Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to go twelve rounds with Mike Tyson, a grizzly bear in tow, and the whole army featured in the film 300, all at the same time? Yeah, a breakup is on par with that, should you be unlucky to go through one (or two, or three, or more than you care to admit).
Relationships are bloody tough things these days, yet we are all somewhat naturally drawn to them. So when an inevitable, or perhaps surprising, break up pops up – it can catch you quite a bit off guard. It can affect work, your mental health and your friendships. So here’s what to do when that awful moment arrives.
Let The Emotions Flow
Studies show that there are five signs of grieving; denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, the Holy Grail, acceptance. Initially, you will feel you need to bundle all your feelings up and lock them deep down under lock and key. This is considered the worst thing you can do, as eventually they’ll burst out and you’ll be left riding an emotional roller coaster. If you feel like crying, it’s okay to cry. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling like crawling onto the lounge and watching Eat Pray Love, Kleenex in one hand, a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in the other. Allow yourself time to grieve.
Build A Strong Support Network
Understandably your friends and family will try to comfort you with cliché break up lines, like “it’s their loss,” or “everything happens for a reason” and you just won’t believe them. But what you don’t realise at the time is that having that support network around you will help you more than you know. A break up can leave you feeling an enormous sense of loneliness. Surrounding yourself with people who love you and who want to just see you smile really helps. Not only are they a shoulder to cry on, but they can also act as a reminder that you are still loved.
Make A Playlist
Believe me, it helps! Every morning (after an old break up) when getting ready for work I would blast my Girl Power Playlist (yes, I did call it Girl Power and no, I’m not ashamed.) Pick songs that empower and inspire you, or just downright get that angst going (it’s relatable and helpful.) We even went and picked some favourites to help you embrace new found single status.
Always Sleep On Decisions
There will be nights where you’re lying in bed fighting with yourself as to whether it’s worth texting your ex. You’ll want to write a depressing Facebook status or tweet, or something nasty. Chances are you’re feeling pretty emotional, which goes hand-in-hand with acting irrationally. Always sleep on it and revaluate in the morning. The sleep will give you time to process your decision and nine-times-out-of -ten you’ll be glad you didn’t.
Take Care Of Yourself
It seems pretty simple but it’s so easy to forget to eat. Sleeping until lunchtime, you might find myself skipping breakfast, going straight to lunch and hardly eating dinner. If physically you feel weak, your mind will follow suit. Binging on junk food isn’t the answer either (okay, the odd ice cream hit helps but don’t make it a habit.) Try and eat a balanced diet and exercise a few times a week. I found going for a run was a great way to clear my mind and burn some of that anger towards the whole situation.
Be A Little Selfish
Take this time to rediscover who you are and don’t be afraid to be alone. Use this time to tick off a few boxes on the bucket list and figure out more about yourself. It’ll help you understand what type of person you want to be with as well.
Don’t Fight It
Break ups are meant to be hard, as the name suggests you’ll be left feeling broken. Some days are good and some are awful, so just ride it out. Don’t let a bad day keep you down, and remember that every morning is a new opportunity to make the most of your situation, learn more about yourself and grow.
It isn’t until you walk out of the storm can you see that every cloud has a silver lining, and I can say from experience that when you find it, you know it was all worth it in the end.
If you find it difficult to cope, always remember there are people around you, and that you can reach out to for support. Headspace and beyondblue can help with advice and support via telephone and email. You’re strong and will get through this!