In the wake of a difficult breakup, it can be hard to find healthy ways to get over your ex. Right now you probably understand that breakups can hurt a lot, but did you know they can actually affect your body and brain? That's right. Your pain is backed by science. Elle Huerta, breakup expert and founder of the breakup app Mend, explains, "The first part of a breakup is really physical. Breakups change your physiology and neurochemistry, so it's normal to feel like you're going through withdrawal." If you're reeling from a recent breakup that has left you feeling devastated, look no further than Huerta's roadmap for exactly what to do after after a split.
"If you're in a rough patch, remind yourself that there is going to be a low point to every day," says Huerta. She goes on to explain that, despite hitting an all-time low, you can definitely get through this. Huerta also stresses that it's important to remember that, "You may have lost love, but you're still loved and lovable, and a breakup is a time to be reminded of this." If you're feeling lost in your post-breakup pain, check out the following ways to jumpstart your healing process.
1. Drink water.
"Take extra care of your body," says Huerta. She explains that your energy, mood, and sleep all take a hit after a breakup. If you've forgotten to drink water lately or have been crying, dehydration could make you feel even worse. So drink up!
2. Get fresh air.
Huerta explains that getting some fresh air can help you feel refreshed and improve your energy levels. Even if it's just reading on your porch or going for a short walk, you are likely to feel a little better after getting out and taking some much needed deep breaths.
3. Move your body.
Moving your body releases endorphins, especially during exercise. It's totally OK if you don't have the energy to start a workout plan or train for a race. Moving your body can be as simple as going on a walk with a friend or taking a short bike ride. You might still be devastated, but moving around can help improve your mood, energy, and even distract you for a little while.
4. Avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Once you have started caring for your body with water and movement, Huerta explains that it is also time to make sure you don't lean on common vices. Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol in excessive amounts can leave you feeling worse. She explains that although they may increase your mood initially because of their effects on the body, when those effects fade, your energy and mood can crash.
5. Express your feelings.
Huerta explains that it's important to check in with yourself emotionally. She stresses that letting your feelings out is important because it gives you a chance to process and understand the emotions you're experiencing. You can do this through journaling, a breakup app like Mend, or talking to loved ones.
6. Acknowledge your low points.
Huerta explains that low points are going to happen, especially in the beginning. When you feel yourself hitting a low point, remind yourself that you have the strength, resources, and support system to get through it.
7. Distract yourself.
"Sometimes you need to take a break from thinking about the breakup," says Huerta. "It's helpful to force yourself to go to the movies or attend an event that will take up a lot of your attention." Distraction can help your healing by simply getting your mind off of everything that has happened. You can try this by making plans with friends, family, or even taking yourself out for a solo date.
8. Give yourself space from your ex.
"Take a break from your ex in real life and digital communication for at least 60 days," explains Huerta. "This break allows you to break the strong neurochemical connection you had with your ex, and it also gives you time to process the breakup and redefine your sense of self." It can be hard to get distance from an ex, but Huerta stresses that this is the best way to continue healing. You don't have to cut them out forever, but focusing on yourself is important right now.
If you're going through a breakup and feel incredibly lost, I hope that these steps have given you a road map to healing. There's no shame in feeling devastated after a breakup. Healing is a difficult journey, but there are so many good things in store for you along the way.
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