Romantic relationships can be a whirlwind of pleasure, especially in this valentine period – having someone to call you, check up on you, offer you support, send you love songs and just do life with you. But what happens when that relationship ends, either as a break up or a divorce in marriage? How do the individuals involved in the relationship deal with the grief, heartbreak, and even physical pain at times?
Breakups are particularly heart wrenching because they diminish your sense of self, especially when you are used to doing everything with your partner.
To help you out, I’ll be sharing a few tips that can navigate you through this phase. They won’t magically erase your pain, but they can help you find peace, healing and wholeness.
- Express your emotions constructively.
Some people feel like the courageous thing to do after a breakup is to suppress your emotions and pretend that you are fine, but that’s never helpful. What you need to do is to learn how to express your emotions. Don’t suppress them, instead feel them. But do this constructively as opposed to being destructive – e.g. smashing tables. A good way to start is by journaling. Writing is very cathartic and can help release pent up emotions. If you have friends or social support you can count on, you can also talk to them about how you are feeling.
- Don’t isolate yourself.
Don’t run away from people after a breakup. I know you feel like a mess and you’d rather stay alone at home, but please don’t. Getting group support from family and friends as they shower you with love and support in your difficult moments. No matter how alone you want to be, you will always feel better in the company of other people, especially people that care about you.
- Practice self-care.
This is not the time to let yourself go and end up looking like a tramp. Make sure you go about your daily body care routines as much as you can. This will help you feel better when you see the results. Don’t load up on junk food, instead eat a lot of highly nourishing foods that are high in fibre and protein. If you can, pick up a sport or exercise regimen and do it as frequently as you can. This will get your blood flowing and release a lot of endorphins into your system that can cause subtle changes in your emotions.
- Go back to doing the things that you love.
Sometimes, relationships can be so full of activities with our partners that we lose ourselves and when the relationship ends, we have nothing to hold on to. If this happens to you, I would advise that you go back to doing the things you love to do, whether you used to do them alone or with your partner. I know that it may seem hard and difficult, but you have to force yourself to get started. Whether it’s going to the movies or shopping or dining out, go back to actually doing you.
- Help someone who can’t repay you.
Yes, you are probably not concerned with anyone else at this time, but I promise that taking the lens of your situation and helping people who can’t repay you can be very therapeutic. This is because it helps you learn gratitude which in turn can help boost your positive emotions. You can consider volunteering somewhere, or teaching out of school kids or even feeding the less privileged. They are little things that can help you appreciate the blessings of your own situation.
- See a therapist or coach if you need to.
If you ever get to a place where your break up is affecting your mental health so bad that life is becoming a burden, then you should seek professional help from a therapist or coach. They will help you work through your emotions while providing accountability and support to help you cope through this process.
Finally, remember that healing takes time, and emotional healing won’t happen in a second. Be willing to take the time required to get yourself in shape.
I hope this helps you.