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How To Get Over A Breakup And Move On With Life

How To Get Over A Breakup And Move On With Life

Maybe you just got dumped, or perhaps you had the unfortunate task of breaking up with someone. Whether it was long or short term, the end of a relationship can be heart breaking. Someone who was once so close to you is now gone, and that can almost feel like a death sometimes. And in a way it is—it’s the death of love. It may feel like you’ll never get over it, but I can assure you that you will in time. One thing you can do is try and make it easier on yourself by applying some of the following tips to your post-breakup life. I’m not saying that they’ll make you feel spectacular in ten minutes’ time, but they’ll certainly make it easier to move on.

1. Allow Yourself a Break

You’ve just been through something traumatic, and proper attention must be paid. It’s okay to give yourself a little break from life for a while. Before you start running for the kitchen knives, I mean that you need a holiday away from normality. Give yourself permission to focus on yourself and neglect some things that can handle it. Just make sure it isn’t your hygiene. Take a few days off work if you can. Indulge in some of your ‘sometimes’ foods. Do what you need to do on your vacation from the real world. Just don’t break any laws or engage in stalking.

2. Think, But Don’t Obsess

We all need time to wallow after a breakup, but you should only allow it up until a point. What you don’t want to do is become Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Eventually you need to think about the breakup and the relationship reasonably. There are reasons why it didn’t work, and whether they were good ones or not you need to accept them. Think rationally about them and know that things wouldn’t be better if you were still together if you weren’t both happy.

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3. Give Yourself Space

Even if you guys decided to remain friends, you simply have to give yourself time away from each other. If you don’t, someone is bound to get hurt further and you’ll have to deal with two emotional melting pots. Believe me, one is more than enough. Give yourself a chance to get over the person. Or, if you were the dumper, give your ex the chance to get over you. You don’t want somebody to take something the wrong way. In addition to making the healing process easier, it will also give you a better shot at being friends later down the road.

As a guideline, standing outside the person’s bedroom with a boom box would not be giving yourself space.

4. Let Yourself Feel

Bottling your emotions up simply isn’t healthy. I know it isn’t fun, but you need to have your mourning period. Let yourself cry and yell. Assume the fetal position on the couch whilst watching your RomCom of choice. That goes for you too, gentlemen. I’ve seen you do it with my own eyes. Doing these things are good methods of catharsis.

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5. Feel in an Appropriate Way

Again, wallowing is a necessary step in the healing process but you must not let it get out of hand. You need to let both your ex and yourself move on. This can be particularly difficult if the other person finds somebody else, but you simply need to accept it. Don’t let negative emotions rule your life forever, because the only person you’re actually hurting is yourself…unless you plan on boiling some bunnies, but I strongly advise against that.

If nothing else, do you really want to be branded as the crazy ex? Even if the other person was or is a complete douchebag, you shouldn’t give them the satisfaction or power of letting them rule your life well after the relationship is over.

6. Don’t Go Through It Alone

Surrounding yourself with supportive, loving people is one of the best things you can do during a breakup. They will restore your self-esteem and remind you how to have fun. Also, it’s always better to have someone else to yell “bastard” with.

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7. Cleanse

I don’t mean your face, but that’s always a positive thing too.

Take the time to get organized and get rid of any unwanted stuff lying around your home. This means absolutely anything of your ex’s that you’ve been holding on to for the sake of memory. You can do the mature thing and ask if you would like them back, or you could build a ritualistic fire and burn them. Your choice.

In addition to keeping you busy, getting rid of old junk, particularly ones with bad memories attached, will also make you feel clean and refreshed on the inside too. It’s a much cheaper option to colonic irrigation.

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8. Eat Well

Although ice cream is imperative for proper breakup wallowing, at some point you need to put it back in the freezer and start eating healthy. Although it may sound like it, this has nothing to do with ‘looking hotter’ for the opposite sex. Screw them. This is all about you. Adopting healthy eating habits has been scientifically proven to help boost your mood. Although it may seem like chocolate will always make you feel better, some lovely fruit, vegetables and smoothies will do a much better job. You’ll also feel less drained and be far less likely to spiral into a depression.

9. Exercise

It’s all about endorphins, baby.

It seems like all of your happy feelings go screaming for the hills after a breakup, and it’s about time you go and chase after them. The endorphins released during and after a workout will make you feel elated, energized and even happy again. If you’re not much of an exerciser, you can always start small. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or maybe go for a walk. Try doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to get rid of the blues. I would personally recommend boxing so you can imagine that the bag is your ex’s head.

10. Be Thankful

I know that you’re feeling hurt, perhaps even crushed, and that being thankful for anything may seem impossible. Despite how you might feel, there are things in your life to be grateful for, and now is the best time to dwell on them. As an exercise, write down all of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. If there are people on the list—tell them. Doing so may just pull you out of your gloom.

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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