12 tips to get through a tough breakup
I would guess everyone has gone through a tough breakup. It could be a marriage, a serious relationship, or maybe even a friendship. As people grow and get older some times they grow apart. And sometimes couples realize that the only reason they got married and stayed married, was because they had kids.
When trying to navigate tough breakups we go through a range of emotions. We may do things that are harmful, maybe we start drinking excessively. Or maybe we use food to comfort us through those tough times. But does any of this really help? Probably not, in fact, I would say those things can make it worse.
If you start drinking excessively it can lead to alcohol abuse and may lead you to destroy more relationships that were intact. If you start eating too much you may gain additional weight and not only is this bad for your health, but you might start using it as an excuse as to why the other person left you.
Try to be aware that you are struggling with the breakup. Look for the signs that you might be having a hard time dealing with what just happened. Here are some easy signals that you might be struggling with a tough breakup:
- You don’t want to be with family or friends.
- You stalk your ex on social media constantly
- After a month you are still clinging to the relationship (even though nothing is there)
- Drinking more than usual to cope with the breakup
Here are some tips to help you get through a tough breakup.
You should really pray regardless, but this specific advice is to pray about your situation. Pray for God to give you guidance and understanding. Pray for God to give you strength through these tough times. And if you don’t know how to pray, then find people who do. Reach out and ask them to pray for you or pray with you.
Find a church if you don’t already have one. Sometimes when relationships go south the couples stop attending their church because they feel ashamed. I would say keep going. If there are two services perhaps you go to the opposite one that you normally attended. Or if you can find a different church to attend that is ok also. Just pray.
Out with the old
Get rid of their stuff or put it away and out of sight. If you can have a friend return their items. If not maybe just put them away and box them up. But having those daily reminders out of sight can have a dramatic effect on your mood and keep you from triggering those negative feelings from the break-up.
If you have rarely had a drink or you were a light drinker, I would say stay away from alcohol and drugs. Substance abuse is never the answer to a problem. You may get some short-term relief or maybe you get some short-term high. But the crash always comes soon.
Another reason to stay sober is so you can feel your emotions. You need to process what is happening in your life. It will hurt and it may hurt a lot. But you have to grow through that pain. If you always run to bury your emotions with alcohol then you will never learn to really process them.
Also if you have kids involved being drunk is a quick way to never see your kids again. Substance abuse can cause a judge to leave you with no custodial rights really quick. And if you are found out to be drinking around your kids, you may never see them again.
Find your tribe
When people get into committed relationships and even when they get married their friendships tend to get ignored or dissolve. If you find yourself going through a tough breakup it may be time to renew those friendships. Connect with close friends and talk to them about how you are feeling.
Maybe you have moved away from your friends, that’s ok, talk to them online or pick up a phone. And if your old friends are not receptive to you or have moved on then find a new tribe. There are online groups on almost every social media site where you can meet like-minded individuals.
Facebook groups are probably the best source now to find a tribe. When they say they have a group for that they really mean they have a group for that. Just do a quick search and ask to join a group. In most cases, you can even post anonymously if you feel embarrassed by your situation.
Learn a new skill (or perfect one)
When we go through a breakup sometimes we just want to be left alone. We need time to process what happened. A great way to do that is to learn a new skill. Especially even better if you learn something that can further advance your career.
Learning a new skill gives you an opportunity to achieve something. Even if it is small these achievements can help boost your self-esteem and maybe even get you out of a rut. And then if you focus on improving something in your career it could possibly get the attention of coworkers and managers.
Or maybe you had a skill that you spent a lot of time on, but because of the relationship, you set it to the side. What better time than now to pick that skill back up and perfect it. This will make you realize quickly that you had something before that you loved and it didn’t leave you.
Being in a relationship can cause you to have a sense of security with your health. And with that, you may let yourself go because you hope the other person loves you for who you are and not what you look like. By exercising and getting back into shape and you can be ready for the next relationship.
Also exercising can boost your mood. It can help your body release endorphins and help fight off depression. According to studies even a small amount of exercise can help with depression.
If your having trouble sleeping exercising can also help you fall asleep faster. Instead of laying in bed for hours thinking about the “what-ifs” and the “what could have been” your body will be tired out and go to sleep quicker and hopefully sleep longer.
When you focus on other people’s problems you have less time to dwell on your own. And when you volunteer you get to see sides and hear stories of people that have had a rougher life than you.
I occasionally would volunteer at a soup kitchen. I would see people come in that literally had nothing. I would see these people come in and sometimes my bias would get the worst of me. I would think they are just lazy or living off the government. And I was wrong.
I talked to these people and find out they are just struggling. Sometimes it was an injury that put them in their situation. Sometimes it was a string of bad luck. But the thing that amazed me the most was they were extremely appreciative of what we gave them. That to me was a true sign that these people deserved help.
And it doesn’t have to be an organization or mission trip you engage in. Maybe just try asking a friend if they need help around their house. Or asking a family member if you can watch their kids for an evening so they can go out. Build that community and that tribe while you volunteer.
Do not talk negatively about the other party
Even if the other person talks horribly about you. Do not engage in social media flame wars with your ex. It might even be beneficial to block your ex completely on social media. Talking negatively about them just ruins the relationship even further.
And if kids are involved, never talk in a negative way about your children’s mother in front of them. Even if your ex is the worst person in the world don’t play the I’m the better person game with your kids. This can be hard when they make bad decisions but just try to be the bigger person and bite your tongue.
Do not take your frustrations out on friends, family, or coworkers
When we get angry or we are having a bad day we get inclined to lash out. But I caution that you don’t take out those frustrations on friends or family or coworkers. These are the people that have to deal with you on a daily basis. Don’t let your mood ruin even more relationships.
Being mindful of your frustrations at your work can save your job. Unless you are in a position of authority you could find yourself being disciplined or even fired for being rude to coworkers all because your attitude was in a crappy place.
Be mindful of bad thoughts
Be mindful when your thoughts dwell on the negative. Focus on what you have and be grateful. It may feel like you have nothing to be thankful for. But if you woke up this morning and had a comfy bed to sleep in and food to eat, you are doing great.
And if your thoughts get too dark then reach out for help. Don’t let your mind sit in a place that isn’t healthy. Talk to friends, family, or coworkers and if needed seek out professional help.
Take time before engaging in a new relationship
Avoid the rebound. It has been studied that 65% of all rebound relationships fail within 6 months. When you look for the quick fix of a new relationship you start comparing it to the previous one. This is very unhealthy and can lead to issues quickly.
If you start a relationship quickly after a break up make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Most of the time the reason we jump back into relationships after a breakup is to fill a void. And even though the quick fix feels good it isn’t always healthy long-term.
Journal your thoughts and feelings
When you have negative thoughts over a breakup journaling might help you get them out. You can write them down and get them out of your head. Then you can read them and process what it is you were thinking from a different perspective.
And you don’t have to keep this journal around, after you write it down and process it, tear out the page and throw it away. Or maybe even burn the journal once you have all your thoughts out. The act of removing those thoughts and burning them might even be therapeutic and symbolic of giving up those thoughts for good.
Remembering when you go through a bad breakup to always work on yourself. Take time to self-assess what happened. We tend to be quick to blame the other person. But you also have to do a self-examination and see if you were the problem.
Do you have any additional tips to help get through a tough breakup? Let us know in the comments below or let us know on our Facebook page.