No matter your age, breakups are a universally painful experience. Feelings like sadness, loneliness, fear and anger, all leave the potential for a breakup to be an incredibly emotionally charged experience.
After a breakup, people are often left reflecting on “the good times” and how much they love and miss their former partner. They may experience the fear they’ll never meet someone they feel that way about again. At times, a breakup can feel very hopeless.
Dealing with a breakup – the healthy way
If a person is unable to deal with the complicated range of feelings from a breakup in a healthy way, it may result in engaging in unhealthy behaviors. However, these kinds of coping strategies provide only temporary relief and don’t help a person work through the complicated range of feelings associated with breakups.
In order to properly process and heal from a breakup, there are some healthy coping mechanisms you can employ to give yourself the time you need to grieve without tapping into habits that can make the situation worse.
Writing can be incredibly therapeutic in helping a person deal with emotions. When going through a breakup, you may find it helpful to journal to identify how you’re feeling, process what happened and brainstorm how you are going to learn from the experience and move forward.
It could also be therapeutic to write a letter to your former partner expressing how you feel, whether or not you have the intention of sending it. Writing allows you to breathe life into the thoughts in your head, helping you see the reality of the situation and gain a perspective you mightn’t have known was there.
Re-engage with friends and hobbies
During a relationship, some people stray away from their hobbies and become more distant from their friends. Use your time without a partner to re-engage in your old hobbies, explore new interests and strengthen your friendships.
Plus, you probably are really going to need your friends during this time. Allow them to be there with you, talk with them about what you are going through and allow them to remind you there are a lot of good things in your life even during this period of hardship. Whether they offer breakup advice or a shoulder to cry on, friends are invaluable during this time.
Feel your feelings
It does sound cheesy, but “feelings demand to be felt.” If anyone tries to cover up their negative emotions, these emotions will come out in one way or another. If you’re feeling sad, allow yourself to cry. If you’re feeling lonely, sit with the feeling and try to explore how you can grow from it.
If you get to a point where your negative emotions are becoming truly overwhelming, implement your healthy coping skills! Talk to a friend or your therapist, go for a walk, or snuggle with your pet — these are healthy coping skills designed to leave you feeling better, not worse.
Allow yourself to grow
There may have been a lot of good things that came from your past relationship, but it’s also possible that you faced a number of challenges, too. Regardless of whether or not your relationship was a healthy one, use this time post-breakup to really grow through the process.
Easier said than done, of course, and you should take time to initially grieve the loss of the relationship; but once you find yourself ready to move on, don’t feel bad for being ready. It’s okay to make changes for the better in your life — rearrange your bedroom, redecorate your kitchen, cut your hair, adopt a cat. Take advantage of this time of growth!
Considering the benefits of counseling?
While a breakup is usually a difficult time in a person’s life, it is possible to ease the pain and get through the experience in a healthy way. Don’t be afraid to grieve the loss of the relationship, take time to process your thoughts and feelings and reach out to the friends who will offer you productive support during this time.
Additionally, if facing the emotions of a relationship is too much for you to do on your own, consider talking to a therapist for direction on coping with feelings like sadness, anger and loneliness. If you don’t already have a therapist, consider The Light Program.
Contact our offices today by calling us at 610-644-6464.