Some relationships are like a cup of latte: starting out frothy and sweet, but ending on a bitter, sour note. And we get it – it hurts like a b-word. But just because your fairytale didn’t have a “happily ever after”, don’t let it drag you down. Breakups are incredibly hard, but you can get over them and become stronger for it.
Do: Let yourself grieve
Whether the relationship was a good one or a bad one, you got into it because you saw something there, and a breakup is loss. And it’s perfectly okay to mourn a loss. Let yourself feel the feelings, because that’s the road towards healing.
Don't: “Medicate” against the pain through self-harm and substance abuse
Drowning the pain in drinks or drugs, binge-eating, self-harm...all of these behaviours help no one and ultimately won’t do a darned thing in helping you get over the breakup. Try to channel the negative feelings positively, and seek professional help if you’re feeling depressed.
Do: Channel your feelings creatively
A good way to let it all out is to turn all those overwhelming emotions into something creative. Write your feelings down in a journal. Write it into fiction and exact the revenge of your fantasies. If you’re musically inclined, make your own breakup album (hey, it helped launch Maroon 5 and pretty much made Taylor Swift...well, Taylor Swift). Finding a creative outlet for your grief can be an incredibly cathartic and empowering experience.
Don't: Talk trash about your ex
It might be tempting to talk down the person that hurt you (or that you
hurt) just so you could tell yourself you’re the protagonist of this sad story, but try to refrain. For one, it’s a petty thing to do, and for another, it makes you look immature. Take the high road, and let karma take care of the rest.
Do: Take a time-out
Maybe you ended amicably, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you decided to stay friends. Whatever the mood was like at the moment the relationship ended, the most important thing to do is to go cold turkey and cut off all communications, at least for the first month or so. Just ask Dua Lipa; she’s laid out the how and why in her infectious track “New Rules”
Don't: Stalk your ex
The saying “Out of sight, out of mind” is particularly true in the case of breakups. You just ended with this other person. Why would you want to torture yourself by following his/her every move? Spending time keeping tabs on your ex, you’re strengthening neural pathways that deal with associations with that person, which makes it harder not to dwell on your past relationship, thereby, making it impossible to move on.
Do: Declutter all your physical associations
In other words, get rid of all the memorabilia from your relationship, which might act as triggers that send you tumbling down memory lane, bawling your eyes out over a tub of ice-cream. Decluttering will not only give you a clean space and clean slate to work with, but again, not having reasons to think back on the relationship will help you move on faster.
Don't: Hang around your old spots for a while
Maybe you guys had a favourite cafe or restaurant, or a favourite shared activity. Now that you’re newly single, it’s time to find a new
favourite, one that’s free of associations of the old SO, so that s/he can’t ruin this one for you.