Breakups are devastating. The breaking of a bond with a partner feels like a part of you being ripped apart. That’s why a lot of us are left feeling empty after a breakup. The heartache, the pain, the sense of loss, the mourning – all stem from the void created by the absence of the person you once shared such an intimate connection with.
When someone says, “It feels like I will never get over my breakup”, it’s usually a sign that they’re struggling to understand how to stop feeling numb and empty after a breakup. The process of moving on from this dark place can seem hard, complicated and often long-drawn. When, in fact, small but consistent steps in the right direction is what it takes to heal and get past the post-breakup loneliness stage.
Psychologist Juhi Pandey (M.A, psychology), who specializes in dating, premarital and breakup counseling, shares some actionable advice on how to stop feeling empty after a breakup.
How To Cope With Feeling Empty After Breakup – Expert Advice
It can be really difficult and may seem completely impossible to get rid of the empty feeling after a breakup. After all, there was a time when this person meant the world to you and now they’ve completely vanished from your life. Everything seems to remind you of them.
You may feel completely broken and even lose hope of ever recovering from this heartbreak. ‘I feel like I will be single and lonely forever’ – thoughts like these can dominate your headspace. In such moments, it may seem impossible to stop feeling empty after a breakup.
Dealing with this emptiness and loneliness is possible. Once you understand how to deal with it, you’ll realize it’s not as insurmountable a challenge as it seems to be. In a nutshell, utilizing your time well and staying productive is the secret to get rid of the empty feeling after a breakup.
Predictably, your mental health after a breakup isn’t really at its best. That in itself goes to show the severe impact breakups can have on people, leaving them with a sort of empty feeling in the chest after a breakup. While some pain and hurt is expected, if someone you know or you yourself are saying things like “I feel empty inside after a breakup”, it’s a cause for concern.
Parting ways with a loved one hurts everybody involved. But to let yourself be in a perpetual state of self-pity and despair will end up making your mental health worse by the day. Moving on can be a profound experience, filled with self-discovery and healing. By the end of it, you’ll come out a better person, with a much better understanding of yourself.
How do you cope with the empty feeling in your chest after a breakup? Let me share some ways you can cope up with such a difficult phase of emptiness in your life:
Related Reading: What To Do After A Breakup: Post Breakup Feelings
1. Give yourself a break
The main reason behind feeling empty after a breakup is that everything around you reminds you of your ex. A part of your life has gone missing, and wherever you turn, there are reminders of that fact. That coffee mug they used to drink coffee from whenever they were at your place. That perfume they used to love on you. That flower vase you bought to keep the flowers they got you, now sitting empty. That coffee cart outside your office where they’d wait for you after work. The list can be endless. Understandably, the thought ‘life feels empty after breakup’ might grip you in moments like these.
That’s why it’s a good idea to take a break from your routine and get a change of scene. Going on a vacation helps immensely if you’re feeling numb and empty after a breakup. Besides, this break can help you separate your life before and after the breakup, helping you prepare to turn a new leaf.
2. Work on your routine
Trying to take your mind off the breakup is easier said than done, especially if you continue to wallow and be consumed by inaction. Of course, you need to take the time to grieve your loss, but it is also equally important to stop and plan ahead. So, shake off the inertia and try channelizing your energy elsewhere. Build a new routine, with adequate room for exercising. Losing appetite after a breakup is also common, and being up and about will help you on that front too.
If you’re struggling with negative or pensive thoughts, try yoga and meditation. Instead of focusing outside, yoga and meditation help you focus within and connect with yourself. Now that you have more free time on your hands, it’s vital you fill it with productive things, not harmful coping mechanisms.
If you feel dead after a breakup, do things that make you feel alive. Grieving for a while is okay, but after a while, it gets extremely damaging to both your mental health and confidence. Occupy your time with productive activities that give you joy and take your mind off the breakup. Meet friends, practice mindfulness, meet a few friends
Related Reading: 9 Expert Tips To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself After Breakup
3. Connect with people around you
More than a year after her breakup, Amy was still grappling with a sense of emptiness in her life. Even though she was trying to get on with her life, her moments alone were consumed with feeling regret after a breakup. “I feel like I will be single and lonely forever,” she confessed to her best friend over lunch. Her best friend, Maria, had no idea Amy had been feeling this way all along.
She made it a point to reach out and check in more often. Amy started to open up, little by little. Vocalizing all that she had been holding inside felt cathartic, and Amy took her first step toward breaking free from feeling empty after a breakup.
Studies have shown that having someone to talk to helps a person deal with stress and can make coping with feelings of loneliness comparatively easier. Even if you don’t have an extremely close friend like Maria, the people around who are willing to help you won’t have a problem listening to you about how hard the breakup is.
The empty feeling in chest after breakup can be dealt with if you’re willing to share what you’re going through with your friends. Do not shy away from leaning on your close ones for support and sharing your state of mind with them.
4. Spend time with pets and children
Pets and children can be a great stress-buster. To get rid of the empty feeling after a breakup, make time to hang out with the children around you – nephews, nieces, or friends’ kids. You can set up playdates for yourself, or if you’re feeling up for it, offer to babysit them for a couple of hours over the weekend.
Likewise, if you’re an animal lover, consider getting a pet. In case your lifestyle doesn’t allow for it, offer to pet sit for friends, family or coworkers. You could even consider volunteering at an animal shelter. Your mental health after breakup will not be too great, but once a blissfully happy dog comes running to you, you’ll forget all about what’s making you sad.
The pure and unconditional love of children and animals can be a real balm on your broken heart and spirit. The sense of gratification from showering them with all your love will help you stop feeling empty after a breakup.
5. Develop a hobby
This may sound clichéd but it is an effective way to counter feeling empty after a breakup. Engaging in something that you love and are passionate about can become a source of joy and fulfillment. It can give you a renewed sense of purpose in life.
If you have a hobby, then try dedicating more time to cultivating it further. If you don’t, explore and see what it is you love to do. It could be anything that gives you happiness – from cooking to making some reels for social media, video games, sports, outdoor adventures. If you’re moving on without closure, developing hobbies can help.
A hobby can be a great way to refine your personality, be more productive and creative and improve your mental and physical wellbeing. If you’re caught thinking “I feel empty inside after a breakup”, a hobby will do you much good. All you need is something to get excited about, and you’ll be feeling a lot better. Just make sure it’s something that’s healthy for you, drinking wine is not a hobby.
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6. Be up and about
Just like pursuing a hobby, being up and about can actually help fill up that void after a breakup. Believe it or not, shopping, outings with friends and going to the movies are all great stress busters that can help elevate your mood. If you want to stop feeling numb and empty after a breakup, taking your mind off that reality is important. Indulging in some fun, light-hearted moments allows for just that to happen.
It’s easy to let yourself feel down and feel dead after a breakup. Try to avoid that by going out, even going a couple of hours without thinking about your ex or the breakup or feeling that constant knot in your stomach can feel like a giant relief, especially in those early days after the split. This is essential to get over a breakup.
7. Upgrade yourself
Feeling empty after a breakup is a manifestation of missing an important part of life as you knew it and had become accustomed to. Creating a new version of yourself and your life is the best remedy to move on from it.
That’s why the post-breakup phase is the right time to enroll for new courses or take exams that help you inch closer to your professional goals. Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone of not wanting to do anything and work toward trying your hand at everything you’ve been meaning to do.
Related Reading: You don’t miss your ex, you just miss being in love
8. Embrace your loneliness
When you’re fresh out of a relationship, loneliness can seem all-consuming. From losing appetite after a breakup to not wanting to get out of bed, spending sleepless nights pining for your ex or crying yourself to sleep every night – these are all an outcome of the loneliness you’re reeling under.
To cope better, you need to change your perspective. Instead of fighting your loneliness or wishing it away, embrace it. Sometimes what appears to be our enemy, turns out to be your best ally. Be real, and try to appreciate all this ‘me time’ that you can now use to do whatever your heart desires.
Coming to terms with your loneliness is also important to steer clear of rebound relationships just for the sake of filling the void created by the absence of a partner with a new one.
9. Seek professional help
With a breakup, you’re taking an emotional hit. Your life feels empty after a breakup, and you don’t know how to get over it. Besides feeling empty and numb, you may also feel extremely vulnerable and lost for direction. Reaching out to a skilled professional like a counselor or psychologist can equip you with the right coping mechanism to deal with this blow, process it the right way and begin the process of moving on. If you need help moving on after a breakup, our experts are only a click away.
Speaking from experience, I can say that you will get over feeling empty after a breakup if you allow yourself to. In fact, sometime down the line, you may look back at this phase and wonder why it was so difficult for you to get over something that seems pretty inconsequential now. Hearing ‘this too shall pass’ may be the last thing you want when you’re feeling numb and empty after a breakup but that’s the reality of life. Taking proactive steps to recover from this phase will help make the transition quicker, smoother and less painful.