If your breakup starter kit includes girl-powered anthems, ice cream, and wine, then you’re definitely on the right track. But I can tell you from experience that there is a right and wrong way to get over a relationship. Unfortunately, the most effective remedy for heartbreak (other than a really bad romantic comedy) is nothing other than time. There are, however, things you can do along the way to become even stronger at the end of the healing process.
Don’t: Resort to destructive behavior (drugs, binge-drinking, etc.), hook up with people out of spite, talk down to yourself, avoid your emotions, or shut yourself off from others.
All of the above might serve as Band-Aids in the moment, but you’ll probably end up feeling even worse when you look back. Whatever your vice is, ask yourself what’s motivating that kind of behavior. If you’re choosing to be reckless for the sake of easing the pain, consider more constructive alternatives.
Do: Stay off of social media, show yourself love and compassion, focus on doing things you love, discover a healthy outlet, and spend time with loved ones.
It may not seem like it now, but being single has its perks. As soon as you’re done crying it out like there’s no tomorrow – go ahead, it’s amazingly cathartic – make a list of everything you weren’t able to do when you were in a relationship. Guess what? Now you can! There’s no better feeling than reclaiming your personal freedom. Take advantage of this period to devote all the time and energy you once spent on a significant other on yourself. The more you focus on doing more of what brings you joy, the easier it will be to get over the breakup.
To help shape what exactly that is for you, try asking yourself these seven questions.
- What do you regret most from being in your past relationship?
- What’s something your single friends have that you’d love to have too?
- What do you wish you could do more and less of?
- What recent activity has made you feel exhilarated?
- If you didn’t have to work, what would you want to focus your time on?
- What about singledom excites you most?
- What’s something you want to cross off of your list this year?
Let your responses guide you through your newfound single life. How you choose to make the most of it is up to you!