Breakups are often a difficult experience to endure. The benefit is that they can inspire a tremendous amount of personal growth; however, the downside is that breakups are often emotionally taxing and can force you to make abrupt changes in your life. While it may seem like the negative emotions you feel after breaking up with a boyfriend of two years will last forever, they won't -- and in time, you'll find another, worthwhile partner.
1. Allow Yourself to Grieve
You may experience multiple losses with a breakup in addition to the lost companionship, and grief is a natural reaction to any loss, notes HelpGuide.org. The losses may include any future plans you made with your boyfriend and kids in mind, or any financial, emotional or social support he may have provided. Healthy ways to deal with grief include accepting any difficult emotions you feel, including anger, jealousy or fear of being alone. Realize that negative feelings are only temporary and focus on reaching your personal goals and objectives.
2. Get Support
When going through difficult times, it’s important to have friends, family members and other trusted people in your network to lean on for emotional support. Your support network can help you entertain positive thoughts when you become overly upset about your breakup, or irrationally pessimistic about any future relationships. They may even take the kids off of your hands for the weekend so you can engage in some self-care practices. One of the most important times to call on your friends or family for emotional support is when you really don’t want to, but would rather isolate and ruminate in negative thinking. Your support network can act as a buffer against you plummeting to intensely dismal thoughts about your breakup and your future, and can help you get back to the business of living and enjoying your life.
3. Focus on Yourself
It’s helpful -- not to mention productive -- to divert your attention away from your breakup with your boyfriend toward bettering yourself. For example, take up a hobby to get your mind off of your ex. Join that dance class you’ve been meaning to join but couldn’t find the time to do so. Returning to the idea of self-care, focus on eating well, exercising and doing other relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation to keep you physically, mentally and emotionally balanced. Take yourself out, too, to the movies, shopping or on a calming walk along a beautiful, wooded trail. Focus on making yourself happy to enhance your mood and to be in a healthy mood for your kids.
4. Give Yourself Time to Heal
Even after spending time processing feelings with friends and family and taking extra measures to care for yourself, you may still find yourself in an unhappy space. Don’t beat yourself up for continuing to think about your breakup or for experiencing negative or painful feelings after several months. You may not be able to stop the influx of thoughts about your ex and your previous relationship, but you are totally in control of how you respond to these feelings. Be kind to yourself and say, “It’s OK. I’m still healing, and I’ll move past this soon enough.” Engage in healthy, distracting activities when thoughts of your ex arise, such as calling a friend to chat, taking a long walk or doing a crossword puzzle. If you find that your emotions are still too overwhelming several months after the breakup, contact a mental health professional to further assist you in processing your challenging thoughts and emotions.
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