The flood of sadness, loss and shock that comes with a bad break up can take a long time to fade. Even as you get on with your daily routine – going to work, seeing your friends, shopping and so on – that aching of pain deep down in your gut can remain.
As much as you try to keep a smile on your face, the stress you hide away will eventually start to shine through the cracks, potentially affecting your relationships with friends and family, your performance at work and your physical health.
Here are some ways to channel the pain of a bad break up:
1. Let it out, have a cry
After the person you love leaves you, or betrays your trust, you might feel like floods of tears are never far away. Spending all day holding them back can be exhausting and will prevent you from concentrating properly on what you’re supposed to be doing. You might think crying is a way of giving in and being weak, but sometimes it helps to just let it all out. If a dramatic break-down in the office isn’t your style, try instead reserving an evening alone to listen to sad music, pour over old photo albums and sob your heart out over your loss. Don’t be a martyr – it may seem self-indulgent, but a night of crying and mulling over your past will help you to get a handle on your emotions and prevent you from being a watery-eyed mess at work for too long.
2. Don’t be impulsive
The shock of betrayal can leave your body buzzing with an overload of stress hormones, making you extra flighty, impulsive and potentially aggressive. You might want to turn up at your ex-partner’s house and bang on the door demanding an apology; you might want to write a 2,000 word email listing all of the things you hated about being with them; you might want to tell all their Facebook friends just how much of a horrible person they are. But don’t.
Your blood may be boiling, you might be ready to flip at any second, but doing something angry and impulsive will inevitably lead to regret later on. Cool down before you have your stand-off. Turn off your phone, disconnect from the Internet and breathe. After the initial shock has worn off, you will be in a better state to act rationally.
3. Look after yourself
We all need that evening alone with the pint of ice cream and the stack of chick flicks, but if that evening extends into a month, then you might need to snap out of it. Finding yourself abandoned and alone can seriously knock your sense of independence, self-worth and confidence. Taking care of yourself at this difficult time will help you regain these. Make sure you eat a balanced diet to boost your energy, start an exercise regime and take time out for a regular pampering session at your local spa or, if money’s tight, get yourself some aromatherapy bath oil and a couple of candles.
Marriage, family and sex therapist Lisa Paz says: “You’re going to have good moments and bad moments, good days and bad days. It’s going to take time to recalibrate.”
If you are struggling to get back on track after a bad break up, discussing things with a life coach might help. To find out how, head over to our Relationships page now.
View and comment on the original iVillage article.