Breakups are a deeply personal affliction, one wanting of a bespoke approach to healing. We all process grief in different ways, some more healthy than others. If you’ve recently split up, we’ve culled some of our favorite fixes for momentum in the right direction. From acquiring new skills to getting out of Dodge, discovering the most effective way to deal is often dictated by your personality. While we’re pretty positive every personality type benefits from general cure-alls like pizza or an impromptu pet adoption (as long as you're ready), we’ve got a few extra ideas tailor-made to suit your psyche. Pizza and kittens work too. Layer accordingly.
Are you an overanalyzer? To our fellow data nerds bent on dissecting every text and meticulously combing through the minutiae of variables (past, present, and hypothetical) that contributed to your newfound separation, we simply say: Free your mind. Being the mastermind that you are, there’s a strong possibility you’ve already rationalized the end or your relationship as inevitable—the only possible outcome. However, processing analytics is not the same thing as processing emotions; no amount of logic will cancel out your feelings. Stop overthinking it, and do something physical. Is it yoga? Or a rage-based boxing workout? Choose your own adventure.
To the born perfectionist, breakups can be a devastating blow to the ego. Many of us are trained from a young age to sync our self-worth with performance-based metrics, from report cards to job titles. A failure-is-not-an-option mentality can indeed catapult one to success in the business world. It’s a mind-set that rarely serves interpersonal relationships, though. Relationships are messy. A breakup is not a fail; it’s a growth opportunity.
Channel your relentless drive and mental focus into succeeding in other areas. Take a language class. Learn to a new skill like photography or the trapeze (based on your adrenaline needs and/or hand-eye coordination.) Put your energy toward goals that plug you back in to your true passions. Self-resilience and inspiration are sure to follow. According to Tony Robbins, hunger is the key to greatness.
There’s a reason “tortured artist” is a cliché. Using heartbreak as creative fuel is a time-honored ritual. That said, emotional turmoil can likewise have a paralyzing impact. If you’re feeling blocked or overwhelmed, channel your thoughts into a free-form journal. Just get it out. Write in 10-minute uninterrupted intervals, and feel free to burn the pages afterward. A creative purge is cathartic. Free yourself from any expectation or attachment to outcome. The act of creating is a journey in itself.
If you’re the sort to find healing in solitude, consider planning a solo vacation or going on a meditation retreat. Welcome your need to withdraw and cry over the ’90s films that changed your life—sans judgement. Effectively processing your emotions is a necessary step to moving forward. A silent meditation retreat will leave you feeling more focused and self-aware. In our book, there’s nothing like international travel to broaden the mind and help you gain perspective. Grab your journal and your camera, and hit the road for some headspace.
Distractions can be worthwhile. Even if you’re an introvert by nature, there comes a point in every breakup where cutting loose with your social network is wildly transformative. Seek out the company of friends who buoy your spirits and positively contribute to a new vision for your future (without your ex.)
Have a list of events or life experiences from which your significant other was holding you back? Start checking them off. Get tickets to see that band they hated. Take advantage of your newfound freedom. Focus your energy on contributing to your community both immediate and global. Volunteer for a local charity. Foster a rescue pup. Meeting new people and accruing new experiences will introduce fresh possibilities for life.
Shop our favorite breakup reads for a much-needed laugh, and tell us: What’s your healthiest habit for overcoming grief?