- Determine your triggers. Maybe you and your ex had a tradition of going to the same restaurant every Thanksgiving. Or you used to buy a Christmas tree at the same place. Or you’d light your Hanukkah candles together. If these kinds of events trigger negative emotions for you, switch things up, Orbuch said. Decorate your house differently, create new traditions and toss anything that reminds you of your ex, she said.
- Find a community. Hang out with friends and family, Orbuch said. Her other suggestions included joining a gym that offers group classes, going out with co-workers, or finding a class at your community college.
- Volunteer. “Put the focus on others and what you can do for them,” Orbuch said.
- Write an honest letter to your ex. “Putting your feelings on paper will help to defuse your emotions and reduce the likelihood of difficult memories popping up,” Orbuch said. Then put the letter away (don’t send it). “This exercise is for you.”
- Flip your thoughts. Remember that your thoughts are not facts. So try pinpointing and revising negative ruminations. For instance, you might revise, “I’m a loser and I feel unattractive. Who’s going to ask me out?” to “I finally have an opportunity to get to know myself and my own interests better,” Orbuch said.
- Focus on your interests. Engage in activities that make you happy and excited, Orbuch said. “Perhaps when you were in a relationship, you always wanted to learn golf, but never had the time. Or maybe you wanted to go on that literary tour of Dublin, but your partner wasn’t interested in the least,” she said.
- Appreciate your loved ones. The holidays are a time to express your love for all the special people in your life. “Rejoice and appreciate the other important people who make you happy,” Orbuch said.
You still might feel raw after your breakup. But while healing takes time, it will happen. Practice self-compassion, seek out new adventures and appreciate what you do have in your life.