Break-up can be as distressing for a person as any other major stressor such as the death of a loved one, divorce or facing a natural disaster. We hear from people going through break-up being extremely hopeless, helpless and disconnected from others. There sense of loss a person goes through is grief and there is an ongoing grief cycle in person’s life.
Richa, 26 had an ideal relationship. Her partner had all those qualities she ever wanted. Being in a 3 years long relationship, Richa really looked forward to getting married to her boyfriend. It was only when she found out her partner was cheating on her with a colleague of his she really evaluated the relationship. She realized that her partner was not as ideal as she believed he was. Richa broke up with him and decided to move on in her life. Initially, there was denial, followed by anger in her.
After a long time though Richa realized that she could not manage her loss and her emotions and feelings were affecting her in worst ways. She was sad, hopeless and depressed most of the time, even quit her job. It was then she decided to take professional help. The counselor helped her identify what was she doing wrong after the break-up and how best she could manage her emotions, during the course of counseling process.
Let us look at the things a person should not do after a break-up so that the recovery process becomes more effective.
Keeping contact with your ex
It is okay to miss your ex but it’s not okay to keep contact with your ex for any reason. It is very important to maintain a NO CONTACT PERIOD after your break up. This will give you time to think and reflect upon the whole situation. Keeping in touch with your ex will not let you think about yourself beyond the relationship that has ended.
Avoiding how you feel:
Many people tend to ignore their feelings and the emotions associated with pain after the breakup. However the counseling advice would be to FEEL THE PAIN. You need time to feel and then heal through this process. Avoiding the feelings only increase the pressure inside you which is bound to manifest in form of other problems.
Do not disengage from friends, family, and social gatherings. It is natural to feel low after break up but it is your support system that is going to help you come out of it. Avoiding others may lead to loss of friends and other social support. Engaging into this kind of behavior will increase negative feelings about one’s life such as loneliness and helplessness.
Taking a break from recreational activities:
Do not stop doing things you love doing. Break up phase involves a period of demotivation but if you must not give up on recreational activities and your hobbies. These things help you re-connect to your own self and channelize the negative emotions in you. After break up, one must not give up on routine and self-care activities.
Reminiscing the good memories with your ex:
Worst you can do after a break up is to keep on reminding yourself about your ex by merely replaying all the good memories in your head as a movie. People often attach things and events with their partners and tend to re-live them after break up. Such as listening to a particular song, visiting the place you use to hang out at. Avoid doing these things.
What is seen in many people is they tend to attribute themselves as the reason of break up, leading to self-blame and self-criticism. Understand that it is not your fault that led to the break up. Negative self talk and blaming yourself would make you want to go back to your ex and you’ll end up hurting yourself.
Using coping behaviors such as excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, binge eating, casual sex tend to complicate the problem. People engage in these things as an escape to pain and negative feelings after break up. This can lead to further physical and psychological problems. So be mindful of your coping strategies.
Break up leads to a sense of loneliness but avoid getting into new relationships very soon. Being impulsive and getting into dating again without working upon yourself after break-up is the most hazardous thing people do.
It is important to reflect upon the loss and maintain the individual you are, after break up. Awareness of your feelings, emotions and mental state is important to process a break up. Avoiding it will only lead to a stop in your journey of self-growth. Avoiding doing the things discussed above and take charge of yourself.
In case you find it really difficult to work upon it by yourself, seek professional help. You have every right to be happy.