Jamie Ratowski, LMFT
Break Up Recovery - Tips to Help Us Move On
A break-up is a certain type of pain. Heartbreak is hard to define as it’s not always the same for everyone. But it’s real, and it’s heavy. A break-up can even be classified as a trauma in some cases. It’s an extremely complex and difficult time whether you are the one choosing to leave the relationship, the decision was made together, or you are struggling with the separation you didn't want.
Relationships are a wonderful, special part of our life as they are often rooted in love, intimacy, support, and respect. These powerful things are what humans innately crave as we thrive off connection and all that comes from it.
As relationships grow, these qualities of love and support grow and we begin to depend on them. We depend on our partners to feel full and complete. Break-ups often remove these qualities from being present in our life, leaving us feeling lost. When recovering from a break-up, it is important to prioritize yourself and amplify self-care.
Break-up self-care can be different, as you may want to direct your attention on the break-up itself vs. just everyday things that make us feel good. Our tendencies can shift to negative thinking patterns, focused on “what ifs”, “if onlys” and additional toxic habits. Practicing skills like gratitude journaling, mindfulness, or similar self-care habits can be beneficial during this process.
I provide break-up recovery therapy in my practice specifically to support and aid those who are dealing with this difficult process and struggling with the many emotions that may arise during this time such as stress, grief, anger, and confusion. This type of support is essential to the healing process in addition to learning and developing skills to implement in the moments that seem the hardest.
Below I provide some of the tips I find to be especially useful in coping with a break-up:
- Acceptance: In order to take the necessary steps toward coping and eventually moving on, we need to accept the break-up. We also need to give ourselves permission to feel our feelings, accept the emotions that come along with this separation, and ALLOW yourself to feel them. Be present and patient, accept where you are and move forward at your own pace.
- Journaling: This is one of the best skills to help us process our emotions. More so, it can help give you a productive purpose to focus on rather than the negatives of the break-up. Try giving yourself specific topics to channel your energy into such as listing your strengths, identifying your positive attributes, listing all the benefits to being single, or what you have learned from the relationship. Your journal is YOURS, use it how you like.
- Creating Closure: We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to moving on. Holding on too closely to certain sentimental belongings, items, or various memoranda that keeps us in an unhealthy limbo state preventing us from moving on. Creating a way to find closure by releasing some of these memories can be helpful to cut certain ties that have been holding us back and close the door on the relationship that has ended. Great examples of this closure can be deleting old messages, removing pictures, unfollowing him/her on social media, writing a letter with final words, or whatever similar ritual you think may help you create closure.
- Read: Find yourself a useful book, article, or any resource that helps you feel validated, heard, and gives useful information on how to cope with this process. You may not relate to every single thing in a self-help book, but if you take one thing away from any resource you read, it was worth it! Plus, reading is good for the soul. Audiobooks and podcasts are also a great option for those who don't like reading.
- Last, but certainly not least, THERAPY: Therapy is an essential skill in processing a break-up. Talking to friends or your support system to process your feelings is a healthy part of this process, but they are sometimes too close to provide the support you need. Therapy could be more effective in this scenario as a good therapist should remain more unbiased and nonjudgemental in proving useful support and feedback. Talking is therapeutic in itself, so pairing that with the useful take-aways therapy can provide this is a fantastic way to help you recover from your breakup.
If you find yourself struggling to cope with a recent break-up, please reach out via telephone at 954-391-5305 for more information on how therapy can help you recover.
I offer both teletherapy and in person sessions at this time, if appropriate, with the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions. I look forward to speaking with you soon!