conversation with my ex for the last time, I realized that he was a much different person than who he was three years ago. Ariana Grande’s song In My Head starts off with a message before the song:
Here’s the thing, you’re in love
With a version of a person that
You’ve created in your head,
That you are trying to but cannot fix.
Uh, the only thing you can fix is yourself
I was trying so hard to put in the effort, but in the end, I can’t force someone to love me or care about me. I had to mourn my relationship with him, his family and now what once was our friend group.
6. Clean your room
Next on the list: clean your room! After a week or two, it’s time for you to strip your bedsheets, do some laundry, wipe down the tabletops, get rid of those empty water bottles and begin to vacuum. I promise you this will make you feel ten times better. Your space reflects what’s going on in your head. Clearing your space will help to clear your mind.
7. Make goals for yourself + affirmations
This might seem cheesy, but start writing down positive affirmations. Scroll through Pinterest to look for quotes that might resonate with you. Write them down on a post-it note and then stick them on your wall. When you wake up or when you’re doing work, you’ll be reminded of how strong you are and that you deserve the world because YOU ARE A BAD B*TCH!!!
8. Get your life back together
You’re going to start to get your life back together. Enough with skipping meals and showering every third day. You are going to schedule out your week, keeping yourself busy. Invest in some luxury bath products to pamper yourself with, in the shower. Go get your hair or nails done. Treat yourself to a new outfit or maybe even a new Bath & Body Works candle. When you wake up in the morning, you’re going to feel good about yourself, whether you try a new hairstyle or put on some makeup (of course do whatever you feel comfortable doing).
9. Try something new
This is the time for you to enter your ‘villain era’. Just make sure you are doing everything with the intention of bettering yourself. DO NOT seek revenge in a rebound because it will come back to bite you and make you feel ten times worse. You don’t need male validation either. You need to learn to love yourself and romanticize your life because YOU ARE the main character. Your ex was holding you back, so prioritize yourself now. I focused more on my studies, got back to my reading list and even joined a spin class (I highly recommend!).
I’m no expert in the heartbreak department, and I’m sure I will have a breakdown at some point again. Just remember that you’re loved and you’re worthy of love. You deserve to be treated like the queen you are! Be gentle with yourself and go on and have fun! I have faith that the right person will come along, but right now it’s my time.