What NOT To Do After a Breakup or Divorce: 7 Helpful Tips
Human beings love routines. We prefer a safe and known environment, such as the city that we have been living in for years or the long term relationships that we have for years. These routines include not only daily life activities but also the people we chat, hang out, and spend most time with. Therefore you can imagine how challenging it is when we go through big life changes such as breaking up or having a divorce.
Whether you want it or not, breaking up with a person you loved can turn your world upside down and cause so many different emotions in a short span of time. A breakup or divorce is not just a process of two people splitting up, but also a process of loss and grief. You lost your hopes or plans for the future and the commitments or promises that you made with that person. Because of this flood of emotions, it's normal if you might feel like acting on your anger or other overwhelming emotions. And that's why we are here: to suggest alternative and healthier options.
7 Things NOT To Do After a Breakup or Divorce
There are some things that will not help you heal if you do them straight after a breakup or a divorce. Here we share some advice on what to not to do after your breakup/divorce and provide some healthy alternatives and tips (aka what to do instead).
1. Don’t rush yourself
After a breakup, you can feel lonely or empty and might try to fill this emptiness with impulsive actions or meaningless workloads. Further, people can do all these things because they try to avoid feeling the emotions that they are scared of, such as sadness, loneliness, guilt or anger towards past relationships and ex-partners. Give yourself time to feel the emotions that you have to face and give your “wounds” time to heal.
2. Don’t talk about the secrets and intimate issues that you had
Especially after toxic relationships or hard divorces, people can feel extreme anger towards the ex-partner. This anger might cause regrettable actions such as talking about private details about your ex-partner and you life with them. At first you might feel a slight relief but in the long term, the feeling of guilt can hunt you down. Be mindful of what you are talking about and who you are talking with. Preferring silence or confiding only to your trusted friends and close family members can be a helpful option right after a breakup or divorce.
3. Don’t use social media for the wrong reasons
Even though social media can be an extreme distraction sometimes, using it right after a breakup can be harmful to you. It can create an unhealthy stalking and ruminating environment and cause unhelpful feelings. Taking some time apart from social media can help you control your mood.
4. Don’t focus on revenge
Another dangerous side of anger is that it can turn into a revenge game for the person. You might want your ex-partner to feel just as bad as you do. However, most of the time “letting go gracefully” is the right action. Because in the long term you might regret your past actions which you choose according to your previous emotions. Moving on is challenging when you focus too much on your ex partner or ex relationship. Try focusing on yourself instead and do things that make yourself feel better and fulfilled.
5. Avoid wallowing in your emotions
Feeling and expressing your emotions is a healthy part of life and especially in difficult times like breakup and divorce. But be careful about differentiating feeling the emotions and ruminating on emotions of loss. If you are stuck in a cycle of negative emotions and can’t stop thinking about your ex-partner or past relationship, maybe try to change the environment that you are in. For instance, you can go for a walk, start doing yoga, visit close friends, or simply get fresh air or take a shower.
6. Don’t compare yourself
Everyone experiences the best and the worst side of the relationship differently, just like they will experience the breakup differently too. Just because someone else talks more or less about their divorce, or they are more or less expressive of their pain that you are, it doesn't mean that you should do the same. Allow yourself to express your pain in the way you feel it and once again: focus on yourself and not on others.
7. Don’t ask for too much advice
Asking for too much advice from others can cause negative feelings just like comparing yourself with others too. Talking with your close friends and family members is so valuable and important. But asking for advice can confuse you more because people always reflect on their own feelings, experience and assumptions while advising someone. They are not you, and never can be. So, asking for help and advice can be helpful but you should be careful with the limit of it.
Giving yourself the time and space that you need is the most valuable thing after a breakup. Don’t forget that every emotion you are feeling right now is a part of the experience.
Written by Zeliha Stefanie Roesler, Intern Psychologist at AntiLoneliness
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