Relationship breakups are something very common in today’s world. However, the impact of breakup on an individual’s overall functioning is still underrated. Affiliation and Belongingness are the most basic and prominent social needs that humans long for, care for, and work towards. The reason why relationships are so dear to us is because we invest a great deal of energy, emotions, and time creating and maintaining the attachments. Relationships are defined as containing the basic essence of faith, support, and even one’s own existence. No wonder any difficulties or conflicts in a relationship tends to threaten a person’s entire view about their relationship and themselves. Breakups are hard to face and the post breakup feelings, behaviors and ambiguity, often called as Post Breakup Syndrome, is usually characterized by anxieties, questioning own decisions, worrying about the future, existential crises, feelings of sadness, loneliness, isolation, hopelessness etc.
Coping With Breakups: All of us try to cope with the various difficult circumstances of our lives. Based on our individual differences we all opt for different coping strategies. Some may talk to a friend, cry it out, blame the situations, themselves or the other person, others may try to cope up with the feelings of abandonment, loneliness, sadness by engaging in substance abuse, or high risk behavior. The ways we opt for coping often determine the path and level of recovery thus it is very important to chose our coping strategies wisely. Here are a few tips which have been shown to be effective in coping with breakups.
Allow Healthy Grieving: It is normal to feel upset after a relationship ends. We invest emotions, and energies in creating and preserving attachments. Thus, it is normal to feel hurt and sad after a breakup. We tend to build our castles around the relationship, our future hopes, dreams, desires and fantasies surrounding that relationship. A breakup puts a lot of things at stake and thus it is normal to feel sad after a breakup. Instead of feeling why and getting anxious about it allow yourself to grieve. Healthy grieving facilitates discharge of emotions and has cathartic value.
Dealing With Mixed Emotions: You may feel sad, upset, angry, all at the same time. Emotions fluctuate with the changing thought content. At one point you may feel relieved about having come out of a not so good/ rewarding relationship, on the other hand while recalling some nicely spent memories of the past or thinking about the perfect looking future plans one may get a bout of anxiety, or start feeling sad for the breakup and may also feel hopeless regarding the future. You need to remind yourself that it shall pass. Don’t give in to the roller coaster ride that your mind is taking you to. Hold on it’ll stabilize.
Handling Future Anxieties: It’s been observed that people tend to associate relationships with stability. Relationships involve sharing of intimate details, mutual planning of a future with the other partner. End of a relationship tends to put many question marks on the future as the person’s sense of stability is shaken for a while. Whenever such anxieties creep in, breath in and tell yourself that you'll get over it, you have your own existence which is not dependent on anything and anyone else, It's a temporary phase and you'll get over it.
Caring Less About The Social Circles: Our society is an integral part of our being. Overtime the society begins to influence the decisions and judgments of our lives in a way that we become overly conscious about how the society will judge us for our life choices. It is essential to remember that it is your life, what's happening to you is your business. Draw the clear boundary between your personal and social life.
Taking A Break: It is important to take a break from your regular routine. Taking a break, relaxing, doing something nice or adventurous, something that you don't do often but like doing is essential for getting over the monotony of daily life. Novelty brings new insights and there's a feeling of growth. This enhances the quality of life.
Exercise: Exercising promotes physical activity and also helps in regulating the mood states. Starting your day with some form of exercise helps improving physical and mental wellbeing.
Eat: Generally people tend to lose their appetite when sadness sinks in. However remember that it’s your gloomy mood and not really your appetite. Your mood may not feel it but your body surely needs it.
Pursue Hobbies/Interests: Researches have repeatedly shown that pursuing interests enhance wellbeing. Utilizing the leisure time in doing recreational activities adds to feelings of meaning, productivity and satisfaction in life.
Remind yourself that you’ll get over it: sometimes it may feel like never ending and you may feel badly stuck and life may appear hazy with helplessness and diminishing hope. Nothing lasts forever and thus this will also end basically it has to.
No Hurry: At times you might face the question "How long?" The key is to tell yourself “It shall Pass” and no need to rush. Remind yourself the following things: “It happens with everyone, It takes time to build and get over attachments, Eventually I’ll get over it, I’ve been trying and my life has improved in various ways”.
Be with people you like and who energize you: Build a social circle that you like. Being surrounded by people who make you happy, understand you and are supportive of you helps reducing feelings of loneliness and sadness, foster the feelings of belongingness and connectivity.
Seek Professional Help If Needed: If the problems persist, distress doesn’t go down and dysfunction continues then it is advisable to seek help from a professional who specializes in human behavior. Consulting a Counselor or Psychologist is helpful in gaining better understanding of the situation and reaching a suitable management plan.