Maybe your friends and family don’t seem to understand why you’re struggling so much, but you have every right to your feelings and your personal journey of mourning. (Because yes, you are allowed to mourn over a relationship!)
The truth is that no breakup is ever easy. However, some breakups can make you feel like you’ve been sucker punched. And during those times, it can be hard to even picture yourself moving forward.
I know that things may feel dark right now, but I’ve got two things to let you know. First, you’re not alone. Your struggle and experience is valid and difficult. You are unique, your relationship was unique and your struggle is unique to you. However, you can take strength knowing that many other men and women like you find a way to fight through similar tough experiences all the time. And you can too.
Next I want to share that you have the power to make yourself feel better. Now, I’m not trying to say you can snap your fingers or simply make a mental decision, and suddenly you’ll feel better. Feeling better is difficult. Changing how you think about your relationship, the breakup and yourself can be hard. However, you are strong and capable. As a Cincinnati cognitive behavioral therapist, I help people learn to do exactly this: find a way to change your thoughts, actions and feelings about difficult situations in your life.
Practical Tips for Moving Forward After a Breakup
Breakups are difficult, but here are some practical tips you can use. These will help you find peace after the breakup, regain your self confidence and being moving forward.
1. Practice self-care.
Self care is an important first step in your journey toward healing. It can be very tempting to wallow in your misery. However, it’s probably going to be more effective to distract yourself by indulging in something you truly enjoy. After all self-love is the most important love! Think about your physical, spiritual, social and mental well being. What can you do for yourself to help improve your health in each of those vital areas? Do something you’ve always wanted to do, take yourself on dates or buy yourself a present. Investing in yourself through self care truly is the first step on your journey toward healing.
2. Be mindful of social media.
Social media is like a double edged sword. It both makes people feel more connected and can make you feel more isolated. You might want to stay off social media right after a breakup. Seeing pictures of happy couples on your Facebook or Instagram feed might actually make you feel more alone or depressed. If you do choose to look at other’s happy photos, please keep in mind that nobody’s life is as perfect as it appears to be on social media.
3. Spend time with friends and family.
Nobody should have to go through a breakup alone. Calling your BFF and crying it out on the phone can be extremely cathartic, plus you get to hear someone you love remind you of how awesome you are. Allow your friends and family to be there for you.
4. Find a good counselor.
Therapy can help you with some much-needed evaluation. I highly recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as it can help you overcome the negative thoughts that are so easy to fall into after a breakup. Furthermore, a skilled relationship therapist can also help you see what went wrong in the relationship, what you really need in a relationship, and who you really are.
5. Use this time to bring joy into your life
Find something that you’re really happy doing, and spend a lot of time doing it. Everyone deserves some joy in their lives. Right now, joy might seem far away. But if you make the choice to bring joy back into your world you can find happiness again.
Begin small. Try to learn something new. Call a friend you haven’t seen in awhile. Go to a yoga class. Plan a trip. Return to a hobby you stopped while you were in a relationship. With a little luck, you’ll be too busy having fun to think about your ex.
6. Practice gratitude.
It’s well known that gratitude can be positive for mental health, but when you are in the aftermath of a relationship it can be hard to feel grateful. Try to intentionally think about all the other people in your life who love you completely, and be thankful for them.
7. Focus on becoming a better person for YOU.
Now is a great time to really focus on yourself. What do you need right now? Are there areas of your own life you began to neglect during your relationship? What would help you thrive? Perhaps it’s time to start exercising, eat healthily, learn a new skill, and travel somewhere new.
Counseling After a Break Up in Cincinnati, OH
Remember, grieving the loss of a relationship is completely normal. Give yourself the time and space you need to get through the breakup. As a cognitive behavioral therapist, I can help you process the end of your relationship and find a path forward with your life. Seeing a professional therapist is a great step towards healing. You don’t have to go through this tough time alone. Contact me today to begin moving towards a happier future.
Other Mental Health Services
While breakups are hard, I am also here to support clients through a number of life events. In addition to counseling during breakups, I also provide anxiety treatment, depression therapy, and mental health support for college students. If you are still in a relationship, I also love helping people improve their relationships through couples and marriage counseling in my Cincinnati, OH office. If you or someone you know needs support in any of these areas, contact me today to learn more about how therapy can help.