Breakups are the friggin' worst. When you thought you'd be with someone forever, and the world then comes crashing down around you, you could find yourself wondering just what to do after a breakup to feel sane again. You'll likely be feeling a whole host of emotions you're not sure how to process, like sadness, anger, confusion, and general angst.
Although it might feel like your whole life has just ended, though, it hasn't. And the truth (which you may find out in the coming months) is that you're better off without your ex. Now, though, you have to focus on feeling better.
Here are 10 things you can do right after your breakup to ensure you don't lose your mind:
Exercise, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the best things in the entire world. It's good for us, and it makes us a feel good. There's no better time to hit the gym or that gorgeous outdoor trail than when you've just come out of a breakup.
Often, after a breakup, we're feeling our worst, both in terms of mood and self-esteem. Working out will alleviate both of these things: It releases endorphins, so you'll feel happier ASAP, and it'll remind us that we're doing something good for ourselves.
When you feel like crying on the couch all day, it might not be the easiest thing to brush up and head to the gym. But do it, because you'll feel better as soon as you get there, not to mention after your workout!
2. Hang Out With Friends
Hanging out with friends during this time will be really good for you and your psyche, because, well, they get it. And they love you.
When in the middle of a breakup, it can feel like you're the only person in the world who is experiencing, or who has experienced, that type of heartbreak. Being with friends, however, will remind you that everyone goes through it at one time or another.
Not only that, but your friends will know how bad you are feeling and will try to intentionally cheer you up. What could be better than that?
3. Try Something New
Doing anything to get out of your own head during a breakup is a good idea. That's why this is the perfect time to learn a new skill.
Whether you've been eyeing that one pole-dancing class forever or you've been thinking of taking up knitting, your new hobby doesn't have to make anyone happy but you.
Plus, learning something new will make your brain work harder than just sitting around moping about your ex. You also might find that you just get too busy to even think about them. Win-win!
Not all of us are long-term journalers, and that's totally fine. But during a breakup, it can be helpful just to jot some thoughts down to get them out.
You may be a little self-conscious and worried about unloading too much on your friends, or you may just not be that comfortable talking about your deepest emotions. But those emotions do need a place to go, because sitting around in your brain, they're just taking up space and making you unhappy.
That's why journaling is a perfect option. It gets the thoughts out and removed from your head.
5. Practice Gratitude
Swimming through the wreckage of your relationship might not make you feel grateful for anything. But you should push through and find things to be grateful for.
Gratitude improves your mood and makes you feel happier overall. And right now, at the end of a relationship, you might be feeling like it was all you had. The truth is, though, that if you look for things to be grateful about, you'll probably find a lot more than you expected.
You'll see that you have family and friends and work and hobbies that are all really important to your happy life. And none of those has anything to do with your ex.
6. Do Something You Love
After a breakup is a great time to go back to nurturing the things that nurture your soul. You don't have to find a new hobby in order to help you get through this rough time. Instead, you can fall back on an old hobby that you know you love — one you may not have made time for while you were coupled-up.
One of the best parts about being single is having time to do the things that make you you. Whether it's just curling up on the couch with some Netflix and tea or training for your next marathon, not having to deal with a partner will open you up to remember your own favorite activities.
7. Talk It Out
If you're into it and you think it might help, after a breakup could be the perfect time to start seeing a therapist. Sometimes, having a neutral third party listen to us go around and around in our heads helps us stop actually going around and around in our heads.
A therapist has the added benefit of being able to help us recognize patterns in our behavior when we can't see them for ourselves. With any luck, therapy can help us break out of those patterns.
Don't make the mistake of having any preconceived negative notions about therapy. It's a great, healthy thing to do for your mind and heart.
8. Spend Time Alone
When your relationship ends, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of "woe is me," feeling like you are now the loneliest person on the planet. Instead of letting yourself do that, spend some serious time alone to remember how cool it is to just be with yourself!
Without a partner, you can eat chocolate for breakfast and pancakes for dinner. You can watch whatever you want without compromising your favorite shows. And you don't have to go those stupid "couples events" with your partner and their friends that you didn't really like anyway.
Hanging out alone is actually pretty rad. Give it a go to remind yourself of that after your breakup.
9. Take A Trip
Traveling alone is. The. Best.
Even if you've never tried it before, hopping on a flight to some new destination right after a bad breakup is a great thing to do. It'll push you outside of your comfort zone, it'll force you to rely on yourself, and it'll throw you into a really, really awesome adventure, no matter what happens.
Maybe there's a cool destination you always wanted to go, but your partner could never get off work for. Now's your time: GO!
10. Purge Your Ex From Your Life
One of the most important things you can do after a breakup to maintain your sanity is to purge your ex from everywhere. Get rid of the pictures. Toss out the old clothes. Delete and block from social media. Cut up the letters. Remove their phone number from your phone.
Although this may seem harsh, you're not doing it because your ex was a jerk. (Unless they were, in which case, that reason works too!) Instead, you're doing it to give yourself the mental room you need to be without your ex and to move on.
Purging everything related to your ex will make you reminded of them and, therefore, make you think about it less, which is always the goal after a breakup.
It's an unfortunate true fact of life that breakups are terrible. But another true fact of life is that breakups can be made less terrible by how you behave just after them. Follow the tips on this list to help yourself start to feel better and move on faster.
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