Aw, breakups, there is just something about them that makes you want to dance around in front of the mirror singing the lyrics to “I Will Survive.” But, the truth is, breaking up, especially if it involves a divorce or a long-term relationship, is one of life’s biggest stresses. It is such a big stress that it can lead to making unwise decisions: we rebound into a loveless relationship or we begin drinking too much beer (or worse, we begin drinking Natural Light); we take up smoking or we start sleeping around; we lay in bed for most of the day or we buy all the Ben and Jerry’s in a three-state radius. In other words, we try to cope any which way we can.
All of the above coping methods, however, have an expiration date: at best, they lead you to a dead end of happiness; at worst, they affect other aspects of your life, such as work (or, your break up leads you to break bad and you suddenly find yourself making meth out of your RV).
There has to be an alternative: there has to be a different way of coping. Luckily, there is.
So, before you risk a permanent brain freeze brought on by ice cream addiction, try the following:
Write About It: Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh the cliché-ness of it all!” But, writing your thoughts down can help you feel, which can ultimately allow you to heal. Writing things down can also help you look at yourself and your breakup in a more objective manner. This is particularly true if you write your thoughts down and don’t read them until a few days later.
Keep Yourself UnBusy: The good thing about trying to stay busy is that there is always stuff to do. You can throw yourself into your work, you can learn how to cook, you can practice the ukulele, or, if you’re a home owner, you can fix one of the five hundred repairs pretty much every house in the world needs. And all of that just distracts you from the main point. That your heart is hemorrhaging your very life.
Spend time with it. Don't take up a hobby, but you can...
Find a Passion: One of the great things about breakups is that it gives you access to a depth of passion you haven't likely felt in years. You don't want to hide from it (behind beer, hobbies, or "keeping yourself busy") but you CAN redirect it into something you love.
Rely On Your Support System: Family, friends, coworker, neighbors – whomever is in your support system, start relying on them. Rely on them to talk, to cry to, or to go out to happy hour and kick back and relax. A strong support system is extremely important when it comes to surviving a breakup, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. After all, Dionne Warwick was right: that is what friends are for.
Maintain a Positive Outlook About Love: Maintaining a positive outlook about love after a breakup can seem on par with being asked to like crocodiles after one bites off your right hand, salts it, and eats it for dinner. But, the truth is, breaking up is like the cliche about shit: it happens. However, someone who continues to believe in the happily ever after will be much more likely to find it than a person who writes off every potential relationship as a disaster just waiting to happen. Keeping a positive outlook can actually help you in a few ways. It may lead you to take chances, meet new people, and perhaps find someone new.
But, it may also give you the positivity you need to win your ex back. Of course, a positive outlook isn’t all that is required in this reconciliation recipe: you also need to be willing to work on yourself, fix the issues that caused the breakup, and strive to figure out how to win your ex back without them having to instruct you.
To learn more about surviving a break up, click here.