Coping After Breaking Up – What Can I Do?
One of the most difficult things to do when a relationship ends is to let go of the strong emotional ties that we may have for our ex-partners. It is hard not to think about what they are doing or thinking, how they are feeling, or whether they are okay or as miserable as we are. We have spent so much time making decisions that revolved around them adjusting that framework afterward takes time as well as intentional effort.
When is it time to stop investing our emotion into a dead relationship? Intentional effort is needed to identify when our thoughts hopelessly gravitate toward our ex-partners overshadowing the fact that most of the evidence points to ‘its over’. Easier said than done so how can we begin to heal and adjust?
Some strategies may include:
- Allow yourself the right and time to grieve the loss as this is a normal process that is as essential to being human as breathing.
- Creating and repeating uplifting / affirming statements about ourselves when we catch ourselves emotionally over-investing in.
- Identify an emotional over-investment in our ‘dead’ relationship and do three push ups, sit ups, squats etc. (consider how fit we might become 🙂 .
- Take three to five deep breaths (20 seconds each -> 5 inhale, 7 hold & 8 exhale) thinking of a positive during inhaling and a negative when exhaling (e.g. inhale calm… exhale upset)
- Plan schedules heavily with activities to refrain from having “free-time” for a few weeks or even months
- Increase self care activities (biking, bathing, reading, music etc.) catering to your personal likes and interests can be helpful distractions.
The biggest steps involve finding ways to intentionally redirect our emotional investments away from our ex-partners toward ourselves and others. Being loving to ourselves is so important even though this is difficult after a break-up. Positive and caring thoughts and actions can prevent us from slipping into self-loathing, ‘stinkin thinkin’ and hyper-criticism which rapidly increases feelings of despair and hopelessness. Also, finding ways to do loving things for others (also called altruism), volunteering time to family, friends and even strangers is a great way to redirect emotional investment and soften the impact of grief and loss.
Making an investment in counseling is another form of self care. You can discover additional strategies for coping as well as new intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to help build healthy, exciting and enduring relationships. If you want to find out more contact one of our counsellors today!
Photo credit 1: clarita from morguefile.com Photo credit 2: pippalou from morguefile.com