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What to Do After a Breakup & How Do They Help?
It is never easy having to face a breakup, no matter how your relationship with the person was. The emotional pain caused due to the ending of the relationship could last for days, weeks, and even months. Regardless of the reasons that lead to the breakup, the emotions you might experience can be overwhelming and extremely difficult to cope with.
With proper counseling and support, one can work through these emotions and make peace with the situation. This makes getting over a breakup easier.
What is a Breakup? Why do Breakups Hurt?
A breakup signifies the end of a relationship. When we lose our significant other, a part of our identity is lost. Along with this, we face severe emotional turmoil in the form of shame, guilt, low self-esteem, depression, and more. Now with time such feelings will pass, however, during the period of grief, experiencing physical and psychological distress is entirely normal.
What Emotions Can Breakups Trigger?
Breakups can be excruciating. Some of the emotions and situations that you may find yourself in after the end of your relationship are:
- Trauma: It’s important not to underestimate the impact that breakups and separation can have on our lives. Following a breakup, people experience trauma along with other negative physical reactions, such as sleep issues, loss of appetite, persistent headaches, sweating, and stomach upsets. Several emotional reactions to the trauma may also occur in the form of mood swings, panic, hyper-alertness, isolation and detachment from others, etc.
- Grief: When the relationship ends, you lose the person and one of the responses to it is grief. The future now looks different than what you may have planned, and this can instill a deep sense of loss within you. This can further add to the pain. Sometimes, people know that the relationship had to end at some point because it was abusive or negative in some way. They know that breaking up is the right thing to do, and that would make them feel happier, but the grief for what is lost is still there.
- Confusion: Breaking up and the events and feelings following that can leave you confused. You may feel a rollercoaster of emotions like anger, guilt, shame, failure, freedom, relief, and joy. You may even consistently ponder over questions like – ‘What do I do now?’, ‘Where did I do wrong?’, ‘How do I feel about my ex now?’, etc. You may probably be unsure about how you feel about yourself, and hence, it can be difficult to understand how you feel about what happened with the relationship.
- Anxiety or Depression: Considering all of the above, strong feelings of anxiety and depression may arise. The period after your breakup can be a stressful time that can leave you emotionally and physically drained. You may be feeling anxious and worried all the time in response to what happened regarding the relationship, the person you were with, the way it ended, and your feelings about it.
How do Breakups Affect Your Mental Health?
Heartbreak of any kind can feel debilitating. It can trigger feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and more. Although overcoming this period of grief can feel impossible, there are ways to cope.
Tips on How to Move On from a Breakup
Relationships require a huge investment from two people. Therefore, when it ends, it takes a huge toll and drains us emotionally, physically as well as psychologically. The end of romance can cause grief and some intense feelings of anger, hurt, and loathing.
Here are a few ways you can get over a breakup:
Cut out Reminders of Your Ex
A large part of our suffering comes from thinking about our ex. Associations do not help us move forward and associations create reminders. Reminders of them trigger memories. Hence, making it hard for you to move on and fall out of love with them. To move forward, you need to cut out reminders of your ex at least for the time being. Stay away from the places, restaurants, and activities you used to visit and engage in together.
Take a Break
It is difficult to get over a broken heart, cut yourself some slack. You just underwent an emotionally heavy ride. It is alright to cry over it, crying is very cathartic. Go for a mini holiday with your family or friends, take up a hobby; unwind and rejuvenate. You deserve it so take a break.
Don’t Indulge in Grieving
It is good to express how you feel about your break up. Expressing emotionally is cathartic and helps you immensely but overindulging in these feelings could never allow you to move forward. When doing so, you end up strengthening these feelings and embedding the feelings deeper, creating difficulty in uprooting them later.
Learn to Let It Go
By allowing yourself to consciously distance yourself from the maladaptive behaviors and emotions, you can learn to let go of your past. It is tough to forget but once these trying times are over, you will be able to make peace with your past. You need to cut those reminders and move to healthier ways of coping.
Self-Care Is the Best Care
Breakups can make you feel overwhelmed and exhausted; you forget to take care of yourself. Hence take some time out for yourself and connect with yourself. Plan a night out with friends, go out for spas or massages, try that yoga class you always wanted to, or go on that road trip and rediscover yourself.
Remember your journey may be hard in the beginning but once you are on the path, you will realize that you can get over your breakup. Sometimes, we aren’t able to cope and no amount of self-help can help us get over the breakup, it is during times like these you can seek counseling.
When Do You Need Breakup Counselling?
If you are overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression to the point where it interferes with your daily functioning, seeking professional help is highly recommended. A therapist or counselor will equip you with a wide range of resources allowing you to effectively cope with the distressing consequences of a breakup.
How can Relationship Counselling Help?
Breakup counseling can offer you a safe space to work through the experiences you have had following the separation and get over it. Counseling can help you:
- Realize your emotions and reactions to the breakup and learn to manage and cope with them.
- Recognize and manage any traumatic experiences you may have encountered during the relationship.
- Grieve without the fear of being judged and open up about what the relationship meant to you.
- Gain a sense of objectivity in the chaos after you split with your partner and focus on yourself and what you want.
- Understand where the sense of powerlessness is coming from so that a sense of control can be re-established.
- Explore the mixture of emotions that you may be feeling and find a way out of the pain.
Although you may feel that there is nothing good or positive in life, relationship breakup counseling can help you come out from the traumatic experience stronger. Learning from the experience is essential because that will make you wiser and lay down the foundation to form new and better relationships. The support that counseling can offer is a crucial step toward recovery and building a happier and positive future.
How to Find the Right Therapist for You?
Choosing a therapist that caters to your needs is one of the most crucial aspects of effective recovery. Now this process entails looking into their expertise, areas of specialization, years of experience, and more. In addition to their credentials, it is also important to assess your level of comfort or the rapport you share with your therapist. A good rapport indicates a hassle-free journey to recovery. Hence, switching between professionals till you find the right fit is normal.
At Cadabams, we strongly believe that addressing mental health involves more than just treating symptoms. Our team of experts with various specialties collaborates with you to personalized treatment programs. Feel free to contact our 24/7 helpline at +91 97414 76476 for any assistance or questions.
1. How long does it take on average to get over a breakup?
The timeline of a breakup depends on several factors. However, surveys suggest that it takes an average of about 3.5 months to heal from a short-term relationship and about 1 year to move on from a long-term relationship.
2. What are the 5 stages of a breakup?
The stages of a breakup are similar to the stages of grief. These include- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
3. How do I get over a significant other I still love?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you try to move on from a significant other.
- Don’t ignore or suppress the pain
- Respect each other's boundaries
- Forgive the past
- Accept the end of the relationship
- Reach out to a loved one
- Seek professional help
4. Why is silence powerful after a breakup?
Taking the time to reflect on your feelings and compose yourself can make you feel empowered. It allows you to take charge of your thoughts and gain a clear perspective of how and why you choose to move on.
5. What is the easiest way to get over a breakup?
Our experts suggest the following techniques to get over a breakup:
- Talk about your breakup
- Socialise with loved ones
- Take a break from social media
- Practice gratitude
- Reach out to a mental health professional