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How To Cope With A Breakup

Dealing with the end of a relationship or a divorce can trigger a host of feelings, both emotional and physical. Whether you want to break up or not, the end of a relationship can be scary and unsettling. You went from seeing, talking, and being intimate with someone daily to acting as if you’re strangers. These feelings are confusing and overwhelming at times.

Feelings of heartbreak are often similar to feelings of grief. There is now a void, a missing person from your life. When you date someone for a long time you become a unit, they become your other half. When you lose your other half, you often lose a part of yourself, or a sense of self, and experience feelings of loneliness and depression.

People often think they need closure in order to move on. They focus on rationalizing what they’re feeling in order to accept and cope with the rejection or the loss. People begin to ask themselves “what could I have done differently?” And begin to hyper-focus on small things they did in the relationship and question if they could have handled things differently.

If you’re struggling with the end of a relationship and feelings of heartbreak, below are 10 tips on how to cope with your confusing and overwhelming emotions.

1. Show yourself Compassion: There is no timeline for healing. Be sure to show yourself love and compassion. Don’t judge yourself for how you’re coping and healing with the pain. Don’t tell yourself you “should” be over it or accepting of it. These statements minimize your feelings.

2. View it as a Physical/Medical Issue: If you had just had surgery, or hurt yourself, you would give your body time to heal before doing anything that can harm your recovery. Treat your emotional pain with the same level of compassion. Don’t date until you’re ready, don’t push yourself to socialize if you’re needing time alone.

3. Feel Your Feelings: It is important to acknowledge how you’re feeling and it’s important not to ruminate on your feelings. When intense emotions come, acknowledge them, identify and name the feeling and what’s causing it, then do something different to distract yourself.

4. Engage in Activities That Bring You Joy: After feeling your feelings and acknowledging them, it’s important not to get stuck in them. Distract yourself with things that bring you joy such as hobbies, time with family and friends, and more. There is a difference between distraction and avoidance.

5. Date Yourself: At the end of a relationship, people often lose their sense of self. Spend time learning who you are again, what you love, and try new things. Get comfortable with doing things by yourself.

6. Use Dialectical Thinking: Dialectical means 2 opposing things can be true at the same time. You may want to initiate the breakup and know you’re going to be heart broken. You may want to save the relationship and not want to get back together. Heartbreak results in confusing emotions and thinking dialectically can help us cope with and understand our feelings even if they’re opposites.

7. Moving Forward Vs. Moving On: Knowing the difference between moving forward and moving on can help us take small steps in a positive direction. Moving on is the long-term goal. Moving forward is the short-term goal. We don’t need to move on in order to put ourselves back out there when we’re ready. We can begin to date others and ourselves. We can know the relationship is over and accept it before we have moved on from the relationship. Moving forward is what helps us work towards moving on.

8. Create Boundaries With Yourself & Your Ex: Boundaries are in place to not only take care of ourselves and to take care of others. In order to develop a healthy relationship with your ex post-breakup, agree on boundaries such as a no contact rule for a duration of time. Boundaries don’t mean cutting someone off, but rather providing space between you two to heal.

9. Mute them on Social Media: Constant reminders of your ex through social media can often trigger negative emotions within you. Particularly thoughts such as “they’re not even sad about the breakup”, or “is this post directed at me?” Removing reminders of your ex, along with minimizing the risk of triggering these harmful thinking patterns can help you move forward.

10. Speak With A Professional: Most importantly, it can be helpful to speak with a licensed therapist who can help you process your confusing and intense emotions weekly. A licensed therapist will hold the space for you to not only express your feelings of grief and pain, and also encourage you to gain insight into yourself and cope with these difficult emotions.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment with a Licensed Therapist to help you cope with the breakup!