Have you been dumped? Yeah, we all have, Join the club!
Okay, that was a bit harsh. What I mean to say is Life can hurt. And love can hurt even more. Breakups totally suck but are a natural (and necessary!) part of life. But lemme tell YOU something, missey–You layin’ in bed like a slug, spending all your free time with Ben and Jerry’s and a box of wine isn’t going to do you any favors. And this little pity party for one you’re throwing yourself isn’t doing anything but putting 10 extra pounds on your ass.
As someone who is old and wise, I’ve broken many hearts, and I’ve had mine broken even more. But it taught me that life really does go on, even if you’re positive it won’t. Eventually, you’ll absolutely be able to get over him. And yes, you’ll even be able to love again.
Here are 7 ways on how to get over a breakup and actually have a little fun in the process:
1. Let Yourself Cry
It’s okay to cry. In fact, crying is one of the healthiest ways for you to release feelings of hurt and pain. Far better than taking drugs or eating pizza to try and push down all those feelings. Maybe the Monday morning staff meeting isn’t the very best place to start blubbering about how much you miss Josh, but if you need to let loose on some waterworks over a glass of wine or snuggled up in bed watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, then give yourself permission to do just that. I promise that while it may feel a bit silly or childish, you’ll feel 1000% better afterwards.
2. Make Yourself Laugh
Sure a good cry can be therapeutic, but a good laugh, in my opinion, is the #1 cure all. Do you have a vagina and remember the part in the SATC movie when Carrie is heartbroken and just wants to sleep all day–even while on vacation, but then Charlotte sh**s her pants, (Thanks Char!) and Carrie but can’t help but burst out laughing. One of the best parts, amarite? Suddenly life comes back to Carrie’s once dejected face along with a glimmer of better days to come. I’m not suggesting you ask your friend to poop her pants to lift your spirits, but a good old fashioned comedy or improv show always does the trick for me. Watch your favorite TV show or get together with that one crazy friend that always has you in stitches. It may take a few minutes of prodding for you to crack a smile. But I’m serious when I say once you have that great uncontrollable full belly laugh, you will be incapable of being sad or thinking about your ex, at least for the time being. Laughter really is the best medicine.
3. Practice Self-Care
Doesn’t it seem like every annoying girly magazine defines self-care as “lighting some candles, taking a bubble bath, and listening to Enya.” F*** that! I don’t even have a bathtub! Self-care means whatever is healthy self-care for YOU. What makes you feel really good? I mean really good. Selfishly good. If that means eating your body weight in Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, then go for it. However, if you’re looking to look and feel really great in the long-term, I suggest some healthier alternatives. Sweat it out in hot yoga, take a fun dance class, buy yourself something that makes you feel truly beautiful, get a lavish massage that you spend way too much money on–and DON’T feel guilty about it! Take yourself on a dinner date. (This one is my personal fav.) Go to your favorite restaurant proudly shouting “Table for one!” and order whatever your single little heart desires. There’s no sharing, no annoying conversation, no awkward bill splitting. This is the time to get in touch with yourself and remember what makes you feel good. And don’t hate me, but I’m just gonna say the one thing you’re not supposed to say: Fall in love with yourself. Yes, it’s cliche, but hear me out. We spend so much time focusing on our partners in these romantic relationships, being what they want us to be, making them happy, that we tend to overlook our own happiness. You have to really know who you are if you want to have strong and successful relationships with others. So take a little “me time” and don’t you dare apologize for it!
4. Have a Drink–Just Don’t Overdo It
Sometimes you gotta just put on your red lipstick and sexiest pair of jeans and go out and get a damn martini. After a bad breakup, my natural tendency is to isolate. While it’s never a bad thing to have some time alone, it can get depressing and unhealthy to stay antisocial for too long. Thankfully my self-medication stops at chocolate and pizza. I’ve never been someone who drinks alone, and I strongly suggest you don’t. Anything more than one glass when you’re feeling down can lead to problems. But a night out with the girls, a couple cocktails, and maybe even a round or two of shots could be just that thing to get you out of your funk. While you’re out, go ahead and talk to guys if you feel up to it. This really shouldn’t be the focus or goal of the evening, but a little friendly male attention will only help your situation. Just remember that alcohol is, in fact, a depressant, so anything superfluous is going to make you feel worse. So try your best to be sensible and smart.
5. Get Creative
Years after my most difficult break-up, I decided to take a creative writing class, and it turned out to be the best decision I’d ever made. I was suddenly able to channel all these crazy emotions I was feeling to create something really cool. This led to me journaling every morning, which was gave me a feeling of great release and also routine. And as I noticed how much better I was feeling I added hip hop dance classes and even a storytelling workshop. It didn’t really matter to me if what I was actually creating was any good. It just mattered that I had a way to focus all these extra emotions. Now, I’m a naturally creative person, so it makes sense that this worked for me. But I truly don’t think it matters if you have an artistic bone in your body. Any sort of creative outlet will help you after a bad breakup. And it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to take a structured class. Draw or use one of those great Adult coloring books. Write a story, listen to music, or dance around in your living room to Beyonce. It really doesn’t matter. Just move, create, feel, and express yourself. It will be one of the best things you can do for yourself during this difficult period.
6. Express Yourself
The absolute worst things you can do when you’re going through a painful time is to keep all your feelings to yourself and not reach out when you need it. After one of my especially tough break-ups, I decided to see a therapist. Post-breakup is one of the most common times people will seek professional help, and it proved to be immensely helpful for me. Don’t feel ashamed that you need someone to talk to. I feel it’s a totally natural thing, and I personally think everyone should see one anyways. But If you can’t afford it right now, or it’s just not your cup of tea, you’ve got to find other ways of reaching out. Talk to your friends–this is what they’re there for. Call your mom–she wants you to be happy, and will be happy to listen even if all you need to do is cry for an hour. You WILL feel better. And you may even get some good “mom advice” out of it. Many people find it difficult to unload their problems onto others, but you really have got to push yourself to do it. Think of all the times you’ve been there for your friends and family. This is YOUR time, and they will be happy to lend a sympathetic ear.
7. Start Dating, but Only When You’re Ready
I used to make the mistake in my younger years of meeting other guys the minute I ended something. It served as a distraction and would help me temporarily forget some of the pain I was experiencing. But it always seemed to catch up with me and would end with me having some drunken breakdown crying “I’m sorry– can’t do this” while the guy backed away slowly with a look of terror. For some, it’s getting “under someone” that helps get over someone else. And that’s totally okay to do if it makes you feel good. After all, it’s your life and your body. But I strongly advise that you wait a bit until you’re truly ready to start dating again. If you have wounds that are still healing, you won’t be good for anyone. In many ways, a breakup can be like a death, so give yourself the permission to take the time you need to mourn your old relationship and to spend time with yourself.
So trust me when I say things will get better. Just take it day by day. Take care of yourself, and listen to what you really want. Remember: This is YOUR time. Stay strong, and you will get through it.