How to Recover from a Breakup in the Healthiest Way
I think the most important thing to remember when going through a breakup is that it is a loss. Allow yourself to grieve. Give yourself time to feel the pain, go through the hurt, and let go of attachments, dependencies, hopes, dreams, and fantasies. Feel all of the anger, sadness, bargaining, denial, and shock as you process this relationship ending. This will take time, and will involve many complex emotions.
Make sure to use your coping mechanisms to help you sort through these emotions and manage them healthfully. Dealing with emotions of loss (and hurt, and anger and anything else that has come up in your relationship) can be hard, and can cause us to react in unhealthy ways which will only prolong our pain and prevent healing. In your grief and upset, do be aware of your unhealthy patterns and try to create new patterns of coping. Make sure to get the support that you need in this time, be it from a friend, family member, community support, clergy, or therapist. Honor and respect your emotions, but be mindful of your relationship to them and your relationship patterns and dynamics. Support yourself in feeling your emotions and healing through them in positive ways that have worked in the past.
As you feel yourself move through your grief, engage in positive activity to help yourself to start to feel better. Try to think positively, challenge negative thoughts, and have perspective about the meaning of this time in your life. Try to use positive action to increase positive feelings, engage in meaningful activity and do things that bring you happiness and fulfillment in you.
Reflect and reframe, by looking at your relationship and taking time to learn about yourself in your relationships. What can you see in examining past dynamics and connections? Is there a pattern to your attachments? How can you see this as a time of rebirth, a time of building your relationship with yourself, and of fostering independence? How can you see this as a time of evolution, healing, and building? Know that it is, and know that this is a time to reconnect with yourself separately from your relationships, which can feel so hard, but is so important to self love and healthy future relationships.
Lisa Resnick, EdM, LPC