The end of a relationship whether it's a separation, a divorce or bereavement are extremely tough. And in a separation or a divorce situation, whether you broke up with someone or they broke up with you, it still affects you!
The "death" of the future you believed you had, is a very real process of grief that you may face, especially if you've invested a lot of time or had a deep connection with that person. You may feel a deep sense of loss, along with a lot of other emotions.
Keep in mind that not everyone you go to with your breakup story will have empathy or understanding. They might tell you to just get over it or move on with your life quickly to get over the pain. They may even share that they never even liked that person!
While it may be tempting to escape the pain that comes along with a breakup, with anti-depressants, it’s not recommended, as they can be addictive.
There is plenty of advice online for getting over the end of a relationship and some of them are more important than others.
The following are some simple tips that helped me and have helped my clients over the years, for helping move through tough emotions:
Nobody really likes to feel emotional pain, and we often do a lot of things not to feel it and tell everyone who asks "I'm fine", but we're not!
Feeling the tough emotions is necessary in order to heal them. If you numb out or push them away, it’s likely that “stored trauma energy” will cause you some issues months or years later, such as anxiety or depression.
Grief is one of the most common reported feelings after a breakup. It feels like a loss and life can feel empty and confusing. Grief can involve various emotions, including anger, fear, frustration, and more. Give yourself some time to actually grieve the end of this relationship. It's quite normal to feel shock or disbelief at the beginning, and that can move into anger, fear, or something else.
The grieving process consists of five stages:
You may wonder how long each stage may last, but it's like asking how long is a piece of string? You may move from one to the other in no set pattern.
Many factors come into play, like how long you were together, whether you or they ended the relationship, your emotional maturity, past trauma, your support network, mental health, and more.
If you find yourself getting stuck in one of the stages of grief or you simply cannot handle the intensity of emotions that you're feeling, it's helpful to reach out for help from a professional. They can help you learn how to identify what you're feeling and work through those feelings in a healthy way. They may also be able to help you in other areas of your life if you need and move on through the rest of the stages of grief.
It's a myth that I share in my webinar that many women believe that to get over a relationship, they should jump right into a new one. This is not wise. You don't give yourself time to heal and process your emotions this way. You’ve probably heard someone talking about “old baggage” they brought from one relationship right over into the next.
Not taking time to process and heal in a way that makes sense for you can cause you to take “baggage” into any future relationship, which will end up failing, making you even more miserable!
So, right here, right now, make a commitment to take time to just focus on you. Practice self-care and rediscover who you are as a single person. Reflect on your overall life and redefine it according to what you truly want and need at this specific time.
Perhaps there's a hobby that you've put on the shelf that you'd like to get back to. Or maybe there are some things you've been wanting to try, but you just didn't have the time before. It's easy to give a good bit of yourself away while you're in a relationship. Take some time to rediscover yourself during your singles days with Fearlessly Moving Forwards Method.
Writing down your thoughts and emotions can help tremendously in the emotional healing process. It's likely in those first days or weeks after the breakup that you'll be struggling with a myriad of emotions. Take some time to get them out on paper as often as you can. Just the act of writing your thoughts, beliefs, and dreams can help release some of that pent up energy.
If you're not sure what to write about, don't overthink it and just write down your feelings. There are a lot of questions that you can answer during this time that will help you now, but will also help you as you navigate life solo or in a future relationship.
For many people, the days and weeks after a relationship break up puts their nervous system on high alert. They may be dealing with chronic anxiety and fear about their future. The amount of grief that they feel may also put them in a state of lethargy. They want to get going, but can’t muster up the energy.
Whatever it is you're going through at this time, make a commitment to take time each day to just be silent and go within. Focus on your breath and calming your nervous system down.
Do a body scan from head to toe, purposely relaxing every part of your body. This practice is an ancient technique that has helped many people process and heal emotional distress.
Even if you just take five minutes a day to do this, it can be helpful. However, if you can put more time into this, perhaps in the morning and in the evening, you may find that each day you're feeling better and better.
Along with being still and quiet, take up the art of mindfulness. This means being aware of each moment as it arises. It’s being “in the present”, rather than thinking about the past or the future.
Slow down and be mindful of what you’re doing as you do it. If you’re making dinner, be in the moment and notice what you’re doing. Notice how the ingredients feel as you grab them and toss them in the pot. Hear the birds singing in the distance. Feel your feet against the floor.
When you’re in the moment, you’re not ruminating on the past or worrying about the future.
So, commit to a more mindful life.
It's really tempting to isolate after an ended relationship, especially if you're dealing with deep depression. Those who will reach out to one or two positive people for support during those days, weeks, or months after the ending of a relationship tend to heal quicker. It may be much easier for an extrovert to reach out for support as opposed to an introvert. But even an introvert needs a shoulder to cry on or someone to just hold space for them as they grieve the end of a relationship.
Even in the days where we are practicing physical distancing, there are plenty of online resources where we can video chat. There are even some support groups that offer support for anyone needing encouragement. Join my FREE Facebook Group. It's alright to take more time for yourself right now, but also make time to be in contact with others. Sometimes just knowing that people are there when you need that support can help as well. Practicing self-care means allowing yourself to ask for help or support when you need it.
Like to volunteer? Consider helping others at this time, or if you are a pet lover, spend some time at the local pet rescue.