If the entire human population were scanned, we’d be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t experienced heartbreak. Unrequited love is a universal phenomenon that has inspired some of the most exquisite specimens of art, music, and literature.
Funnily enough, they skip the whole part on how to get over a breakup: that gut-wrenching pain that sucks the very life out of living. It’s one thing to feel awed by Gatsby’s undying love for the fickle Daisy, and quite another to actually end up in his shoes!
How long it can take you to get over a breakup?
It’s Hard! Letting go off the humiliations of rejections or the guilt of being the reason for someone's broken heart! Breakups can often make you feel like a total failure.
But here is the thing. The seemingly annihilating experience of a breakup can be the trigger that changes your life for good. However, cliched the saying, time does heal the pain. You’re going to move on whether you want to or not. But how quickly you recover yourself, it’s totally up to you!
To make this journey a little easier, here are 10 tried and tested exercises on how to deal with a breakup.
1. Don’t call your ex.
First and foremost, whatever you do, DO NOT bombard your ex with calls and texts begging them to talk to you. Not even when you’re drunk. In fact, don’t contact them at all until you’re certain that your emotions are no longer on high voltage.
That kind of behaviour reeks of desperation and is not good for your self-worth. Yes, you miss them. Yes, you want to talk to them. YES, you wish they’d come back if only to plug that hole in your chest. We know! But your ex doesn’t need to.
If you truly wish to go down the path of healing, this is where you need to exercise maximum restraint.
2. Make a list of ‘Reasons’
Perhaps your relationship was a beautiful one, but there’s a reason why it got over. List it down. List ALL of them down, one by one, on a piece of paper (or your journal, if you keep one). This is not just an exercise in venting, but to make yourself aware of all the reasons this relationship wouldn’t have been good for you even if it did not end.
Take a moment to appreciate and realise that you now have the time to focus on yourself, your own wishes, your own life. Decide that you will slowly, but surely, come out of this pain. That you will move on. Refer to your list when you feel demotivated, or when the urge to message your ex sneaks up.
3. Don't stalk your ex.
Getting over a breakup isn’t easy. Staring at your ex’s pictures on social media or following their daily actions will only make this process a whole lot harder. It’s none of your concern anymore what they do with their lives. Your business is with yourself, and with what YOU do.
Wasting your time (and the internet connection) reading their Insta posts and tweets is not going to make you feel better. When you already know this, grit your teeth, and overcome the urge. Watch a funny YouTube video instead.
One of the easiest way to get over a break-up is to Find the purpose of life. Head to our article to find your purpose.
4. Allow yourself time to grieve.
Now that the ex-related actions are out of the way, let’s talk about healing. No one likes to feel pain... But your emotions, no matter how uncomfortable, are valid and you need to acknowledge them. The person you loved had occupied your life, had shared your time, and possibly your home, too. The sudden loss of that kind of connection needs to be grieved, just as you would grieve a death.
Understand that it is okay to feel miserable one moment, shout out in anger the next, and double over in despair again. Accept that letting go of someone you love will take time. You’re not ‘weak’ for crying or for feeling the way that you’re feeling.
5. Let it out.
Don’t try to prove your strength by suffering in silence. The stoic who came up with this piece of advice should be thrown in prison! This is the reason we’re witnessing a scary rise in breakup depression.
TALK! Talk about your feelings with people you trust, or with complete strangers for that matter! There are numerous support groups online (look up Facebook) where people are generously willing to lend you their time. The more you let those bottle thoughts escape, the faster you’ll heal.
Talking, however, does not mean sharing ‘I don’t know how to live without you’ posts on Facebook. That sort of public wailing will leave you thoroughly embarrassed once you’re over this phase. Get one on one with friends or with those who are going through similar situations in their own lives.
6. Take a shower and sweat it out.
Sounds very silly, doesn’t it? Who talks about taking a shower when all the world is falling apart? The real idea is to motivate yourself after a breakup to look after your hygiene and take care of your physical appearance. Setting up a daily shower routine is a doable, small step in that direction. When you feel refreshed on the outside, you’re going to start feeling better on the inside as well.
Once you’ve habituated this routine, take it a notch higher by including short walks in the evening, or even light exercises. Emphasising the strong link between physical exercise and mood, Michael Otto, a professor of Psychology at Boston University says, “Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.”
See? We’re not making this up. Any expert handing out advice on how to get over a breakup quickly will tell you to sweat it out. A word of caution though: take it slow. Don’t try to achieve a marathon run and then beat yourself up over inevitable failure.
7. Don’t skip your meals.
While you’re setting up goals to start taking care of yourself, don’t forget to include food. An empty stomach and poor eating habits are invitations for a depressive mood. Stock up on fruits, nutrition bars and nachos if you don’t feel like cooking. That way you keep yourself adequately full and prevent the all too common post-breakup binge-eating as well.
Finding it difficult to stay happy after a break-up? Well, read our tips on ways to be happier.
8. Revamp your room.
When a couple shares a room, it shows. There will be that ‘his side of the room’ and ‘her side of the room’. Even if you didn’t live-in with your ex, chances are there will be coffee stains on the table or marks left on the wall, something reminding you of their presence.
A breakup is an excellent chance to finally do up your room the way YOU want it. YouTube has tons of low budget room makeover ideas that are fun and easy enough for anyone to try. Bring out the posters that had been lying neglected, rearrange the furniture, get new curtains. Embrace your new sanctuary!
9. Find a hobby.
While it’s beautiful to be in a good relationship, there’s no denying that it does dig into your alone-time. Well, now that you have all the time for yourself, go back to the things you enjoyed doing. Pick up the old paintbrush, remove the dust coating your lonely guitar, join a dance class, or find something new to focus your energy on. Breakups have a known record for giving birth to spectacular talents.
10. Don’t jump into the dating scene.
Replacing the void left by your partner with a new face may seem like just the antidote you were looking for, but it could turn out to be a huge mistake. Not only will your own intentions be confused at this point, but you’re also going to be putting other people’s emotions on the line.
The chances of a rebound working out to anything positive is next to nil. So, instead of looking for a new ‘someone’ to make you feel better, work on yourself with such passion that “you” become enough for yourself.
Here’s a Bonus Tip: Forgive yourself and your ex.
This is easier said than done, especially if the person in question has been unkind to you. But holding on to any strong emotion associated with them will prevent you from moving on. You’re mistaken if you think the opposite of love is hate, and that by ‘hating’ your ex you’re going to get over the pain.
Hatred is a very powerful emotion. To detach yourself completely from the past, you have to be able to forgive it. Understand that you’re not doing them a favour but showing them grace only in order to free yourself.
Don’t reserve space in your head for people who are no longer a part of your life. Be a better person. Remember the reasons (check that old list again) for letting go, and then let go. The moment you are able to recall past memories without feeling any sense of anger, regret or guilt, is a sign that you’re well on the way to getting over your breakup.
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