Breaking up is hard to do. It is emotionally difficult. It can be financially difficult. It can be spiritually and physically difficult, too. The depression that comes on after a breakup can feel debilitating, especially if you were not the one who initiated the breakup.
The good news, though, is that you will not always feel this way.
Life will go on despite your heartbreak. The key is to hang on to that idea, even when you feel like your world is falling apart.
For most people, there is no simple way to clear away the depression that creeps in after a breakup. However, there are some steps you can take to help you get to what Adele would call "the other side" faster.
1) Grieve the relationship.
For many people, a breakup can feel like a death. When a relationship ends, the dreams you had for that person and relationship end, too.
Allow yourself to grieve the things that will not be, because the relationship is over. It is OK to feel sad, and to move slowly through the stages of grief — denial, bargaining, depression, and anger — until you finally come to a point of acceptance.
Let yourself feel whatever feelings are coursing through you, including rejection, abandonment, disappointment or fear.
It might sound counterintuitive to cry when you are trying to get through depression, but it's really not. There’s a reason that “Cry it out” is a saying. Crying can be a great release.
Crying can help relieve you of the emotional baggage you are carrying. It can give you an outlet for your inner turmoil.
3) Talk about it.
Do not avoid the emotions you have in regards to the breakup. Avoiding them will only stop you from moving on. The best thing to do is to deal with them head-on.
Talking to a therapist or writing out your thoughts in a journal can give you clarity and help you see that even though it may not feel like it right now, this breakup is probably for the best.
4) Take care of yourself.
It is extremely important to be gentle with yourself at this time in your life. Treat yourself like you’d treat a friend in this situation. Do things that make you feel good and remind you of all the good in life.
Meet a friend for coffee. Go to a movie. Book a facial.
Practicing self-care is the key to getting through this process. While nothing can make everything all better, incorporating these steps in your post-breakup life can make a huge different.
WebMD.com. “Coping with grief.” 23 December 2015. Web.
Huffingtonpost.com. “7 tips to dealing with a breakup.” 13 June 2013. Web.
Reviewed December 24, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith