Heartbreak is precisely that, and when a relationship ends, it can feel as if your heart has broken into a million pieces. You feel the effects of grief. You go through the grieving process. Dealing with a breakup and healing from its wounds can take months or even years. During this time, you can lose yourself as you give in to the pain. When that happens, it takes time to find yourself again.
Dealing with a breakup without losing yourself takes a conscious decision and mindfulness. You need to be intentional, choosing to not wallow in the grief but to acknowledge the pain and make an effort to move past it.
Why dealing with a breakup is hard.Although a breakup is not a physical death, it is an emotional death. It is the loss of a relationship important to you. Even if the separation was amicable, the effects are lasting. Just like with any death, you process the pain through grieving.
The grieving process consists of five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. There is no set time limit for each phase, and you may move in and out of stages as you heal. However, problems arise when you become stuck in one stage for too long, or the grieving process consumes your entire life and interferes with healthy relationships.
If you are dealing with a breakup and feel like your world is out of control, or experiencing depression and isolation, reach out to a counselor today.
The following are effective ways for dealing with a breakup:
Talk with someone.
After a breakup, some people pull their emotions inside and try to deal with the trauma alone. Perhaps they feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty. But this is the time when you need people in your corner. You need someone you can trust to tell you the truth, encourage you, and support your decisions.
This support person can be a family member, close friend, or someone in your church or Bible study. It should be someone with whom you feel confident in confiding personal information. If you do not have someone like that, reach out to our clinic today to speak to a counselor.
Address grief.Are you aware of what stage of the grieving process you are in currently? Are you cycling through the stages? Acknowledging and addressing your grief is the first step toward healing. Knowing that you are in a normal state of the process helps you reach acceptance a little sooner. What you are experiencing is expected.
Sharing where you are in the process also helps other people support you. For example, your closest friends may notice that your depression symptoms are severe, or they may be able to help you diffuse your temper during the anger stage. Stay aware of your thoughts and emotions, and reach out when you need help.
Review your finances..
If your spouse or significant other shared bank accounts and money with you, you will need to review your finances. If you have not been the one who managed the finances in the past, you may not want to face the numbers. But, although it may feel uncomfortable, you need to know what you have in checking and savings, how much money you have coming in as income, and how much your expenses total.
Many households operate with two incomes, so if you are now down to one (or none), you will need to learn how to budget and cover your current expenses. You may need to remove some costs from your monthly budget, pick up a second job, or start a side hustle.
If you are not sure how to do this, ask someone you trust to help you get started.
Occupy your mind.
If you have ever seen a movie about a breakup, you have probably witnessed someone lying in bed eating ice cream and crying. This does happen as people handle feelings of rejection and failure from the split and eat something to make themselves feel temporarily better. But if you let your mind focus on the breakup, you will continue feeling bad. Your mind will bring up the past, the what-ifs of the relationship, and the worry about the future.
Staying busy keeps your mind occupied with other endeavors. Whether working, cleaning, or trying a new hobby, your mind focuses elsewhere. Turning your focus to something else allows your mind and heart time to heal.
Don’t drown your sorrows.As some people turn to ice cream when first confronted with a breakup, others turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain. Both of these will dull the heartache, but the pain will return. Alcohol and chemical dependence can both lead to addiction. Drowning your sorrows will only make things worse in the long run, destroying relationships and your health.
Dealing with a breakup is a time to turn your sorrows over to God. Let Him fill the empty place in your heart. He already knows about the relationship split or the divorce. Only God can give you peace that passes all understanding.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7, NIV
Start a fitness quest.
To increase or maintain your self-confidence, start a fitness quest. It does not have to be an extreme program for you to reap the benefits. Introducing regular exercise will create a cascade of hormones that will increase your self-esteem, leave you feeling confident, boost your immunity, improve your physical health, and shape your body.
Challenging your body to change under the stress of working out also teaches you that you can accomplish hard things. When you overcome fitness challenges, you realize that you can overcome other challenges in your life, including that devastating breakup.
Make some confidence changes.
To boost your self-confidence during this time, consider doing things that will make you feel better. Are there changes you would like to make that would improve your appearance? Appearance is not everything, but sometimes something as simple as a new haircut or hair color can make a breakup more manageable.What about a new outfit or two that fits you perfectly? A quick shopping trip could improve your self-esteem. You carry yourself differently when you are confident about how you look. Although you may not feel strong enough to hold your head high, borrow your confidence from knowing that you are putting your best foot forward.
Don’t jump into a new relationship.
Rebound relationships occur when we try to fill the absence of our significant other with someone else too soon. When your heart has not healed properly, you will bring that past hurt into a new relationship. As a result, your trust may be skewed. In addition, you may question the person’s behavior through a lens of the past relationship.
Everyone wants to feel loved and accepted. But jumping into a new relationship too soon will only cause problems later. Instead, give yourself time to heal.
Give yourself grace.
As you deal with this breakup, extend grace to yourself. Forgive yourself for your part at the end of the relationship. For your peace of mind, forgive your ex. If the relationship ended on a sour note or abuse was involved, you can still forgive without talking to them.
Forgiveness frees you from those negative emotions. It will take time for your thoughts and feelings to change, but they will change. With God by your side, His strength and grace surrounding you, you will get through this season of life.
Christian counseling for relationship issues.
The grieving process can be long and arduous. It is easy to become stuck in a stage or cycle back through the process more than a few times. If you are dealing with a breakup and need help moving past the hurt, call our office today to schedule an appointment with a Christian counselor. Some counselors specialize in grief and relationship issues and can help you find yourself again. This pain shall pass.
“Locks”, Courtesy of Gemma Evans, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Lego Lady”, Courtesy of Jackson Simmer, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Abandoned Toy”, Courtesy of Trym Nilsen, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Broken Heart”, Courtesy of Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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