So you've survived your breakup, and surely the hardest part is over, right? Not always. In some ways, post-breakup loneliness can feel even more difficult than the back-and-forth dance you and your ex were doing when you were calling it quits. Once it's officially over, you realize just how much time your relationship filled in your day. Suddenly, you have all these hours to fill, and it can be easy for feelings of isolation and "What now?" to set in. That's why having a few tips for dealing with loneliness after a breakup on standby can make all the difference.
The first thing to realize, says Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, is that just because you're lonely, doesn't mean you're alone. Pretty much everyone goes through what you're going through now at some point. "Humans are made to connect, and after losing someone who was so intimate with you, it can feel destabilizing to realize that you have no one to keep you company or do things with. It's going to take awhile to rebuild your identity to a point where you feel good with your own company, so be kind to yourself and accept that it's just a part of the process," Chong tells Elite Daily.
The key is to find ways to pick yourself up again and start the healing process. "The most important thing you should know is that there are harmful ways to deal with loneliness , and there are healthy ways to deal with the loneliness that will only make you stronger in the future," says Chong. Here’s how the experts suggest combatting those post-breakup blues.
1. Play Upbeat Music.
Music is a powerful tool for setting a mood, which is why Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, suggests creating a playlist that will help lift your spirits while you’re doing something productive. “Listen to upbeat music while taking care of things around your house. Tidying up is a great way to get into a more positive mindset, something productive to keep you busy and make you feel better. A clean home can also make you [feel] more inclined to have company over to hang out,” she says.
2. Give Yourself A Set Amount Of Time Each Day To Grieve.
Part of healing from a breakup is allowing yourself time to work through the pain, as Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, tells Elite Daily. But the key is not to spend all your time dwelling on it. “Give yourself space each day to really fall apart and feel whatever you are feeling without needing to change it or fix it. When you do this, it's easier to move through the loneliness stage,” she explains.
3. Break Up With Social Media For A While.
Spending too much time on social media can make you feel lonely even in the best of times, which is why Leckie says to give it a pass while you’re feeling particularly vulnerable. “Take a break from social media for a good period of time because looking at everyone’s ‘highlight reel’ can make you feel as though everyone is happier than you are — even though it’s important to know that that’s not the case,” she explains.
4. Reconnect With People IRL.
Though it may feel hard to get yourself up and off the couch when you’re grieving a relationship, “Make plans with friends or family to do an activity of some sort so that you are engaging in social interaction and not just at home alone on your couch, missing your ex,” says Leckie.
5. Pursue Your Passions.
One upside to suddenly having more time to yourself is that your schedule is now open to pursue interests you’ve put on the back burner. Chong says a great way to fend off loneliness is to take advantage of this opportunity. “Now that your ex is gone from your life, what better way to rebuild your identity by pursuing your passions once more? Think of what you loved doing before you met your ex, and see if you still have a knack for it. Otherwise, take up something interesting and fun, like salsa or K-pop dancing, painting, or jewelry making. Make it something new and exciting, just for you,” she says.
Combatting post-breakup loneliness ultimately comes down to taking good care of your own heart by doing the things that feed your confidence and spirit and cutting out the things that don't. Rarely is it easy to move on from a breakup, but trust that a stronger you is waiting on the other side. Hang in there, and be kind to yourself as you go through it.
Cherlyn Chong, dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast