When relationships end, people can experience a wide range of emotions, like sadness, anger, or even fear. Even when the relationship wasn’t particularly happy, people might still suffer its loss with feelings that could be best described as grief. It’s not uncommon for people who have recently broken up to feel relieved and enthusiastic about their future one day but might feel sad or even hopeless the next.
Breakups and divorce could trigger a roller coaster of emotions. But that doesn’t mean we have to ride this roller coaster wherever it takes us. We can do some things to cope with the loss of a relationship in healthy ways that support our well-being and may even help us heal.
We’re not certified therapists, but we know that when our emotional state does not improve after a time, we may need to seek help from our medical provider or counselor. If breakup sadness does not subside, it could turn into clinical depression or even anxiety. These conditions are treatable, so if you feel that your mental state is getting worse instead of better, consult a therapist for help, either as face-to-face or online therapy from the comfort of your home.
In the following text, we’ll explore ways that could help you get over a breakup or cope with a divorce with positive measures that could enhance your mental health and help you move on with your life and plans.
Things to do or change at home to get over a breakup
The first thing to remember when attempting to cope with a breakup is that it takes time to get over losing someone or the adverse circumstances that caused you to end your relationship. Whether you were the one to end things or not, you may still feel emotions like sadness, anger, loneliness, or guilt. With the following ideas and tips, you could slowly but surely progress through your feelings to arrive at a new, positive place in your life. Here are some things you can try:
Remove your ex’s aura from your space
Your home should be your sanctuary. If it’s filled with pictures and souvenirs of your relationship, it’s bound to trigger emotions. Round up the evidence of your ex and store it. You may or may not choose to get rid of these items down the road, but for now, just store them out of sight. This way, you don’t have to contend with photographic reminders of that amazing Vegas weekend every time you pass them.
Rely on friends and family
Make plans with family and friends. Invite them over for dinner. Cooking for them will give you something to do in your free time. While it’s natural to want to discuss how you’re feeling and, possibly, what went wrong in your relationship, try not to spend all your time together focused on what has become a negative in your life. Be sure you infuse the time you spend with family and friends with positive experiences. Just enjoying a few laughs can buoy you up.
Nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep
Caring for your body with proper nutrition, fitness, and sleep could support your mental health too. Exercise, for example, triggers your body to release feel-good endorphins. These endorphins not only go to work healing sore muscles, but they flood the brain too, which could lead to a feel-good mental boost. Eating healthy foods supports your fitness goals and won’t leave you feeling sluggish the way junk food does. While indulging in your favorite foods and snacks is perfectly acceptable, try not to go overboard on these foods and, instead, stick to your healthy meal plans.
Finally, sleeping too much or too little might detract from your mental health. Some people sleep excessively when they’re feeling down. Others may feel too jittery and upset to get much sleep after a breakup. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Be sure your bedroom is conducive to rest. Use clean and fresh bedding. Play soft music or curl up with your pet for added comfort.
Focus on a hobby
Hiking, camping, gardening, or crafting could be immensely therapeutic when we’re trying to cope with emotional upheaval in our lives. What hobbies do you love to do? Whether you enjoy bicycling or reading, throw yourself into these pastimes, setting goals and making time to pursue them. When you focus on a hobby, you allow your brain to rest from what you’ve been brooding about—your breakup. Revisiting your past relationship and its issues over and over may be normal things we do after losing a significant other. Still, they could sabotage our mental health if we focus too much on negative thoughts.
Rely on entertainment
Books, movies, plays—the arts could be incredibly therapeutic when we’re trying to get over the loss of someone special to us. Again, they might not cure our negative emotions, but they could give us a much-needed mental break from them. When you’re home, be sure to use your free time to enjoy movies or books.
How to get over a divorce
A divorce often involves more than just emotional upheaval. There could be financial and even legal concerns that need to be dealt with. Some divorces could involve custody battles or arguments about spousal support and division of marital assets. Of course, emotionally, losing a significant other or a spouse is often hard and fraught with emotional stress.
If you’re going through a divorce, use the tips we discussed above as well as some of these:
Maintain your routine
Divorce can rock your life’s framework, but there are still routines you can cling to during periods of emotional storms. Maintain your work schedule, fitness routine, and other daily or weekly elements of your life. These routine activities give each day structure, which works as a form of support when you’re feeling like your life is changing in so many dramatic ways.
Throw Yourself into Your Work
When one aspect of your life is difficult, there’s no reason you can’t focus more heavily on the aspects that are going well, like your career. If you don’t have a career, consider focusing on studying for one. Having a substantial focal point in your life prevents you from focusing solely on your divorce. Of course, you’ll have to address your divorce and the circumstances it presents, but you still need a positive focus for balance.
Consult with experts
If your divorce is complex, you may need to rely on experts like attorneys and financial planners. If you have children, they may be upset and could benefit from the expertise of a therapist. Getting assistance from experts will help you protect yourself and your children during the divorce as well as during its aftermath. Knowing that you have experts to rely on will give you some peace of mind as you go through this process.
Avoid communicating with your soon-to-be-ex if you don’t have to
If your divorce is far from amicable, limit talking to your spouse unless you have to. You might not have to participate in arguments now that you’re divorcing, especially if you have an attorney representing you. Situations can indeed get very heated when children are involved, but if you can rely on the counsel of a good attorney, you should be able to minimize the contact you have with your spouse, and that may be for the best.
New experiences could help you fill the void that divorce may create in life. Most people have budget constraints, so if you’re unable to jet off to Paris at the drop of a hat, you’re not alone. Divorce often creates financial stress for people. However, try to get away for a long weekend. Visit siblings or old friends. Immersing yourself in new scenery and experiences will help you begin the process of building a new life.
Explore your options
At times, imagining life without your spouse may seem scary, but it can also be exciting. You now have the opportunity to explore a wide range of options about where and how you want to live. If your marriage resulted in unhappiness, it’s now your chance to find what will bring joy. Maybe you will change your career at some point or return to the classroom. Moving to a new home may be part of your plan. Give yourself time to list all the things you’d like to do after your divorce, make plans, and then put those plans in motion as soon as you can.
This is a difficult time in your life, so be kind to yourself. Indulge in long baths if you want. Reread your favorite novels. Seek comfort where you can, provided it’s a healthy form of comfort. Be leary of beginning a new relationship too quickly or diluting your stress with alcohol. Instead, take time to allow yourself to heal. If you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up. This period of your life is temporary; you’ll get through it.
Remember, if you’re struggling emotionally with your breakup or divorce, help is available. A therapist could help you develop strategies for coping with your specific circumstances. If your sadness has developed into depression, for instance, your healthcare provider could recommend the ideal course of treatment for you.
Hermann Samano is part of the marketing team at Porch.com. He enjoys writing content that helps homeowners succeed in their projects. He is passionate about gaming, music, roller skating, and outdoor activities.
Image courtesy of Dương Nhân.