My relationship of four & a half years came to an end a month ago. It’s still a struggle at times, but in between all the crying and ice-cream and romantic comedies, I’m starting to catch glimpses of what a happier future will look like.
Heartbreak is one of the few things that unites every person on this planet. It’s inevitable that at some point in our lives, we will all have our hearts broken. Whether you’re mourning your first break-up at 15 or coming to terms with a divorce at 35, learning to let go of someone you once loved is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do.
Now that I am feeling more myself again, I thought what better time to share some tried-and-tested advice on getting over a break-up. Unfortunately there’s no fast track plan to help you heal, but here are 11 tips that have helped me to feel better.
Block his sorry ass on everything
No, you can’t be friends. Don’t even go there. Maybe a year or so down the line friendship could be a possibility, but straight after your break-up is not going to help you move on. Do you really want to end up Facebook-stalking him when you’re feeling down or, worse, texting him to say how much you miss him after you’ve had a few drinks? Block him on all social media channels and don’t forget to remove him from any shared accounts, such as Netflix and Amazon.
Remove all photographic evidence of his existence
The day after I split from my ex, I gathered up all his remaining belongings and put them in the garage out of sight. I also got rid of every photo and card I had saved over the years. It was tough but I have thanked past Lucy for making that decision every day since. There will be plenty of things to remind you of him in the weeks and months that follow your break-up without you making yourself feel even worse by sobbing over every valentine’s card he ever wrote you.
Cry it out
Break-ups make you feel the lowest of the low and are a common trigger for mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. As tempting as it is to try and avoid getting upset, it’s not going to help you in the long run. You need to get those feelings out of your system and accept what has happened. Up until recently, I was crying daily – I’m not ashamed to admit that because I knew that with every cry I was one step closer to moving on.
Keep busy! You need to take time to process the grief you’re feeling, but don’t waste whole days wallowing. Let yourself cry and then when you’re done blast some happy music or find an upbeat film to watch. Better yet, make plans to see friends or family. If they’re even half as incredible as mine are, they’re guaranteed to cheer you up and take your mind off your ex.
Make a feel good playlist
Confession time: I am the type of person who likes to listen to sad songs when I’m feeling low. Don’t ask me why I do it because I don’t have the answer but apparently it is a common coping mechanism.
Although listening to “Everything I Do” by Bryan Adams on repeat for an hour may feel therapeutic at the time, it’s also leading you into risky ‘wallowing’ territory. Do yourself a favour and keep your Spotify an Adele-free zone until you’re feeling better. Instead create a playlist of “safe songs“, music that isn’t melancholy, doesn’t focus on love or heartbreak and, most importantly, doesn’t remind you of your ex.
Talk to people about how you’re feeling
The most important advice I can give you. Without going into detail about my own break-up, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed that my relationship hadn’t worked out. I was worried that my friends would judge me and think I had been naive, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I would not have gotten through the last month without the support of my friends and family. When a break up has left you doubting yourself and your worth, they are there to remind you that you deserve the world and that’s what you are going to get.
Reorganise your furniture
Move your bed to a different wall, buy a new beanbag, remove a wardrobe; whatever it takes to make that room feel different from before. I found it hard sleeping in my own bedroom immediately after the break up because I was so used to having my ex there beside me.
Anyone who knows me offline will know what a problem this would have been for me because one of my favourite pastimes is to Netflix and Nap (the late twenties version of Netflix and Chill). Since rearranging my bedroom furniture, the room feels different and I am pleased to inform you that me and my duvet are back to enjoying New Girl marathons together in bed.
Find something to look forward to
Ending a long-term relationship can leave you feeling completely lost. When you pictured yourself having children with someone and growing old together and then suddenly they’re gone, the future can seem very bleak. A good way to combat this feeling is to make plans and give yourself new things to look forward to. Book a spontaneous holiday abroad, arrange a day out with your friends or plan an extra memorable party for your next birthday.
Make a list of everything you can do now you aren’t with them
I’m not talking about things related to being single again, like going on a date or downloading Tinder (although if you feel ready to take those steps, go for it!) All relationships involve compromise, which means there’s bound to have been something you missed out on because your ex wasn’t a fan. Have you always wanted a pink room in the house but your ex thought it would look too girly? Maybe you love seafood but your ex hated it. Now’s your chance – paint that living room fuchsia and when you’re done treat yourself to a seafood platter at the nearest restaurant. I promise, you will feel great afterwards.
Make yourself feel good
Here at Luce in Lockdown, we’re all about self-care. What helps you to unwind after a stressful day? For me, you can’t beat a hot bath with a mug of coffee, the bigger the better, on the side. You’re going through a frankly awful time in your life, you deserve to be pampered. And when you feel up to it, pull out your tool box and get glammed up. Pair the outfit that makes you feel sexiest with an equally fierce make-up look. I guarantee it’ll remind you of what you deserve in life, which is of course only the best.
Be kind to yourself
These things take time. Don’t make a difficult experience even harder by punishing yourself for feeling down. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to treat yourself as you would a friend. Would you say hateful things to your best friend if she was crying about losing someone she loved or would you comfort and reassure her? It’s time to show yourself that same compassion and understanding.
What do you think of my tips? Do you have your own advice for us folk who are re-adjusting to single life? I’m definitely not an expert when it comes to moving on and sometimes I even struggle to follow my own advice, let alone anyone else’s, but that’s ok. Healing isn’t linear. I know I’ll get there eventually and so will you.
We’ve got this!