What To Do After a Breakup: 8 Steps to Heal (2022)

Anna Y.T. Chui

Anna is the Editor-in-Chief of Lifehack. She is also a communication expert and shares tips on happiness and relationships. Read full profile

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Saying goodbye to the person you were once close with and deeply in love with is hard. No one likes to go through a breakup.

We have all been there, and we all know how that feels. The pain is there and it feels like you’re completely helpless or you’ll never get past the suffering. But the reality is far from that. Anyone can overcome these feelings.

Remember that there are people there for you and that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to understand that while getting over a breakup seems unachievable, it’s all just a matter of time. Here are a few ways to assist you with what to do after a breakup.

What To Do After a Breakup: 8 Action Steps

Here are several ways to assist you on how to get through a breakup.

1. Cut Off All Contact

This is the first step in how to get over a breakup. Keep your distance and don’t text, email, call or meet in person. If necessary, unfollow them on social media platforms. This doesn’t have to be permanent, but while you’re vulnerable, it’s best to keep them away and out of sight.

Overall, research shows that having in-person contact results in a slow down in emotional recovery.

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Many get back into former relationships when staying away doesn’t work. You may also end up in a war of words causing further hurt and anxiety. Cutting ties for good when it’s over put you on a faster path to healing.

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Set up an “Emergency Contact List” that contains all your loved ones’ phone numbers; when you are tempted to call your ex, call and talk to your friends instead.

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Pick an activity that you can do to replace the desire to text, call, or stalk your ex on social media. Something handy you can do right away, like watching your favorite Netflix show or walking around your favorite stores.

2. Recognize That Your Future Is Shaken

On top of cutting contact with your ex, you also don’t want to deny what happened. Dealing with a breakup involves facing difficult emotions, and not many people wish to do that, especially when they are going through a difficult part of their lives.

According to a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, grieving the relationship helps the healing process as the average time it takes to get over a relationship is 11 weeks.

Regardless of how long the relationship lasted, going through a breakup involves mental revision too. No longer is your future going to be with them, but now you have to figure out what your future is going to look like.

Recognizing this aspect and the emotions that come with it can help the healing process. This is on top of finding solutions for you to take.

3. Let Your Emotions Out

Cry, sob your eyes out, scream and yell. As long as it doesn’t hurt yourself or anybody else, find ways to release and let go of the pain you may be feeling. When people kindly and humorously tell you all breakups are hard, it’s because they are.

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Don’t take this part of the healing process away from yourself or it will grow and fester within you. You will naturally feel some negative emotions no matter how easy or hard your breakup was. Honor your feelings and know that they will get less intense the more that you let them out. It helps you move past them!

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Listen to sad songs.Research shows that listening to sad songs actually can make us happier. Listening to sad songs can regulate negative emotions and mood as well as consolation. Find a quiet place, let your emotions run, and give yourself some relief.

4. Develop a Mindfulness Routine

It’s good to slowly and gradually develop a mindful life so your mind can stay peaceful and calm no matter what life throws you. Being mindful means you listening and acknowledging yourself more; most importantly, understanding what can make you happy.

Developing a mindfulness routine can help you feel better and make a long-lasting positive impact on your life.

Read this for tips on creating a morning mindfulness routine: 15 Ideas to Help Create Your Best Morning Routine

5. Accept That It’s Over at Least for Now

Coping with the end of a relationship is a little like a 12-step program. You will reach acceptance far sooner by staying away from that person. This strategy relies on time more than anything else, but there are ways to move it along.

Try to look at the situation objectively even if you didn’t agree to the breakup. Don’t over-analyze what could have been different. There are infinite should-haves and could-haves, and thinking about them will cause you to spiral.

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Those emotions are natural. A study from the University of Illinois found out at the time that not only are breakups damaging, but certain factors make it harder to deal with them.

These factors include:

  • The duration of the relationship or how close a couple was
  • Level of commitment
  • Satisfaction
  • Whether you initiated the start of the relationship or not
  • And whether you think your ex is going to immediately rebound or not.

In the moments you were in the relationship, that’s when your actions mattered. They don’t anymore. Your mission now is to get to the place where you aren’t battling with yourself about the way things are.

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Tell yourself it’s over now, and it’s time to move on and start a new chapter of your life.

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Tidy up all the things that would recall your memories with your ex. Make things out of sight, out of mind.

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Talk to your family and friends because sometimes it’s hard to see the bigger picture when you are stuck in a situation.

6. Explore and Have Fun

When you’re ready to authentically have fun again, get your friends together and go out. These are all very helpful in recovering from a breakup.

Aside from that, research shows that distractions – while not affecting your overall feelings of love towards your ex – can make you feel better overall. I once went to a haunted house where things jumped out at me and scared me half to death. This was so therapeutic. Be spontaneous and silly. Enjoy your life.

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Something new and exciting that you always wanted to do alone.

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Spend quality time with your friends and family.

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Reconnect with long-lost friends.

7. Pay Attention to Your Thoughts

As you look to move forward in your life, don’t deny or grasp on to your ex’s memory. They may pop into your mind as a memory of a moment when you were happy (or not). Acknowledge it, smile, or cry. Let the memory go instead of clinging to it.

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It’s now about you and your present moments. Your ex is a part of the person you are today, and you can be grateful to them for that, but the chapter with them is gone.

Try this:

  • As mentioned before, CLEAR OUT all the things that stimulate memories
  • Don’t try to escape from your feelings. Face them. Write down how you feel to help you declutter your mind. The more you write, the more you can identify what triggers your emotions and be better prepared for them.

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CLEAR OUT all the things that stimulate memories

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Don’t try to escape from your feelings. Face them.

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Write down how you feel to help you declutter your mind. The more you write, the more you can identify what triggers your emotions and be better prepared for them.

8. Don’t Rush Into Another Relationship, Embrace Being Single

Don’t bounce into another relationship too quickly, thinking that you’re okay. It is probably the best quick fix out there. Study shows that those who rebounded had higher self-esteem and confidence overall.

But this depends on the person as by doing this, you never really get over your ex.

In the long run, you haven’t actually gotten over your ex, and when your next relationship ends, you’ll have two exes to get over. You’re just prolonging the inevitable pain. And depending on who you are, it could put you in a worse position.

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Ask yourself whatkind of relationship you want. Understanding your need before entering a relationship is key because this can save you from another heartbreak.

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>Explore and meet new people when you are ready. Make sure you talk to them and take your time to get to know them before making a move to start a new relationship.

Final Thoughts

Getting over a breakup is hard but not impossible. By taking it day by day and moment by moment, you are well on your way to healing. Make yourself a priority and embrace your new independence.

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This is the perfect time to develop a new relationship with the most important person – you.

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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