Breakups suck, whether you’re the one who’s dumped or the one doing the dumping. When overcome with such intense emotions, it can be difficult to keep your mental health in check and figure out how to get over a breakup. Already plagued with depression, breakups are particularly difficult for me, often leaving me bedridden and writing bad poetry.
My first serious boyfriend made my biggest fear come true when he broke up with me because he could no longer handle my mood swings and depressive episodes that were “bringing him down.” I thought he was the man I’d marry…and then that was shattered. My next boyfriend broke up with me for strange reasons I can’t begin to get into, and then drove across the country to move to California. This split left me unable to be awake for more than a couple hours at once, let alone eat.
I’ve experienced some pretty serious heartbreak that really messed with my mental health, but I at least learned how to get over a breakup. Here are my pointers to stay well during a turbulent time.
Cry as Much as You Need To
It’s healthy to cry when you’re feeling sad! Holding it in will probably make you feel like you have a huge, permanent lump in your throat. Not ideal, right? Find a nice place — the shower, your car,, whatever — and let it all out. If someone hears you, have a “Who cares?” mentality. Everyone has cried before, even if they haven’t done so in a few years. A good cry is a great release, so embrace those salty tears.
Don’t Forget Basic Self-Care
It’s way too easy to let yourself go when you aren’t in the best place mentally. Even though you’re not kissing anybody on a daily basis, you should still brush your teeth twice a day. Remember to keep up our day-to-day routines and the mundane things as normal as possible. Eat three meals a day, and try to have a balanced diet. (But definitely treat yourself to some breakup Ben & Jerry’s). Stick with your exercise regimen, and try not to sleep every free moment you have. It’s all about balance.
Reach Out to a Friend
You’re there for your friends when they need you most, right? Text your best friend to tell them that you’re feeling down and that you’d like some company. Cry on their shoulder, then let them tell you dumb jokes that will make you laugh. Though you may want to isolate yourself after a breakup, you should definitely keep up with some human contact.
Go On a Trip
Get out of your house and stay away for a while. Whether it’s a day trip a half-hour away from your home or a trip across the country, get out of your current space. A change of scenery can do wonders for your mental health. Find a cheap bus, train, or plane ticket and just do it! Exploring somewhere unfamiliar can be amazing. You’ll have more motivation to get out of bed in the morning if you know you’re going to the beach, a park, or a cool city. Plus, you’ll create new memories to look back on.
Rearrange Your Room
Yes, really. You don’t have to clean it, but rearrange things so that the space doesn’t remind you so much of memories involving your ex on your couch, looking at your records, and eating the snacks out of your secret snack drawer. Buy yourself flowers and put them in a vase on your desk. Stick glow-in-the-dark stars on your ceiling. Get new sheets. You do you! Again, you’re creating new memories.
Quit the Social Media Stalking
It will 1000% not make you feel better to stalk your ex’s Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter. Social media is sort of an illusion anyway. Checking to see if they have pictures with a new guy or girl or if they’re living it up isn’t going to help you come to terms with the breakup. Pro tip: hide them from your Facebook timeline. They won’t know.
Consider Checking In With a Therapist
Therapists are trained to help people move past heartbreak. Chatting with one will help you feel better and figure out how to cope. Therapy provides a safe space to grief the loss of the relationship and let out all those intense emotions without worrying about someone judging you.
Getting Over a Breakup Might Have a Silver Lining
Remember, it takes time to heal. Be easy on yourself, and, as always, remember it’s okay to not be okay. Forget about that weird rule that it takes half the amount of time you were dating your ex to get over them. It’s a myth! You could get over your ex in a week, or it could take a year. Who knows? Everyone is different.
A breakup can mean falling out of love, but it can be an amazing opportunity to fall in love with yourself and become stronger. If you can discover how to get over a breakup, many other challenges will seem easy by comparison.