When a relationship ends, how do you feel? Do you have trouble sleeping, lose interest in everything, or just feel lousy? There’s a very good reason why breakups are so difficult for us—human beings are built for attachment. We might be independent, adult women, but we never outgrow that basic need for connecting with other people.
Everyone handles these losses in different ways. Perhaps you reach for the chocolate chip ice cream or go out for cocktails to drown your sorrows. Maybe you can’t let go and beg your ex to come back to you. Or perhaps you feel angry with men or hopeless about ever finding love again. Big losses can bring out the worst in us, so here are some suggestions for coping with a painful breakup:
1- Be kind to yourself. This might be one of the hardest times in your life, so cut yourself some slack. Take good care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise. Keep alcohol to a minimum. You’ve got enough to deal with. You don’t need to create new problems that might make your situation worse.
2- Grieve. Many people have trouble facing their feelings of heartbreak, sadness, loneliness, or anger. If you’re having trouble dealing with these feelings, you may need some emotional support. Whether that is therapy, a support group, or a friend’s shoulder to cry on, get some help. If you don’t face your grief now, it will likely sneak up on you later.
3- Cut the ties. It’s harder to get over your ex when you’re in contact. Stop seeing him or talking to him as soon as possible. The more contact you have, the more attached you will be. This won’t be easy, but it will make things better for you in the long run.
4- Don’t isolate yourself. The last thing you need right now is to be alone and lonely. It’s time to see the people who care about you the most. Make time for your friends and family, and don’t forget about your sisters who can support you. See sisterhood.
5- Watch out for depression and anxiety. Maybe your sleep problems have lasted for awhile and aren’t getting better. You might be having trouble concentrating or difficulties with your memory. If you feel down or have fatigue almost every day, you might have some depression complicating your feelings of grief. It’s important to get the help you need rather than assuming you’re just getting over your ex. Getting help is not a failure—it’s a sign of strength to recognize that you may need help and to ask for it. Read more about finding a therapist here. If you think about hurting yourself, do not delay. Go to the nearest emergency room.
6- Know that this breakup opens the door to a more lasting relationship. Embrace the opportunity to learn from this breakup. Find out what you need to know to help you make your next relationship more successful.
This can be a very difficult time. Remember you are not alone. Almost everyone has experienced a bad breakup or a big loss. Take comfort in sisterhood. Together, you can get past this. When you are ready to try again, focus on being your own Brand of Sexy. That will help you find the fulfilling relationship you deserve. Join the revolution.