Break-ups can be devastating. It’s a rough transition from sharing every part of your life with someone, to picking up the phone and suddenly remembering you shouldn’t call them. The depression that comes after a break-up can feel so heavy and difficult that no one else can possibly understand what you are going through. But there are ways to cope with this feeling that don’t involve crying into a carton of ice cream. Here is a guide to coping with the depression after a break up.
1. Know this will take time. Especially if the relationship was long-term, this will be a difficult and probably a long process. Expect that, and give yourself as much time as you need to heal/recover.
2. Understand the emotions that you are feeling are normal and embrace them. Don’t beat yourself up – your feelings or anger/frustration and sadness are natural and normal.
Cry if you need to. Go ahead and cry, use a whole box of Kleenex and feel miserable for a while. It’s okay. You’re entitled. But eventually, you do need to pick yourself back up and move on. Life will go on, and believe it or not, so will you!
3. Hide everything that it is too difficult to see right now. Take everything that reminds you of your ex (pictures, letters, keepsakes) and put it all in a box. Then put the box someplace far away like high up in your closet. Don’t throw it away – you may regret it later. Just keep it stored someplace safe, but don’t keep re-reading and looking at it all right now and make yourself miserable. Just put it away for now and give yourself a break.
4. Try to keep a regular schedule as best as you can. It’s going to be hard at first, but you may have to force yourself to eat regular meals and sleep regularly. This too will take time, so be patient with yourself.
5. Try to get your mind off of it. Go out and do something you enjoy, like a hobby you have always loved, whether it’s biking or karate or drawing, playing guitar, etc. Make sure you are focusing on the activity and the joy that it brings you, thereby distracting yourself.
6. Enjoy spending time with the people who are still in your life. Spend lots of time with your friends and family during this time. They will be your support system as you deal with the aftermath of the break-up. Did you see some of these people much during the relationship? If the relationship was intense and long-term, chances are you have not seen some of your friends or maybe even family for months. Take time to spend quality time with them and do something fun.
Make sure your friends and family know what happened, and ask them to be a support system for you, to help you through this difficult time.
7. Accept the end of the relationship. Remember that the relationship happened for a reason, and nothing is ever wasted in life. Perhaps you learned a valuable lesson that you will be able to take with you into your next relationship and eventual marriage. Or perhaps you are only broken up for a short time and the relationship will be restored. Either way though, you must move on with your life.
1. Don’t call/text the other person – give them space! In that time, he/she may realize what they are missing and want to get back together. Either way, you don’t want to look desperate by constantly calling/texting. That will only drive them further away.
2. Expect that the other person may call/text you and want to get back together, perhaps out of loneliness, but ask yourself if this is really what you want, or if you are ready to experience a healthier or better relationship.
3. No matter what you think right now, you will find someone new – there are so many people out there, and who knows if your Mr. or Ms. Right is just waiting to be found. It doesn’t seem like it now, but there are many others out there whom you would be compatible with. Someday you will meet someone else who is exciting/fun/wonderful, and believe it or not – your memories of your ex will soon fade.
4. Expect that it will take you a long time before you are ready to date again. Don’t jump into a relationship with the first cute guy/girl you meet, or you’ll be rebounding – and that’s not healthy for you or the new person. Give yourself time to heal and process what happened in a healthy way.
5. Just because you are experiencing a break-up does not mean that you are a terrible person or that you did anything wrong (or that the other person is bad, either). You are just not right for each other.
6. Given enough time, consider that you can still be on friendly terms / be friends with your ex. However, this may take months or even years, and will probably only occur after both of you have really moved on.
7. Getting a food you like (ice cream, cookies, etc) sometimes helps (especially for the ladies) – just don’t overdo it and gain a lot of weight – it’s not worth it!