Breakups are never pleasant. When we’ve been with someone for a long time, lived with them, perhaps even married them and had children together a breakup is about much more than that relationship ending. Your whole life changes. The life that you are used to is no more, and while grieving for your relationship, you also need to find a new way forward. It can all seem a little overwhelming. Even if you haven’t yet made any serious commitments, letting go of someone you love can still be difficult, and there’s always a period of adjustment at the end of a relationship.
It’s normal to neglect yourself during this time. You might blame yourself, we often stop going out, and we fail to practice self-care when it’s perhaps what we need more than anything else. Here are some of the things that you can do to put yourself first when you are dealing with a tough breakup, helping you to come out of the other side healthy, strong and ready to take the next steps, whatever they may be.
Do What You Need To
Some breakups are relatively straight forward. You might have some stuff to swap back, but that’s about it. The less intertwined your lives have become, the less there is to sort out if the relationship ends.
But, sometimes there’s a lot to deal with, and you won’t be able to start moving on and recovering until you’ve done it. So, don’t put things off. Write a list of the big things that need sorting out, from finding help with Family Law, to deciding what you are going to do with your house and arranging custody of children. This can all be very difficult, and you will need plenty of support along the way, but each small step takes you closer to freedom, from the relationship but also from your own grief for it.
Make Future Agreements if You Need To
If possible, cut contact. Give your ex their box of stuff, receive yours, and part civilly. But part for good. Delete their number if you need to, but don’t get back in touch again.
Of course, this isn’t always possible. If you’ve got children, especially, you’ll need to maintain some form of relationship. Decide early on how this is going to work. How much contact you are going to have and how you are going to communicate going forward. Try to create structure. It will be good for all of you.
Tell Your Friends and Family
Sometimes one of the hardest part of a breakup is telling the people that we love. You might feel ashamed of how you’ve been treated, or you might feel guilty because you couldn’t make it work. It’s common to feel as though you’ve failed when something doesn’t work, and you might not want to admit this to other people. But, not telling people means that you are still clinging on and that you aren’t allowing yourself the support that you need. Tell the people that you need as soon as you can, and let news filter through to everyone else.
Spend Some Time Learning About the New You
Single you might not be the same as the you that you were in a relationship. You might have made compromises for your partner. You might have had joint hobbies which you wouldn’t do on your own. You might have spent time with people that you’ll no longer see, and many of your evenings and free time would have been spent with your partner. But, that doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically go back to who you were before. The experiences that you’ve been through in your relationship will have changed you, and the longer you were together, the more you’ll have aged and matured. Essentially you might not know who you are anymore.
So spend some time finding out. Spend time on your own and with your friends and family. Find out how you feel about things and how you want to spend your time.
Try New Hobbies
Trying new hobbies can be a great way to find out who you are, to gain new interests and find new ways to spend your time, as well as giving you opportunities to meet new people. Try hobbies that you enjoyed before you met your partner, have a go at your joint hobbies on your own in a new way, try some brand new things and especially focus on those things that you’ve always wanted to have a go at but never got around to. Just keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to try things that are totally different.
Take Care of Your Health
It’s easy to neglect your health when you have got a lot going on emotionally, and there are significant changes in your life. But this will only make things worse. Take care of your health, and you might feel more confident, you’ll certainly be healthier and have more energy. So, make some lifestyle changes. Drink less alcohol and eat more water. Make healthy swaps to your diet, go to bed early and sign up for some new exercise classes.
Burn Off Some Negative Energy
Exercise isn’t just an excellent way to boost your health. It can also help you to burn off some negative energy. This can help to stabilize your mood and clear your head. Exercise will also help you to sleep and give you a much-needed confidence boost. You might want to try running, team sports or a form of martial arts.
Sometimes, as shallow as it might seem, the best way to make yourself feel better is with a treat. Take a hot bubble bath with some candles and a good book. Order takeout or go out for your favorite meal. Go shopping your own and buy yourself something new. Give yourself some love.