So it happened: You and a significant other have broken up, and you’re not getting back together (or so your friends say). Even though being a couple treated you well, now it’s time to celebrate singledom for the moment with all the things to do after a breakup—and truth be told, there are plenty.
Whether you initiated the breakup, were completely blindsided, or parted amicably, you need to put the past behind you and just get moving. Some people will say you need a little alone time, and while that’s true, you also need to be with family and friends. Getting over your relationship can be easier if you have a mini breakup checklist that you can rely on when you’re stuck in your pajamas on a Friday night with a pint of ice cream in hand. (Don’t worry—wallowing is number two on the list.)
Read on for what to do after a breakup and get you back on your feet in no time.
Wallow (a Bit)
Remember—we said just a little. Some of us have the bad habit of sitting in our own misery for too long (after the second day of not showering, pick yourself up, and get on with life). But what this wallowing process does allow you to do is start the grieving process. If you don’t stop and process your feelings, you’re going to be picking out bananas in the grocery store a few months later and find yourself sobbing over a bruised piece of fruit (it’s called a delayed response).
Belt It Out
We suggest doing this in the privacy of your own home with the door shut. Or you can do a tantrum yoga class in which you’re encouraged to channel your youth. Hemalayaa, the founder of this yoga method, relies on screaming, as well as chest-pounding and laughing, to get rid of stress in her classes. “I believe we are emotional beings, and there are times we need to express in order to let go of emotion, especially old stuff that is sitting in there, festering,” she says.
I’m the one in my pack who has the ultimate pleasure of taking my newly single friends out for a night on the town. My remedy for helping them cope isn’t just about dancing or vodka sodas—although those don’t hurt—it’s about getting dressed up and getting back out there again. A fun, let-loose experience is a spark of hope that you’ve still got plenty of good days ahead of you and lets you know there’s more to life than Netflix and chilling.
Treat Yourself To a Facial
It may sound kind of absurd, but a facial helps you clean yourself, inside out. After having a particularly bad dating experience (let’s just say if I held my breath waiting for him to call, I’d still be holding it), I dragged myself to the spa to use a gift certificate. It ended up being cathartic, as the technician literally popped and squeezed every one of my pores. And yes, I will admit this without shame: It helped me shed a few necessary tears, too.
Talk To a Therapist
Yes, it will help to talk to your friends, but after a while, they’re going to get sick of it. To be honest, there’s only so many times they want to hear about how if your partner had done “this” or “that,” things would have been different. Sometimes therapy is tough, and when it is, that might mean you’ve got the right expert.
Take a Solo Adventure
You don’t need a full-on Eat, Pray, Love experience for this to be helpful. Chances are you’re not as comfortable as you used to be when it comes to alone time. So grab your favorite snacks, attend a movie solo, eat brunch, people-watch with a new novel in hand, or even go on a short getaway when you feel like you’re up for it.
Avoid Making Major Beauty Changes for a Few Weeks
Bangs? Big chop? Although beauty changes can help give you the boost you need to get over your breakup, you may want to wait a few weeks until you’re in a better headspace before you go through with anything too drastic.
In the meantime, experiment with a new lipstick color or treat yourself to a manicure to lift your spirits.
Plan a Dream Vacation
You need something to look forward to, and what is better than a trip with your mom, your friends, or even yourself? Check into a relaxing spa, go adventuring in a rainforest, or explore the next up-and-coming travel destination. By putting something on your calendar, you have something to count down to.
Write a Letter To Your Ex
Just don’t send it. Some therapists say this is one of the best ways to get things off your chest and receive a sense of “closure” (although, really, is there such a thing?). It may be difficult to do, but it usually ends up feeling like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders once you’ve finished.