5 Things You Can Start Doing For Yourself Post Breakup

Dayana Sabatin

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Break-ups sometimes feel like you’re stabbing yourself in the chest.

There’s no doubt that they’re painful, even if you know deep down that you weren’t meant to be with that individual.

They hurt because you invested precious time into someone; you gave parts of yourself to another human being that you thought you’d be with for a long, long time. This person knows your quirks, they know how you take your coffee, they know that you hate soggy cereal and how you always need a sweet treat after a savory meal.

It almost makes you feel like you have to start all over again, and going through all the newness of a relationship can feel frustrating when all you want is to simply settle down and find someone to do life with.

Even in the midst of the most amicable breakup, it still hurts. Maybe you’re questioning love right now; maybe you’re just wondering if it’ll ever happen for you. You just want someone — someone to hold you. Someone to understand you. Someone to drink a glass of wine with in the evenings as you ponder life and how beautiful the stars look.

A breakup can often make you feel behind and give you so much pain that you think to yourself, “it’s not that I don’t want to move on; it’s that I don’t know where to start.”

In time, though, you will move forward and upward. Here are a few things you can do for starters.

Give yourself a few days.

I know a few days might sound too little after one of the most painful heartbreaks you've ever endured, but spending weeks — or months crying about someone who didn’t give you the love that you deserved isn’t the way to go.

Instead, take a few days and fully grieve. Your feelings are valid, and you do need to process them. Dating expert Charly Lester says,

“You’re losing a big part of your life when you break up with someone. They are a friend, a lover, a confidante, and maybe a housemate, they’ve probably been a daily feature in your life for some time, and you need to grieve that loss.”

If you’re someone who likes to be alone when you’re sad, then turn your phone off and be alone. You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you choose to go off the grid. If you’re someone who likes to talk your feelings through, ask a close friend to listen to you.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t bottle up your emotions. Pretending you’re fine and everything is okay when your heart is hurting won’t help anything. If you need to sit there and listen to sad Enrique Iglesias songs while drinking wine and watching P.S I Love You with Gerard Butler, do it. Give yourself whatever you need to deal with the situation.

When I experienced my first painful breakup, I called out of work and cried into my pillow for hours on end while my cousin comforted me. Next came my mother, who reminded me that a breakup doesn’t mean that love isn’t in the cards for me; it simply means that the person I was with wasn’t the right fit.

Your right fit is out there, and this breakup is leading you into the arms of the right person. And while I’m not belittling the relationship you’re now leaving, I am saying that the best is yet to come.

Delete their number and purge your socials.

I’ve never been someone who has remained friends with previous ex’s. There’s too much history, and my old relationships ended on a bad note, so there was truly no point in trying to upkeep any type of relationship/friendship.

I believe you can be friends with someone you’ve dated if you both mutually agree to put the past behind you and you’re both mature enough to be friends. However, a friendship should happen in time. Keyword, “time,” not a few days or few weeks after you spent all your time crying and healing.

I contacted my ex multiple times after our breakup. I wanted “closure,” and I truly feel like that just prolonged the stress we were both enduring at the time. We were on and off a few times, and each time we broke up and I reached out, we ended up getting back together, which only led to yet again, you guessed it, another breakup.

Sometimes you try to make something fit despite it being impossible. You stretch it as much as you can, you try sucking in as much as possible, but at the end of the day, it’s simply not the right fit. It just can’t work. There’s no use in trying.

After our last breakup, I immediately deleted him from my life. No social media, no photos, no numbers, nada. It’s not unkind to unfollow your ex; always feel free to block them in the name of mental health. It may have been a painful decision, but it was the right one.

It’s like letting go of one of your favorite sweaters; yes, it was nice for a time; it kept you warm and cozy. But listen, you’ve outgrown it. The seams are torn, the strings are coming apart. Stop trying to sew it back together.

It’s time for a new one.

“If the breakup was instigated by the other person, delete their number from your phone, so you aren’t inclined to contact them, it’ll help you avoid the dreaded drunk-dial, and eliminate the impulse to send ill-advised texts.” — Charly Lester

Fill your free time with things and people that bring you joy.

When you’re in a relationship, sometimes you forget about the other people that make you happy and the things you once used to do that brought you immense joy.

For example, I never really spent time with my family when I was dating my ex. I had multiple jobs, I was going to school, so whatever free time I had was spent with the person I was dating.

I truly regret that because when you’re with the right person, they don’t subtract from your life. They add to it, which means that you’re not spending less time with the people you love; you’re spending more time with them by all of you being together.

You’re not suddenly quitting your favorite hobbies and activities; you actually do them even more frequently because you’re so happy and in such a good place in your life.

I did none of that with my ex, which was also a sign that he simply wasn’t the one. The time you have after a breakup is the perfect time for you to rekindle old friendships that you’ve let simmer. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to give an old hobby a try again.

Set up a reservation at one of your favorite restaurants with your best friend. Go shopping with your sibling, do something fun with your time. This can ultimately benefit you in two ways.

1. It’ll take your mind off your breakup, and 2. It’ll help you get back the people you love into your life.

Prioritize yourself daily.

Your ex might have been great to you; they took you out, bought you nice things — perhaps them catering to you was the least of your problems and now you sort of feel unloved.

Self-love was the #1 thing I learned after my breakup. I discovered that while it is nice to have someone shower you with love and affection, it’s even more powerful when you develop a powerful love for yourself.

You allow yourself to go to the bottom of your priority list when you’re dating someone who isn’t right for you. The right individual doesn’t allow that to happen; instead, they encourage you to put yourself and your needs first.

The relationship should never be about the other individual and their happiness; it’s about the two of you coming together, happy and whole on your own, but happier together.

Prioritize yourself. Treat yourself to a vacation (or staycation), buy yourself something beautiful just because you deserve it. Learn something new for the sake of self-improvement and bettering yourself. Take a relaxing bath every night and create a skincare routine that makes you feel good.

Deep clean your closet and get rid of old things, “out with the old and in with the new,” as the old saying goes.

Forgive, forget, and move on.

If a friendship is something that is important to you with your ex, the only way to achieve that is by letting go of the bitterness. More importantly, letting go of the anger and frustrations you feel will help you move forward.

I once read that forgiveness doesn’t exactly mean allowing someone back into your life; it simply means letting go of the resentment you’re holding and moving on with your life.

Accept that your relationship ended for a good and valid reason, and instead of trying to obsess over what went wrong and why, focus on being single, enjoying the next phase of your life, and when the time is right, identify what you’d like to give and receive with your next partner. Which, speaking of dating — don’t rush into it.

Take your time, allow yourself to fully heal before letting someone into your heart and life again. There is plenty of fish in the sea, and they’re not going anywhere.

“We don’t forgive for the other person, we forgive for ourselves.”

The pain of having the person who was once your entire world leave you is unimaginable.

Even if you’re the one doing the leaving, it still hurts. You hear a song that the two of you used to listen to, you hear their laugh in the people you surround yourself with, and you’re reminded of them.

It hurts, and it’s hard. However, the best thing you can do for yourself and them is healing and moving on to bigger and better things. Life has a funny way of making the wrongs seem right in time.

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Freelance writer sharing thoughts on self-improvement, productivity, and success.

Santa Monica, CA
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