Coping After a Breakup 

By Heather Matzkowitz, LMSW

Whether you have been in a relationship for six months or six years, ending things with someone is never easy. When a relationship with someone you care about falls apart it can often feel like everything else in your life is falling apart with it.  Going from ‘we’ to ‘me’ is not an easy thing to do, and can make us feel lost, confused, and nervous about the future. Although what you are feeling in the moment can seem never ending, I can promise that you will start feeling better with time.

Here are some tips that might help you feel better during this difficult time: 

Invest in your wellbeing.
Take it easy and be kind to yourself. Now is the time to starting exercising more, eating healthier, join a group you have always been interested in, and start a book you have been meaning to read. By doing things that make you feel good, you can help break out of the emotional funk that may occur after the ending of a relationship.

Journal or go talk to someone. 
Writing out your thoughts and feelings is a powerful tool that can be incredibly cathartic. Many people will often try and avoid the array of emotions they are experiencing after a breakup by engaging in distracting activities. While using techniques to distract yourself can be beneficial, it is also important not to suppress the unpleasant emotions you are feeling. Try to let yourself feel the emotions that you are experiencing without judging them. Write out your thoughts and feelings in a journal and/or go speak with a therapist.

Remind yourself of why the relationship didn't work. 
When we are dealing with the aftermath of a breakup it is difficult for us to think about the reasons the relationship didn't work. This is especially true if we are the ones who were broken up with. Rejection is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with and when someone does not want to be with us we can find ourselves obsessing about the relationship and what we feel we might have done wrong. It’s important to remind yourself of the reasons of all the reasons why the relationship didn't work. Write out a list of all the negatives about the relationship and keep it with you at all times, at least for the first couple of weeks. Read through this list several times throughout the day when you need a reminder.

Build new relationship, or re-build old ones. 
Sometimes our friendships are put on the back burner when we are in relationships. Not intentionally, of course, but simply because that is how things work out sometimes. You invest so much of your time in your significant other that you forget to nurture the other relationships in your life. Now is the time to re-nurture those relationships. Call your friends and go do something fun. Or perhaps try out a new activity that you have had your eye on and meet new friends. This is the time in your life to explore and meet new people, without having to worry about anyone holding you back from doing so. 

Stick to a routine
Going through a breakup can make us feel like we have been set off balance. Setting a routine for yourself can help you regain a sense of control. Simple things such as setting the alarm for the same time each morning or going for a run every day after work can help you feel better and become more aligned.

Like most things in life the pain from a breakup will get better with time. It’s important during this difficult time to  listen to what your mind and body needs.

Heather Matzkowitz is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy.  If you are looking for support in coping with a breakup, visit cobbpsychotherapy.com to see how therapy can help.