JSYK: Going through a breakup is low-key the best time to rebrand yourself. You can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do, and try anything you want to try without having to consider anyone but yourself.
But considering breakups = losing someone who was consistently in your life, it can be easy to dwell on the past instead of looking at what your future self can bring to the table. Completely understandable.
So to help you cope with all things breakup (since, hi, your future best self is waiting), we’ve sourced a bunch of tangible, practical ways you can actually get over someone according to experts who want to help. Because yes, sometimes buying yourself flowers at the grocery store is a lil start.
1. Shower daily. I know this seems small, but trust, it makes all the difference. “Prioritizing your hygiene and taking pride in how you look can often make you feel better inside,” says licensed clinical psychologist Kristie Norwood. So get yourself a morning and nighttime routine that requires a rinse in the shower. After all, shower thoughts are the best kind of thoughts, and it might be super therapeutic. Small wins are the best wins.
2. Create a vision board. Yup, it’s time to paint a badass picture of what your future is about to look like. (Time to get on that manifesting kick). “After breakups, it’s important to figure out what your life will look like without the relationship as it was,” says Norwood. So pick up some magazines—yes, full permission to grab some Cosmos— and cut out images that you put into art your life goals and desires.
3. Treat yourself to a new sex toy. Luckily for you, vibrators come completely drama-free (and in some cases, are better than the real deal). “Cleanse yourself of any negative energy through an orgasm,” says sex educator Yael Rosenstock Gonzalez. An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away (...that’s the saying, right?).
4. Go to therapy It’s time to make an appointment for therapy, suggests licensed clinical social worker Amalia Miralrío. Especially considering an unbiased perspective could offer you insight that you weren’t able to process yourself. Get started with some free options here.
5. Buy yourself a big bouquet of pink roses. Put them in a vase, water them, and wait for them to wilt. When it’s time to throw them out, check in with your feelings. Guess what? By the time those roses die, you’ll already feel better. Then, keep buying yourself roses, recommends Veronica Yip, a San Diego resident who swears by this hack.
6. Visit a rage room. It’s…a legit thing. “Get out all your anger and smash objects to your heart’s content,” recommends Lauren Cook, who holds a master’s in marriage and family therapy.
7. Go on that vacation you’ve been dying to—even if it’s by yourself. “Getting away to an exotic location or somewhere peaceful is a potent source of distraction,” says therapist Rev. Sheri Heller. What’s better than lounging beachside with a good book, frozen drank, and the ocean waves? Talk about self-care.
8. Rearrange your home. Get rid of all those bad memories. “A new look creates space for new memories. Out with the old, inviting the new,” recommends Krysta Monet creator and founder of The Feminine Truth.
9. Purge your relationship junk drawer. Yes, this includes that ticket stub you’ve kept from your first date. “You don’t need the reminders of a relationship that is no longer,” says Robyn Koenig, professional dating coach and CEO at Rare Find.
10. Write hate mail to your ex. But don’t actually send it (and tell your sister not to either, à la Lara Jean). “The caveat is not to mail the letter but to do a ceremonial burning to get rid of the toxic energy,” recommends Samantha Gregory, author of No More Crumbs: How to Stop Dating for Crumbs and Get the Cake You Finally Deserve.
11. Say yes to everything. “This is especially useful if you’ve been in a long-term relationship where you’ve compromised and negotiated what you ate, where you went, what you watched, and who you socialized with,” says Trish McDermott, CEO of Meetopolis Dating. “Who are you and what makes just *you* happy? Now is the time to find out.”
12. Eat alone. Whether you take yourself out to your favorite Thai place or make a home-cooked dinner, sit at the table and eat in silence. “Becoming comfortable with newly found silence is part of the recovery process,” says Megan Cannon, owner of Back to Balance Counseling.
13. Sign up for a boxing class—or any other type of fighting class. “Sometimes you need to find an outlet to divert the negative energies you get after a breakup,” says Celia Schweyer, dating and relationship expert at DatingScout. Trust, punching the eff out of something will *def* help with this added stress.
14. Block them from your Instagram/Snapchat. If the temptation to see if they’ve been paying attention to your Stories is too much, just block them. This way, when you do start to get out there and share your day-to-day activities again, you’ll know there’s zero part of you that’s performatively “acting over it” in the hopes your ex will see it.
15. Don’t shit-talk your ex too much. Sure, it feels good to trash-talk your ex with your besties, and hearing that you were better than them from the start feels like a drug, but don’t rely on it. Hearing your friends bring down someone who made you feel shitty feels like it should be justified in the grand karmic scheme of things, but your health and happiness need not be contingent on someone else’s pain and suffering.
16. Don’t immediately suggest to “stay friends”—and if they do, tell them you need to think about it. This is an impulse because you don’t want to seem like you care too much about the breakup. Because you’re so chill. You’re so chill that your heart isn’t beating. Aaand, you’re dead. But truthfully, during this stilted, awkward breaking-up period, it’s hard to tell whether you’ll be able to be friends. Generally, one person wants to be friends and the other wants to be more. Gotta work that shit out before it can be a healthy friendship…if it ever can be. You’re not admitting defeat by not staying friends with them.
17. Spend a lot of time outside. It’s a cliché, but fresh air really does clear your head. So does, you know, seeing the sun every once in a while. Take at least two hours from each day just to leave your Cave of Forgotten Dreams and interact with The Outside.
18. Know it’s okay to rely on your friends. Breakups can make even the strongest people feel like they’re worthless or not good enough. Hang out with people who appreciate you and remind you of what a good person you are. “This is when having a strong support network is essential because friends can show you that you still matter and that you still belong,” Burns says. “When your self-esteem is at an all-time low, these are the people who can help empower you while you work on defining your own self-worth.”
19. Eat your night cheese. Yep, you have full permission to pull a Liz Lemon and work on your night cheese during a breakup. Fran Walfish, PsyD, a Beverly Hills–based psychotherapist and relationship expert, says that drinking milk or eating turkey, cheese, yogurt, or ice cream before bed can calm you down due to the ingredient tryptophan—a natural calming agent that relaxes you without medication.
20. Rebound with one incredibly hot suitor, if that’s what you want, and then give yourself some time to decompress and remember who you are. If you’ve had one rebound, you’ve had them all, in this woman’s opinion.
21. If you start dating someone else, take it really slow. Dude. You just ended a relationship and your heart flipped over and exploded like a tanker in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie. If you take it step-by-step and enjoy it as a casual thing for a while, that’ll give you some time to evaluate whether you’re actually ready to be with someone again or if you’re just ready to have really hot sex with them in an elevator once in a while.
22. Establish a bedtime routine. When you’re going through a breakup, learning to be proud of the little things can really keep you going. And honestly, what screams “I have my shit together” more than getting enough sleep every night? Walfish recommends going to bed at the same time and setting your alarm for the same time every day. Avoid looking at screens (TV, computer, cell phone) for half an hour before bed. Not only does the light from screens keep you awake, but how many times has some unexpected drama on the timeline or an innocent Instagram scroll accidentally spiraled into a two-hour deep-dive of their life?
23. If you get a Facebook invite to their best friend’s party...stay home, put on a face mask, eat Chinese food, and watch Stranger Things. Going to that party still makes it all about your ex—not your emotional well-being. And seeing them will just pick open the scab.
24. Don’t scheme to get them back, scheme to get yourself back. Get some solid book recs, join a pickup sports game, go on a trip somewhere with a girlfriend. Paint your bathroom—I don’t care. Just do something for yourself.
25. Avoid posting the details on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Instagram. Or Tumblr. Live ya life! Airing your grievances on social media is not good for anyone, and it’ll be embarrassing later. Who’s gonna read it, anyway? Aunt Maggie? That girl you met during Welcome Week?
26. Take baths. Baths are half wallowing and half cleansing/pampering and thus are perfect for breakups. When’s the last time you really filled up your tub (clean it first, please) and had a good soak with a glass (bottle) of wine? Showers are not for the recently dumped.
27. Stop blaming yourself and thinking things like, If only I had watched more Bourne movies/had dyed my hair blonde/had given more rim jobs/were cooler. It takes two to tango.
You Might Also Like