Taylor Swift and Gigi Hadid both experienced recent relationship status changes, which prompted me to think about self-care after relationships end. What are some great ideas to help you get past your breakup and how to feel better quickly? As a marriage and family therapist, I have some tried-and-true tips that will get you on the road to healing a little more quickly. Just remember that you have to feel your emotions to get through any difficult experience.
Losing a partner, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend can be difficult no matter how much time was spent in the relationship. While it would seem that a longer relationship would be more difficult to get over, I believe the amount of time is not necessarily an indicator of a more difficult or longer healing process. If someone can identify and manage the negative feelings after a breakup, then the time spent in the relationship will have less impact whether it was months or years.
1. Have a great support system
A support system does not have to mean going out on the town with your girlfriends or partying with the boys. It means having someone to talk to or to spend time with to get your mind off the recent breakup. Having a family member or close friend will work well. Find someone who will listen to you and validate your feelings.
2. Practice emotional management tools as soon as you are feeling sad or anxious
It is normal to go through a roller coaster of emotions when a relationship ends. If you feel anxious, you may want to listen to meditation music or take a walk. If you’re sad, then watching a funny movie or writing in a journal may help. The new adult coloring books are great coping tools because they give you the chance to focus on something while you’re feeling upset. If the feelings are overwhelming and not fading at all, seeking out a professional can help you get back on track as well.
3. Find a new hobby
Self-care is all about you, so find a new activity in sports or art. A new hobby will help keep your attention on positive things and distract from the recent changes. As you adjust to the change in your relationship, you will feel better that you are engaging in activities that you enjoy. Join a soccer team or find an art class — even looking at art is a coping tool, so get out to an art museum and spend time enjoying the paintings.
4. Don’t overanalyze the relationship
Make sure that you are not spending too much time focusing your attention on thoughts about why this relationship ended. Don’t dwell on what you “did wrong” or what you could have changed. Focus on changing negative thoughts to positive ones — a therapist or professional can help if you feel like you need some assistance. Try to put your attention on other things to help you stop obsessing about the relationship. In addition to that new hobby you picked up, reading and writing can help.
Relationships end, and most people know what it’s like to shift from being part of a couple to being single again. Take the time to focus on self-care and manage your feelings. It will help you to feel better and begin the healing process as you transition out of a relationship. Look for the positive and practice some coping tools; you will feel better soon and be managing your emotions as soon as you begin to practice these changes.