The end of a relationship marks the beginning of an immensely challenging period in a person’s life. It takes a great deal of patience and hard work to go through the healing process after you become single again. Many struggle to figure out how to feel better after a breakup because the world as they knew it has changed. Who couldn’t use a nudge in the right direction during such a time?
We’re here to address the subject in conversation with emotional wellness and mindfulness coach Pooja Priyamvada (certified in Psychological and Mental Health First Aid from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Sydney), who specializes in counseling for extramarital affairs, breakups, separation, grief, and loss, to name a few.
It is important to note that you can heal from a breakup when you still love your partner and even when you feel sad about it. And that’s exactly what we will do together – prioritize your well-being despite the current reality. With a little help and guidance, you will be equipped with the right tools to handle the separation and embark on your healing journey. We know it’s a difficult road to walk and we’re here for you every step of the way.
How Long Does It Take To Feel Better After A Breakup?
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This is a very common question and everyone wants an expiry date for their pain. And yes, while time heals all wounds, you need a little extra care at this time. But are things really that simple? Pooja says, “At its core, a separation is an experience of loss that results in grief. Grief and personal growth have no fixed timeline. There’s no uniform way of dealing with it; some people get over a breakup quickly while others take months and years.
“Hence, the answer is very subjective and differs with each case. You cannot predict when and what will make you feel better. But you will know there’s a problem at hand when these negative feelings begin affecting the other areas of your life adversely. That would mean you’re experiencing prolonged grief, and that calls for professional help where someone else needs to intervene.”
While there’s no way of knowing when you’ll start feeling positive emotions again, there are 7 ways of working toward emotional stability. You must not fall short from your end. Put in the work required and there are bound to be positive results. The most important tool in your arsenal will be an optimistic mindset. Be convinced of the fact that all will unfold for the best and there will be a time when you will feel better about yourself after a breakup.
As renowned entrepreneur Malcolm S. Forbes once said, “When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad, they have to get better.” Without further ado, let’s look at how to feel better after a breakup in 7 simple ways…
How To Feel Better After A Breakup – 7 Expert Ways
Let’s begin by acknowledging the sheer awfulness of breakups. The self-pity and the difficult feelings that follow. There’s no denying their ability to turn our lives upside down. They exhaust our emotional and physical resources completely and leave us in a state of utter despair. Going through a breakup is no joke. And then there’s the common woe – how can you heal from a breakup when you still love them? We’re going to address all this (and more) with these 7 strategies to make this entire experience more bearable.
Keeping an open mind is the best thing you can do when you’re trying to cope with post-breakup depression. Feel free to customize these tips as per your circumstances or state of mind. There’s no one-size-fits-all method for healing. Take it one day at a time and keep these few things on your mind. Here’s how to feel better after a breakup, as recommended by our expert:
1. Accept and grieve
Pooja explains, “Grieving is extremely important when a relationship ends, more so when it ends badly or without closure. You have to be cognizant of your partner’s role in your life and now of their absence. Post-breakup issues crop up when people are unable to accept the reality of their situation. Do all the things you must to mourn the loss and do not suppress your emotions. Let them out of your system properly.” Go through the 7 stages of grief after your breakup, instead of playing the blame game.
- Acknowledge and accept: The first step of healing is the acceptance of grief. Several people grapple with coming to terms with the breakup; they cannot believe how or why it happened. Stop fixating on your ex’s faults and stop blaming them or yourself for what happened
- Do not be in denial: Overcoming denial and embracing the separation is the wisest thing you can do if you are serious about wanting a fresh start and a clean break. This will release a steady onslaught of uncomfortable emotions. But ripping the band-aid is important and so is putting your mind in a good place
For instance, let’s look at this Reddit user, who notes the importance of simply letting the pain take its course. They said, “Just let it hurt. Coping versus healing are two very different things so while distracting yourself is temporarily relieving, it won’t help you heal. You have to embrace where you are, which is in incredible pain and honestly, just let it hurt. There’s only one way to get through a breakup and that’s to move straight through it – the pain. It’s hard but allowing yourself to hurt will be one of the most liberating things you can do for yourself. Stay strong!”
A romantic partner plays multiple parts in your life (friend, companion, traveler, etc.) and their absence is felt all at once in too many spaces. It’s only natural to feel empty, sad, frustrated, or angry. Give voice to those emotions and get comfortable in the knowledge of this emotional mess. You’ve lost a person and it’s painful. Take some time but do deal with your feelings
Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself After Breakup
2. Don’t contact your ex
This is a temptation we are all far too familiar with and it’s one way to ruin your healing journey. The urge to send a text at midnight, asking them to get back together or phone calls in moments of vulnerability. And oh yes, stalking their social media accounts is a whole thing on its own too. But ultimately, these actions are damaging for both parties involved. You run the risk of slipping into an on-again-off-again relationship cycle, which will only make you feel worse. Can you figure out how to feel better after a breakup when they’re right there on your WhatsApp chat list?
Pooja gives some much-needed perspective, “No contact is the advice I give to everyone in the breakup recovery period. One must use the power of silence after breaking up. After the emotions have been processed properly, exes can be friends or colleagues eventually. But in the initial days, it’s a very poor choice and the better way is to simply cut them out. Seeing your ex’s social media feed or their new partner can be a major trigger. You should save yourself the stress and anxiety and maintain distance. Staying friends will do you no good.”
Do yourself a favor and block your ex on all platforms. Delete your ex’s number too. Putting some space between you two is essential. This will allow you to get a clearer picture of the relationship and its end even though you may feel bad for a while. There’s no scope for objectivity when your ex is still in your virtual environment. Watching new people on their profile will only make you feel jealous and miss them more.
3. Surround yourself with loved ones
Socializing is an integral step when you want to make yourself feel better after a breakup. Your closest friends and family members can truly lift you out of this mess and are your support group at this hour. But you don’t have to throw yourself at brunches forcefully. Pooja says, “The process of socialization varies from person to person. While some people might thrive in the company of good friends, others might need solitude and time alone to process their emotions.
“Needless to say, too much isolation can pull anyone into a dark and depressive space. So, be around others at your own pace but try to plan some fun activities with other people in your free time. Maybe even travel to a new city with your best friend.” Nobody feels like being in a big group when they’re trying to keep it together. But your friend or family members are the biggest support system that you can count on. Let them be there for you and it will definitely make you feel great. You don’t need a dating expert, you just need a trusted friend. (You know you would help a friend through a breakup if the roles were reversed.)
A Reddit user shared how their friends helped them cope with their breakup. They said, “I spent LOTS of time with family and friends, who were very supportive. Talked to them which helped process my feelings and thoughts. Put myself out there (not as in dating, that came like a year later) and met strangers that became friends. Pursued stuff/a new hobby that I enjoyed before the breakup and found new ones. Things that you feel you excel at can help boost your self-esteem as well. Spontaneously went on drives and other activities with friends, even if I didn’t want to initially. Just saying yes to things (within reason of course). “
Related Reading: 6 Relationship Problems Millennials Bring Up The Most In Therapy
4. Establish a routine
Want a quick fix to feel better? Then take this one seriously. When you’re feeling at least a little emotionally sorted, start getting your life back in order one step at a time. Clean the apartment thoroughly, open the windows to let fresh air in, start eating healthy food, go to work on time, get some exercise, and so on. Plan your days and introduce productivity to them. Leave a little room for indulgence and the things that make you happy instead of reading break-up quotes all day to sit in your feelings or deal with physical reminders of your ex. It is time to change things up.
- Do new things: For instance, go to your favorite patisserie and have some dessert. Do anything besides wallowing in misery on your couch. Put yourself back in the real world and give it your whole soul
- Focus on bettering yourself and your life each day: It doesn’t always take drastic changes to feel better. The energy you directed toward the relationship should be channeled toward your professional and personal advancement. Getting back to the grind can make someone feel better after a breakup. Even if it means going to that yoga class more regularly or to eat regular meals again
- Workout: A running high will help you a long way to deal with this crisis in your life. Join a gym or a runner’s club or just go for a walk after dinner. Release endorphins and make that a general rule to transform your mood
Pooja wisely reminds us, “Heartbreaks are like fractures, almost everyone goes through them at some point in time. Treat yours like any other setback and don’t take it too personally. Your relationship ended but you have not.” Keep these words in mind when you find yourself missing your ex again.
5. Seek professional help
Independence and self-sufficiency are stellar qualities to possess. But how to feel better after a breakup when you’re not okay by yourself? As you battle constantly thinking of your ex, consider reaching out to a mental health expert who can help you embark on the path to recovery. None of us have the faculty of identifying our emotional baggage or unresolved issues. But a clinical psychologist can walk you through it.
Pooja explains, “People must seek guidance from therapists, counselors, clinical psychologists, and life coaches according to their needs. A traumatic breakup can truly shatter you and you might need additional support to get over it, or any breakup depression you might be going through.” If you’re considering seeking help, skilled and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel of experts are here for you.
They can help you assess your situation better and provide you with the right means to make yourself feel better after a breakup. Be kind to yourself throughout this journey. No one expects you to be back on your feet overnight.
6. Be open to novel experiences
Feeling empty after a breakup? Your openness to new experiences can make you deal with your broken heart better. This is essential if you want to improve yourself after a breakup. Here’s how you can do that:
- Staying occupied: Going about your normal life can become more interesting as dabbling in novel hobbies and pursuits can be a good way to keep yourself occupied and build back that self-confidence. Pooja says, “Engaging in new things will either feel productive or draining after a breakup. Give it a go and see if it is compatible with your state of mind. Try going to places you have never been to before.”
- Create a bucket list: Is there something you’ve been meaning to do for a while? A language you’ve been wanting to learn? Undertake your own Eat, Pray, Love journey and step out of your comfort zone to deal with the hard time you are having and get over a breakup in a healthy way
- Steer out of your comfort zone: Haven’t read in a while? Find a good book and go spend the afternoon in the park near your place. Lost touch with a old friend? Catch up with them and find out what’s new in their life. Do things you would not normally try in your routine no matter how small and simple
- Self-awareness: Self-awareness is a great way to be able to live your life without your ex. Once you start exploring things and work on making new memories, you’ll learn more about your likes and dislikes. Get to know yourself all over again by expanding your horizons. Your future relationships will thank you for this
7. Love yourself
Pooja explains, “The first step to healing after a breakup is self-care – identifying what you need at the moment. And the second step is appreciating yourself. Start making decisions that are conducive to both of these. Focus on what works for you and propels you forward. Your compass should be centered on yourself.” Cultivating habits of self-love will make someone feel better after a breakup immensely.
Ricky, a nail technician I met once told me about how focussing on herself, helped her move on from her ex so much faster. “I felt relieved after breaking up with my ex as I finally had more time for myself. Yes, breakups suck but they are a great reminder for you to work on yourself instead. I went for a solo adventure right after my breakup that helped me value myself more, and moving on from my ex became so much easier,” she said.
Related Reading: Does My EX Still Love Me? Quiz
A relationship often requires us to put our partner’s needs first. It will be a refreshing change to solely think of yourself. So instead of quickly jumping into a new relationship, try spending time with yourself. Practice mindfulness through affirmations, meditation, yoga, or journaling. Arrive at a place of self-contentment where you can think about the relationship without anger or resentment. Surround yourself with supportive people who love you. Exercise gratitude for the numerous blessings in your life. This is precisely how to feel better after a breakup, instead of simply jumping into the next relationship or constantly planning future dates.
Did these suggestions resonate with you? We hope they help you through these exacting times and that you are not still thinking of getting back together with them. Concentrate on yourself and remember, only good things are in store for you. It’s time to find closure and focus on what is good for you in the long run. These difficult times won’t last long. Bonobology has complete faith in you… Keep coming back to us for more on love, relationships, and well, to help you get through any other kind of tough time you may be going through!
You should initially give them the space to grieve the relationship. After some time has lapsed, encourage them to socialize more often and step out of the house. If they are experiencing prolonged grief, help them seek professional guidance. And finally, establishing a routine can make someone feel better after a breakup.
Yes, people heal at different paces. Many individuals move on quickly after a breakup, especially if they were the ones who initiated it. If the relationship was not working for you or contributing to your life significantly, then you’ll be okay after the separation.