Jamie Ratowski, LMFT
Best Ways to Cope After a Break-Up
Break-ups bring a very specific, deep, and emotional pain. It can sometimes even feel intolerable. It’s a loss and it can even present itself like grief. Break-ups leave us in a dark state, one of confusion and many unanswered questions. The “what if” and “now what” questions can consume your thoughts, leaving you unable to get the answers you so desperately seek.
The period after a break-up can be one of the most challenging times to navigate. People will always tell you that you will get through it and that they've been there, but every break-up is different and your pain is unique. Afterall, no one experienced the same relationship as you did.
However, even though every break-up is unique, it is important to put into play some healthy coping skills during this time to keep you feeling as healthy as you can, keep you moving on each day, and manage this difficult time as best you can. Not all coping mechanisms will be the same for each person, and therapy is an incredible way to explore unique coping skills for yourself and gain some healthy tips to get you started to move on and heal.
Below I have provided some of my favorite coping skills I've personally used and ones I've shared with my clients, friends, and loved ones who have gone through difficult break-ups in their life. My hope is they can help you, too!
Focus On Yourself:
This is such an essential time to shift your focus onto yourself. This is the time to let yourself feel all your feelings as they may come. Be sad when you're sad, rest when you're tired, be active when you have energy, and prioritize all of your needs.
Journaling can be a great way to navigate the plethora of feelings you are probably feeling at this time and a good way to achieve some release. You spent a lot of time focusing on the relationship, it's now time to prioritize your own wants and needs. Enhancing your self-care during this time is important.
Self-help books on break-ups, podcasts, and various resources are a good way to feel supported right now. Don't be afraid to give yourself a lot of love and pampering as well. Treat yourself with love, kindness, and patience during this time to heal at your own pace.
Spend Time With Loved Ones:
This is such an important part of break-up recovery. You may want to be alone and this is okay and even healthy in moderation, but finding support in friends or family that you respect and trust is an invaluable resource to healing.
Your support system can help you to be reminded that love is possible in our lives in other aspects outside of your romantic relationships and remind you that you're NOT ALONE. Call a friend, call a family member. If this is not possible for you, there are a plethora of support systems available online and in person that can help you navigate this time with those who can relate to your pain.
Social media platforms can be really toxic during this time. It's easy to fall into bad habits of comparing your life to others via posts and pictures. Try disconnecting from social media during this time and shifting focus to your life in real time and being present.
It's also not uncommon to keep tabs on your ex through the internet. This can easily set you back in your break-up recovery healing process. Blocking or restricting your access to your ex’s profiles is a good way to stay focused on you and prevent slipping into unhealthy coping patterns.
Keeping yourself distracted and busy is a good way to keep your thoughts distracted in a healthy way from overthinking and anxiety during this break-up. Focusing on your work, giving yourself goals, and being productive during this time will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement which is so beneficial when you might be feeling low.
Getting healthy movement and exercise is also important to feel like the healthy and strong person you are. Staying busy and healthy helps you to remember your capabilities, enhance your self-worth, and even keeps the anxiety at bay.
Create New Experiences:
This last coping suggestion has plenty of room for creativity. This is a perfect time in your life to start creating new experiences and joyous memories in your life. This can mean planning new activities, hobbies, trips, or even cutting out bad habits and/or people from your life.
I often tell clients to create a vision board to begin viewing the life they want to live, envision for themselves in their future, and get inspired to try new things. Your life doesn't stop because your relationship ended. Creating new experiences can help you enjoy life in a way you haven't and give you hope and inspiration for a happy, healthy future.
Need More Support Recovering From Your Breakup?
Break-up therapy is something I have been passionate about in my counseling practice and often is an undertreated area in mental health. My therapeutic approach to break-up therapy is a personalized and collaborative experience to help you focus on YOUR needs and goals.
I use a solution focused style to help you begin to develop and work on your goals and your future. Together we can explore the relationship and break-up to help you achieve a deeper understanding of your feelings, gain closure, and begin to set goals for what you want to achieve and where you want to be moving forward.
If you or someone you know may benefit from Break-Up therapy, please don't hesitate to contact me today at 954-391-5305 for a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your therapy needs and how I can help.
We have a big, brand new, beautiful office located in Plantation, Florida that can accommodate all your relationship needs. Virtual therapy is also an awesome option for those with busy schedules. For more information about my approach or my services, visit my bio here.
I look forward to hearing from you!