3 Ways To Heal After a Bad Breakup
There's an old song from the '60s that laments that "breaking up is hard to do". If you are going through a breakup, especially if it is a bad one, you know that this is true. Many psychologists say that breaking up from a relationship is a universal experience, but they also remind us that it can be a seriously traumatic one.
Even though it doesn't feel like it at the time, you will recover from your heartbreak. You will even move on to other relationships. But it will take time. There are many things you can do after a bad breakup to facilitate the healing process and move on from the experience.
Give Yourself Time To Grieve
When a relationship ends badly, you may have the impulse to say "good riddance" and attempt to move on with your life as if it never happened. You may even want to jump back into the dating game immediately. Although the time will come when you are ready to sign up with some matchmaking services, you need to take the time to grieve the loss of the relationship and give yourself permission to experience all of the feelings that this causes. Avoidance behaviors will leave emotional issues unresolved and unhealed.
If you can, take a couple of days away from other responsibilities and allow yourself to experience what you are feeling. Spend time with your strongest supporters who will allow you to rant or cry or throw things if you need to without judgment and without trying to make you feel better before you are ready. Breaking up brings up feelings about the relationship and your former partner, but it can also bring feelings about your self-worth. If the feelings are particularly intense, reaching out for help from a professional counselor can be very useful. They can guide you through the grief process and help you recover healthily.
See Things Clearly
It is common for people to move to one of two extremes after a breakup. You may place all the blame for the failure of the relationship on the other person, or you may take it all on yourself. Neither of these things is likely to be true. In order to process the breakup, you need to see it clearly.
A fixation of anger and blame on the other person can result in them remaining a focus in your life and can stall the healing process. It can also result in you feeling like a victim. Although you may have been wronged in the relationship, feelings of victimization can make you feel hopeless and powerless. Taking responsibility for your part of the breakup will remind you that you have the power to craft a better outcome for yourself in the future.
Laying all the blame on yourself is even more destructive. It can whittle away your self-worth. The worse you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to choose unhealthy relationships in the future. The fact is that building a relationship takes two people, and when one doesn't work out, it is inevitably due to mistakes made on both sides.
Take Care of Yourself
The emotional toll of a breakup can diminish your physical strength as well. Although you may want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head, it is very important that you practice self-care. Eat nourishing food whether you feel hungry or not. Keep a regular sleep schedule either allowing yourself to sleep for days on end or to stay awake through the night. If you have a fitness routine, try to stick with it; if you don't, this is a great time to start one. Treat yourself with kindness, especially if you feel you don't deserve it. Learning to love yourself will make you happier, healthier and will ensure that the next time you go into a relationship you'll be looking for someone who treats you as well as you treat yourself.
Breaking up is incredibly difficult and painful, but you can emerge from it better and stronger than you were before. Give yourself time, process the relationship honestly and treat yourself well.