Getting through a breakup can be super challenging in many different ways. Even if you and the ex weren’t getting along and it may be “for the best,” it’s a big transition to go from coupled to single.
Whether you miss the actual person or just miss being in a relationship, you’ve just lost someone who knew you well, where you checked-in, shared friends, shared activities and talked about your day-to-day. Whether it caught you off guard or you totally expected it to happen, breaking up marks huge change in your life. You can also see it as a great opportunity to learn about yourself and get loads of information to help you make better choices in the future.
Treat yourself as you would a convalescing friend. Give yourself 30 days to get your life back on track. Kick off a new start with these simple steps:
- Self-Care Re-focus all that attention and energy you used to shower on the ex onto YOU. Commit to taking care of yourself in very specific ways. Get in a daily habit of making a list of three manageable ways to practice self-care. In the long-term, making this a part of your daily routine means you never have to depend on someone else for the basics… those little things that add up to your sense of well being. Your list can include anything from a mani-pedi, hiking with a friend, starting a new book or even getting your car washed. Everything counts that makes you feel better about being you.
- No Contact Rx Breakup suggests, if possible, taking a full 30 days of no contact with the ex. No contact helps put the break-up into perspective and rein in those emotional ups and downs. Having contact usually sets you back and triggers all kinds of difficult feelings. Social media makes breaking up a zillion times harder. It’s just too easy to snoop around and see what’s up with the ex. This type of contact may give you relief in the moment, but prepare to re-visit all those feelings of disappointment and pain that will follow. Try going off all the platforms for a few days at a time, or at the very least, hide or unfollow the ex. Take them out of your phone, or change their name to DO NOT PICK UP. Try to refrain from pumping your friends for information about the ex, and make firm but loving boundaries with those who volunteer any new intel.
- Go Out In the throes of a breakup, you may want to isolate, convinced that all this pain is not your best look. And yes, your friends do get sick of hearing endless stories as you try to make sense of what happened. While you may feel like closing the curtains and binge watching another new series, take the opposite action and start making plans with your friends. There’s plenty of science that shows being around other people makes you feel better. It will be a a little rough in the beginning, but keep at it, because eventually, hanging out with your friends is the best way for you to fill the void and take your mind off everything ex-related. And give yourself something to think of long-term like a dream vacation or party you’ve wanted to throw.
- Red Flags Make a list of the Red Flags you saw in this relationship. Include everything you knew was a problem, but chose to ignore (so you could stay in the relationship). Big or small doesn’t matter, just be thorough. Every time you’re feeling weepy, lonely or generally hopeless, pull up the Red Flag list and remind yourself it’s good they’re gone. Going forward, commit to staying true to your intuition.
- The Re-Mix Once you’re feeling a little better you may want to take a peek at the similarities between this and your previous relationships. How do you feel they were the same? What qualities do you see repeated in your relationships that you’d like to be done with? They say that the point of every relationship is to complete a developmental task. What do you think you learned from this relationship and from the breakup? Did you lose pieces of yourself or make yourself smaller so they would feel more comfortable? What could you change in your relationship behavior? When you’ve got a good handle on what you DON’T want to repeat, write down what you want from your next relationship, what qualities you’re looking for, as well as your deal-breakers. Finally, take the pledge and commit: no matter what, you’ll never lose yourself in love again, because no one can ever take the place of the relationship you have with yourself.
Rx Breakup is specially designed to help you get over a recent breakup or lingering obsession. Developed by LA-based therapist Jane Reardon and Jeanine Lobell of stila cosmetics, this app combines clinical and creative expertise delivering a smart, stylish, supportive guide for moving on in the digital age.