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12 Things to Do After a Breakup to Heal and Move On

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Silver Q loves doing research about anything she finds interesting. She hates talking in the third person.

Breakups can be so painful...

Breakups can be so painful...

Breakups are horrible. No one wants to go through them, but eventually nearly all of us will have the experience at least once, if not multiple times. The worst thing about breaking up is figuring out what to do with yourself once the other person has left, and that's no easy task. Suddenly your house is too big, your heart is too small, and your wounds won't stop bleeding. So what can you do when you feel like your world is falling apart without your snookie-woogums?

1. Set a Deadline

Breakups are the perfect excuse for self-destructive behaviors such as isolation, overeating, depression and rage. These are very natural responses to losing someone you love. What's not natural is to keep these behaviors going forever. The first thing you should do after a breakup is set a deadline to indulge in all these behaviors. For example, you could say:

For a week I will do whatever I please. If I want to eat Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, I will. If I want to kick my furniture, I will. If I wanna cry for endless hours, I will. But after that week, I will be a new, stronger person.


2. Cry. It's Healthy.

There's nothing wrong with crying. It's healthy. Sometimes, right after a breakup we want to pretend that nothing hurts us because we believe that if we ignore the pain it will go away. That rarely happens. Rather, pain seems to be cumulative. It doesn't go away if you don't release it. It only gets stored for future explosions. The best way to relieve your pain—emotional or physical—is by turning on the waterworks.

Did you know that the facial expression we make when we smile and when we cry is very similar? That doesn't you should spend your time crying instead of smiling, but you should know that crying does report some benefits and it's not only for sissies.

Crying relieves tension, sadness and allows the person to get a better sense of who s/he is. It allows you to see yourself in a human light, to sympathize with others and to develop more honest relationships.

One of the best things about crying is that allows you to see things clearer. When we are plagued by problems our vision and intellect can become cloudy and lead us to make some pretty stupid decisions that we will later regret. However, crying clears up your head and allows you to see your problems in a different light, thus leading you to make better decisions and ultimately create fewer problems for you.

If you remember one thing about the benefits of crying, remember this: Crying due to emotional pain activates certain hormones in your brain that have a tranquilizing effect on your body and mind, and eliminate depressing substances that give you that horrible sadness feeling. So cry away!

Crying Keeps Us Healthy

Do you know why women experience fewer problems with ulcers and heart attacks when compared to men? Because they cry more often and they are not told that crying is inappropriate. Men are trained since they're little that crying is "only for girls" and that "men don't cry." That's why men tend to bottle up their feelings

Crying is super healthy, so don't shy away from crying especially after a break up.

Crying is super healthy, so don't shy away from crying especially after a break up.

3. Write a Letter

There are some relationships that end so suddenly that you had no time to get your word in. You know it's over but you don't even know why. She left without giving you a single word of explanation. These types of breakups are harder to heal because you don't even know where things went wrong and s/he's not giving you the chance to ask or to fix it.

Write a letter and pour every single feeling you have. Just write away. This letter doesn't have to be sent to anyone. The purpose of this letter is to serve as a cleanser, to detox you of all the turmoil going on in your head and heart.

4. Remember That Things Will Get Better

Breakups are hard and can even lead to depression, anxiety, irritability, anger and feelings of hopelessness. In fact, many people—especially adolescents—contemplate suicide after a breakup, and some actually accomplish it.

Keeping a positive attitude is essential to keeping alive, both in the figurative and literal sense.

Never give up and always know that things will get better and you will be stronger as a result.

5. Don't Blame Yourself

So the relationship didn't go as planned. It happens. Chances are you weren't the only one at fault, and even if you were, this is no time to sit down and drown in guilt. Learn from your mistakes, don't trip on the same rock and move on.

6. Reassess Your Happiness

After a breakup we start thinking that our only source of happiness has left the building and that we will never ever smile again. Stop! You were happy before you met her/him. Go back and think about those things that make you happy and dive into them! Never, not even for one second, think that your happiness depends on someone else. You are the only one that can make yourself happy.

You are the author of your own life. After a break up just close the chapter and start writing a better, happier chapter.

You are the author of your own life. After a break up just close the chapter and start writing a better, happier chapter.

7. Close the Chapter

After you have cried your eyes out, get yourself together and close that chapter of your life. This is no time to overanalyze the relationship. What's done is done, and now it's time to move on with your life.

Realize that what ended was a chapter of your life and not your entire book. After a breakup we tend to feel that our lives are over and that we will never love again. We feel like our book just finished and that it had a pretty crappy ending. And then we feel like crying again. . .

Once you close that chapter, get ready to write the next one. You are the author of your own book, you decide what will happen next. So let your imagination fly, and get working on the next chapter.

Stop Following Them on Social Media

Why torture yourself seeing pictures of him or her having fun or even dating someone else? Stop hurting yourself. That's part of closing that chapter of your life.

Always stay positive, especially after a breakup.

Always stay positive, especially after a breakup.

8. Keep a Positive Attitude

I personally hate it when people give me this advice, not because the advice itself is bad, but mainly because, for most people, keeping a positive attitude means never getting mad or crying about anything. They usually give you this kind of advice when they don't want to hear you whine or vent about anything. That's not what I want you to do. Negative emotions are human, and we all go through them since the very early years in our life.

What I mean when I say keep a positive attitude is simple:

Never, ever, under any circumstances think that there is no way out of any uncomfortable or painful situation.

Getting mad or sad—or even depressed—might be the fuel you need to move on. In the case of a breakup, most people will feel bad, sad or depressed, but never give up hope, never give up on yourself, never give up on happiness. Find new ways to make yourself happy now that the other person isn't there. You'll see that you don't need him/her to complete you.

9. Stay Away From Addictive Substances and/or Activities

Breakups are one of those things that could serve as the perfect excuse to start drinking or maybe even taking up recreational drugs. Don't! Just don't. S/he is not worth it!

Addicting substances can also include food, especially sweets and carbohydrates. This is not the time to spend your life savings on Ben & Jerry's chunky monkeys and it's not the time to eat everything that crosses your path. You may feel better momentarily, but that feeling of well-being lasts very, very little, and it will only leave you feeling guilty and with a few extra pounds.

Some people use exercise or work as a drug. They spend 4 hrs daily in the gym to forget all their problems or they become workaholics and never leave the office. During a breakup we become more susceptible to becoming addicted to anything and everything, so as soon as you see a pattern of addiction or obsession, quit!

Reminder: If most of your friends are telling you that you have a problem, chances are you probably do. Don't get offended. They mean well. You should listen and look for help.

After a breakup we feel like eating all kinds of junk food and sweets. Don't! They're not good for you and they're not good for your mood.

After a breakup we feel like eating all kinds of junk food and sweets. Don't! They're not good for you and they're not good for your mood.

10. Forgive Your Ex

I know this probably sounds like the last thing you want to hear right now, especially if the other person really did a number on you. Unfortunately, the faster way to healing is forgiving.

Think of it like this:

They already took enough of your time, don't let them take any more of it by holding a grudge. Forgiving is a way of getting back at them by hitting them with your fist of indifference.

11. Surround Yourself With People That Love You

After a breakup all we want to do is cry and be alone with our hopeless and depressed feelings. That's okay, but only for a little bit. Don't isolate yourself. Being around people that love and care about you will not only distract your mind from feeling miserable, it will also help you get over your breakup quicker.

Don't isolate yourself. Go out and have fun with friends.

Don't isolate yourself. Go out and have fun with friends.

12. Stop Talking About Your Breakup to Everyone

This doesn't mean that you should keep everything to yourself and never tell anyone what you feel. It's healthy to talk about your feelings and your problems, especially if the breakup just happened. But if it has been a month and you're still boring everyone with the same story of how she left you and took all your vinyl records with her, then it's time to quit.

It's not good for you to wallow in your own sorrow and it's not good for your friendships to be hearing the same story over and over again.

Don't give up and keep trying to breathe even the emotions make it hard to do so. Your pain will soon pass and you will be as happy as you were before or even more.

Happy Living!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.