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Coping after a Break up

Have you or a friend just been through a Breakup?

Here are some ways ideas that might help you through it

Although a relationship is no longer healthy, a breakup can be extremely tough and painful because there is loss, not just of another person but also of the extended family, future plans, your identity, responsibilities and commitments. When relationships fail we can experience stress, grief, disruptions, uncertainty and disappointment.

Recovering from a breakup can be difficult but it is important to remind yourself that you can and will get through this difficult experience.

Grief and loss are natural reactions to a break up and can be made up of multiple losses whether this is through emotions, financial, social support or loss of hopes, plans dreams or even loss of companionship and shared experiences.

Tips for grieving after a breakup

It’s essential – While it might be scary, allowing yourself to grieve is an essential part of the healing process.

Go with your feelings – Having lots of ups and downs is normal and you may feel many conflicting emotions including, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, confusion and anger. Suppressing or ignoring these feelings will only prolong the grieving process.

Talk about it – It can be extremely difficult to talk about your feelings with others, but know that others are aware of how you are feeling can make you feel less alone with your pain. Journaling can also be a very helpful channel for your feelings.

The end goal is moving on – Dwelling on hurtful feelings like blame, anger and resentment can prevent you from healing and moving forward. Expressing your feelings can be liberating once we do not get stuck in the negative ones.

The future – Creating plans and having dreams comes when we commit to another person. Grieving for a future you once pictured is hard, but hold onto the fact that eventually you will create new hopes and dreams and these will replace the old ones

Reactions to a breakup – After a breakup the grief can be paralysing, but little by little the sadness begins to lift and you start moving on. If you don’t begin to feel a lift and a desire to move forward then you may be suffering from depression. Depression is much more than sadness. If you have intense feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness that are unrelenting then you may be suffering with depression. You can contact your doctor or a mental health professional for support if you think you might be depressed.

Connecting with others – Face to face contact can help not only for support but also to relieve stress and bring back balance in your life. Connecting with family or friends who have come through painful breakups can help offer hope for healing.

Choosing your support network – Surround yourself with people who are positive, who truly listen to you, who will be honest with you, who will not judge or criticise you and who will not tell you what to do or how you should feel.

Professional Help – Reaching out to others who are close to you can be difficult so you might want to join a support group or make contact with a counsellor/therapist.

New Friendships – Breakups can often mean the loss of a social network so you might want try to meet new people. Join a special interest group, volunteer with a local charity, Join a class or get involved in community activities.

Self Care – Breakups can be very stressful so taking care of yourself must be a priority.

  • Schedule time daily for activities that you find soothing or calming ie yoga, walk in nature, sea dip, listen to music, read a favourite book, spend time with good friends
  • Get back to a regular routine – this can give structure, provide comfort, reduce sense of chaos
  • Honour your needs – express your needs and say ‘no’ without feeling guilty
  • Delay any major decisions until you start to feel less emotional
  • Avoid using drugs, alcohol or food to cope with feelings of pain and loneliness. Using these things to escape are unhealthy and can be destructive in the long run.
  • Eat well, sleep well and exercise.