Feeling Yourself: Some Notes On Self Care Post Break Up
Break ups…are, in a word, rough. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, exiting relationships can leave you emotionally feeling as though a truck hit you. In the aftermath of a break up, it may be really hard to do even what used to be normal and routine things, like getting out of bed and getting dressed. And the thought of being happy?
That seems like an insurmountable task. Even for those of us who are break up veterans so to speak, hardly anyone simply sails through the first few weeks after a break up feeling energetic, stable, and completely fine. So, what are you supposed to do to make whatever post break up hell you are in go away?
Stop trying to pretend like everything is okay. It’s okay to be upset. You need to let those feelings come when they come and just allow yourself to experience them. Yes, it’s not fun laying in bed crying your eyes out. But, it’s even worse trying to hold back your tears and force yourself to pretend like you aren’t feeling what you’re feeling. Give yourself room to grieve. But at the same time keep in mind that you’re closing a chapter in your life…which inevitably means that you’re already on your way to a new beginning.
Attend to your immediate needs. Sometimes when we’re feeling really upset it is difficult to think about or be able to give your body the basic care and attention it needs. Make conscious mental notes to yourself to remember to drink water, eat regular meals, and get enough sleep.
Or, if you find yourself sleeping through the day in an effort to avoid your emotions, make sure you at least get up and out of the house at least once. Take a short walk, if you’re feeling extra energetic try going to a yoga class. Physical activity will help you take your mind off of everything you’re feeling, and allow you some much needed release.
Make plans, and have your friends hold you accountable. Once you’ve gotten through the initial stage of the break up, start making plans with your friends. These can be small outings like going to coffee or grabbing lunch, but have your friends hold you accountable and try not to flake out on them.
Even if you feel like complete sh*t and are having trouble mustering up any f*cks to give, make an effort to socialize. You won’t feel happy automatically, but it is still important to see other humans during this time, and it also gives your friends a chance to check in on you and see how you’re doing.
Be kind to yourself. Don’t overanalyze the last weeks, days, or moments of your now former relationship. Don’t stalk your ex constantly, or try and text them incessantly. Sure, you can keep the possibilities of being friends with them open for the future, but for now, take some space for yourself from them to allow yourself to heal.
Don’t reopen your wounds by constantly checking up on them, on the internet or in real life.Of course, this is a difficult task, and completely severing ties from your ex to give yourself space might take a little time, initially. But don’t drag it out. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you no longer think of this person as a romantic prospect whatsoever, and when you no longer feel any pain at the thought of them being with someone else, then maybe, you can consider being friends with them. Until then, let time do its magic and allow yourself to recover.
Being alone after a break up can be really hard, but if you rely on a support system of friends, family, and yourself to care for you in the aftermath, it doesn’t have to be so excruciating. At the end of the day, the most important person in your life is yourself, and luckily, you always have you, no matter what happens with anyone else.