Breakups suck. They’re hard on the mind, worse on the heart, and just downright terrible for your eating habits. Good news? The pain doesn’t have to last forever. Well, unless you want it to.
Wanting someone who’s no longer in your life is a bad practice. Crushing on someone even when you know it’s over is self-harm. You’re deluding yourself into thinking “what could be?” when the question should be, “what next?”
Before we begin, I want to acknowledge that everyone’s experience is different and valid. I wrote this piece to help you move through your breakup easier. Getting over your ex is possible if you allow yourself the time and the space to do so.
First, think of your ex like a bad habit. Shifting to this mindset will help you realize you can quit this person just like people stop biting their nails or quit drinking too much coffee.
Pattern forming and pattern breaking go hand in hand. Timothy Pychyl, a psychologist who specializes in procrastination, explains that “breaking a habit really means establishing a new habit.” This means that the repetition of a new practice helps your brain recalibrate and focus on something current instead.
But, Pychyl, and many other people who study the brain, also say that change can be hard—two steps forward, one step back—because sometimes you can think you’ve broken a habit or gotten over someone only to find yourself calling your ex incessantly or wallowing in tears because you saw something that reminded you of the good old days.
Pychyl says that kind of regression is especially common when we’re under different types of stress because we go back to what we know, sometimes erasing months or years of work to unlearn a habit. You will have ups and downs, but focusing on the larger picture (your happiness and independence) the reward of snatching your power back into your own grips and becoming stronger is the best habit you could ever adopt.
Here are five ways to break free of the breakup blues:
ONE: BLOCK, BLOCK, BLOCK
We all know that feeling of wanting to be sad on purpose, putting on that song you guys used to listen to and just laying there like your life is over. Especially with social media in the mix, it’s entirely too easy to check up on your ex: what’re they up to, who’s their new boo, are they talking about you? etc, etc. Solution? Take control of the situation. Don’t allow yourself to cyber stalk. Welcome to your new best friend: the block button.
I get it, i get it. Some of you want to stay “best friends." The problem is: you were not just friends. You were lovers. That changes things, but if you really want to get there you can, but it’s impossible to be just friends when one of you or both still has feelings.
Either way, allow yourself to take a small break. Give at least three weeks to yourself, with zero contact. Use the same energy you would use to think about them and invest them into yourself. TWO: THROW THE TRIGGERS AWAY
Identify your triggers and get rid of them all. Wash the clothes that still smell like them. Throw the pictures away.
By taking the time to confront your triggers, you now know how to replace them. The idea is to train your brain enough to alter your reality for the better. Replace old memories by making new ones with yourself or with friends. Make a bucket list and start completing it. Have fun, go out, get cute! When in doubt, play Cardi B and ask yourself: what would Rihanna do? OKUUUR!?!
THREE: FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE
Be present when navigating your feelings but also focus on your future. Where do you want to be 5 years from now? Does it include this feeling? Is this feeling paying your bills? Will it help you achieve your goals? If not, release and let go. By seeing the bigger picture, you’re not only making it easier to address these bad habits but you’re practicing your willpower for the future. You’re actively making better choices, for you! Hello empowerment. FOUR: PEEP THE POSITIVE
Set positive reminders for yourself to stay on track. You got this! Be kind to yourself. This process is messy and almost never perfect. You will have setbacks and moments of weakness.
Acknowledge your mistakes, become hyperaware, and aim not to make them again. Move on and move forward. And don’t forget to treat yourself now that you’ve got extra time, money, and energy for you.
Give yourself small treats for reaching your goals and for staying on track. You deserve it! Eyes on the prize, baby! FIVE: LET GO AND LET BE
Last but not least, take charge of your life. Be intentional. Be deliberate. Be proactive. Release the thoughts and emotions that no longer serve you. Love yourself enough to stop indulging in self-harm. Get to a place where you can serve your higher purpose because you deserve it.
In the words of Marilyn Monroe, “sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” Trust the process and allow your blessings in. Have faith in what the universe has in store for you.
Onwards and upwards, my love. Whatever comes next is yours to decide. You are not perfect, and you will likely mess up on this journey. Breakups often don’t feel like blessings, but, if you can rebuild after a tough one, who you are on the other side will shock you and motivate you to never let anyone tamper with your worth again.
Cheers to new habits and blocking your exes!
How did you get over your ex? Can you relate to Shannon's tips? Let us know in the comments below!