5 Ideas for Recovering from a Long-Term Breakup

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5 Ideas for Recovering from a Long-Term Breakup
Breakups from long-term relationships can drain you, but there are ways to break out.

Breaking up with someone after years of dating can be one of the most painful experiences a person endures. With long-term relationships there is always thought to the future. Maybe this is the one. When that relationship ends, it feels like the entire world comes crashing down. Everything you once believed is now false. And on top of that, you have to start all over with someone else. That is, if the experience didn't scare you off from dating forever.

The good news is that time does heal all wounds, as the old saying goes. The even better news is that you can accelerate that recovery timeline by immersing yourself in activities and people that take your mind off your ex and put it on the path forward. Here are five ideas for putting the pedal to the metal on your road to recovery.

1. Make it a friends weekend

Nights out with the guys or gals can be a nice way to relieve some stress, but nights always end too early. And once you go home there are plenty of reminders of your ex -- and you might see even more of them after a few drinks. Still, nights out are a good way to get your mind off things for a little while. What's better is making an entire weekend out of if.

This requires plenty of planning, especially if you're well out of college and have -- gasp -- actual responsibilities. But most people can get off work for long weekends, so take advantage and plan something where you and your friends can go nuts and get your mind completely off your ex. Maybe you'll still see those reminders when you get home, but you'll have memories of an unforgettable weekend to help you tune them out.

2. Start something artistic

Many people claim they don't have any artistic talent, when what they really mean is that they haven't tried pursuing any artistic goals. The truth is that we all have artistic capabilities. We just haven't tapped them. The period following a breakup might be the best time to test your mettle. Even better: if you've already pursued artistic goals, you can refocus your efforts and really dig in.

Creating art forces us to concentrate deeply. No one wrote a story while multitasking. The further you get in your project, the deeper the focus. Soon enough you'll find yourself waist deep in it. Your thoughts will randomly turn to your project -- meaning away from your ex. And at the end you'll have something tangible to show for your efforts. Let it be symbolic of your moving on.

And remember: even if you don't think you have any talent, that's no excuse to not give an effort. Everyone can read and write the English language. It might take a while to learn the craft, but you already possess the tools to write.

3. Improve your home

This is something I personally did to get over a breakup from a two-year relationship. Every time I came home I'd see reminders of my ex. Yet I didn't want to just chuck them. They were part of my house's decor, part of its ambiance. What I needed was a project to repurpose those little trinkets. What better way than to undertake a full-blown home improvement project. Just like an artistic project, a home improvement project requires focus and concentration, which are the best cures for an ailing heart.

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