We’ve all been there. You finally decide to take the plunge to explore your romantic options on dating apps, set up plenty of dates, and eagerly await the first meeting with your potential new love interest. But then...it all comes crashing down when things don't pan out. We all grieve in our own way and at our own pace -- some people get back out there right away and others just want to stay in bed forever. However, no matter what approach you take to getting over a breakup, here are a few ways on how you can get back on track in no time!
Rekindle your independence
The world is your oyster (especially since you can now spend all the time you want on the beach indulging in them). And, most importantly, you’re free to pursue your own interests and passions.
It’s also important to focus on what you can control. Whether you initiated the breakup or not, there are a lot of things that, at this point, are out of your control. You don’t control what was, what is, or what could have been; you only have the power to influence what will be based on your actions today.
You’re free to do whatever you want with your time now that it’s no longer devoted to someone else. Maybe take up a new hobby, like hiking or painting. Or start a book club with friends. You could also enroll in lessons for an instrument or language! Whatever it is, make sure it’s something YOU want to do; if it makes you happy and brings value to your life, then you owe it to yourself to see it through.
Spend time with those you love
When you're in a relationship, you tend to spend most of your time with that person. When it ends, it can feel like your whole world is falling apart, but take a look around you: there are people who care about you and are willing to be there for you. Call up your best friends, family members, or even co-workers to see if they want to hang out with you. You'll get caught up on their lives and forget about yours for a while.
Go do something that makes you happy. When a relationship ends, all of the little things that used to make you smile seem much dimmer. Even if you have to force yourself, go out and do something fun! Play video games with friends, read a book at the park, or volunteer at a local hospital (if you're feeling generous). It's important to remember what used to make you happy before your relationship began.
Let music enlighten your soul
Listening to your favorite music can help you get out of a bad mood after a breakup, according to a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
The researchers surveyed 68 participants — 36 women and 32 men, ranging in age from 18 to 55 — and asked them which songs they listened to when they were feeling sad or upset. The majority of people reported listening to music that was "pleasurable/uplifting," followed by songs that made them feel nostalgic, songs with lyrics that matched their feelings, and songs they used to listen to with their ex.
The researchers also asked the participants how their mood changed after listening to sad music. They found that the majority of people felt less depressed after listening to sad songs, which might be because sad music helps us process emotions better than upbeat tunes do.
"For most people who are low [after a breakup], sadness does not indicate depression but rather an emotional response associated with rumination and reflection, so it is not surprising that calm music helps them feel better," study co-author Liila Taruffi said in a statement. "Sad music may help elicit positive feelings through its ability to tap into our complex memories and evoke various thoughts and emotions."
Go outside and indulge in nature
It's not just the endorphins released when you exercise that make you feel better, says Dr. David Montgomery. It's also that it gives you time to think and be alone. You don't have to talk to anyone or even listen to music. And if you can, do it outside. Go for a walk or run in the park, take your bike out for a spin, or get down on the ground and play with your pet (if you don't have one, volunteer at an animal shelter).
Being outside is important because Mother Nature can help boost your mood post-breakup. "When we're under stress, our brains release cortisol," Dr. Montgomery explains, which makes us feel more anxious and depressed." But, according to research from Science Daily, spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only reduces the amount of cortisol in your body but increases your energy level and improves your mood as well."
Silence your ex
One of the most powerful tools we have is the ability to block and mute people from our social media channels. When a relationship ends, this is one of the first things I ask clients to do in order to avoid any triggering posts or photos that might set off negative emotions. You can also unfollow (but not unfriend) close mutual friends for a period of time if you are worried about seeing posts about your ex on their accounts.
But sometimes these adjustments aren't enough, and you may need to take a break from social media altogether. Most apps give users the ability to deactivate their accounts for a set period of time which they can choose to resume at any time. Taking a break from social media can give you more time to focus on self-care and healing during this difficult time.
If you're struggling with feelings of sadness and loneliness post-breakup, know that you don't have to go through it alone. Reach out to your support system, whether it's your family, friends, or even an online support group, so you can get the help you need and deserve. Remember that your feelings are valid and that there's no timeline for moving on — as long as you're doing what's best for your emotional health, you're doing just fine.
Seeing as there’s no magic “cure” for getting over a breakup, I guess the best we can do is try to stay positive, remind ourselves that it isn’t the end of the world, and try to take some proactive steps to insulate ourselves from feeling lonely and miserable. If you can do those three things (and avoid any more contact with your ex), you should at least be able to mitigate some of the sting of a breakup. Good luck!