Feeling lonely after a breakup is normal, and everyone has different ways they deal with it – some healthy, some unhealthy. Here are fifteen HEALTHY things you can try to get yourself through this inevitable stage.
I’ll also add that I’ve used many of these – particularly during a recent breakup. So I can speak from personal experience.
1. UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE FEELING
The first most important thing is to understand the difference between being alone, being lonely, and being isolated. All of them can have huge impacts on our mental and physical health, but some are worse than others…
BEING ALONE – This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, having time to yourself to reflect, heal, and develop new habits is good for the soul. It’s if you’re alone for too long that it becomes isolation (which is very bad).
BEING LONELY – This is also normal, everyone will feel it at some stage. Just think of a time when you were surrounded by people and still felt like a shadow or a ghost – it can happen to anyone, single or otherwise. It’s this stage you need to overcome.
- Being alone is okay.
- Being alone too long can lead to isolation
- You can be alone and lonely (but have to be active to change it)
- You can be with people and lonely (but find ways to reconnect)
- You can be alone (no support group)
2. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
I’ll state this again. It’s OKAY to be alone after you break up with someone – yes, it’s painful, yes you’ll cry, yes you’ll be angry. But you’ll also be detached from the negativity your partner was placing on you or the toxicity they were infecting you with. You also have absolute freedom to do what YOU need to do to get back to your strong, independent self.
3. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE
If you suffer from anxiety, this can be hard. However, the simple act of getting out of your house can do wonders. You can visit the shops your ex would always complain about going to. You can sip a coffee and people watch. You can just go for a walk and get some exercise. But staying in your home for weeks on end (even if there are other people in the house) can lead to a form of isolation.
4. EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL CIRCLE
This is a big one. For me, most of my friends came through my ex. Therefore, I had to find friends that were MINE. I also started to connect more with people who wanted to hang out but I always avoided it because of the issues of my relationship.
Loneliness comes from feeling disconnected from others or feeling like no one can relate to you. Go out, find new friend, or nurture current friends that aren’t going to be “mixture” problems with your ex.
5. DO THE THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO
This comes down to simple “positive action” and generating a feeling of happiness. This can be with people or while your alone. But, at least once a day, do something that makes you happy…
- Call someone
- Paint or draw
- Dance crazy around your house
- Practice a hobby
- Sip tea on your patio
- Take a long bath
- Watch a show you love
6. DO THE THINGS YOU COULDN’T DO
This is one step further – maybe there were things you couldn’t do because your ex just didn’t like them or wasn’t interesting in spending quality time that way (or at all). Take up something NEW that you’ve wanted try – museum/art galleries, dance lessons, language lessons, saving for a vacation.
Your time will be spent doing things that make you happy, and hopefully surround yourself with people, and maybe make new friends.
7. HAVE THE TV OR MUSIC ON
I lived with someone for 15+ years and having the house so quiet was jarring. Simply putting on a playlist or a television show (even if I wasn’t watching) helped me feel not so alone.
8. CAREFUL OF REBOUNDS
There’s a debate on whether rebounds are healthy or useful. We won’t get into that particular debate, but if you know yourself well enough that a rebound would be bad, avoid them.
You can always connect in other ways. And, sorry for the semi-graphic detail, you can always satisfy any sexual needs with a sex toy or simple masturbation (especially if you’re not ready to be with someone just yet).
9. TALK TO YOURSELF
I do this one a lot – I look in the mirror and talk to myself and I make sure it’s POSITIVE and SUPPORTIVE. You can also video yourself a message to playback when you’re having a hard time. I talk about all the positive stuff I did today, even the little things are BIG accomplishments (like going to the grocery store). Don’t put yourself down for ANY act that goes towards healing and independence.
E.g. Even me going by myself to a new writer’s group was a huge accomplishment and shouldn’t be looked at as something insignificant. Positive reinforcement is the key/point.
10. SELF DISCOVERY AND HEALING
Remember, this is a time you’ll learn new things, wonderful things about yourself. Even if it’s difficult, it’s worth it. Practice calming breathing, medication, distraction games. Have long, hard thoughts about what you really want, who you really want to be, and what you really want in a future partner.
11. LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE
Take what I mentioned from #10 and add “don’t beat yourself up” – don’t punish yourself for mistakes or that you let someone hurt you. Indulging in this kind of negative mindset will push you to the lonely and isolated side of the spectrum.
Embrace this moment as an opportunity, not a setback.
12. LEAN ON YOUR SUPPORT GROUP
If you have friends and family that are good listeners and are reliable when a crisis pops up, lean on them for support – vent to them, cry to them, get hugs from them, etc. This can be physical people or through digital means.
13. FIND PROFESSIONAL HELP
In my opinion, everyone goes for an annual physical check-up, but we don’t treat them mind with the same respect. I highly recommend finding a therapist or psychologist that specializes in breakups. They might have tools or insights that you would have never thought of on your own. Or, maybe they’ll just be the non-judgmental ear you need during this time. It also helps you feel less along.
When it’s all said and done, it’s EASY to give advice. However, when you’re mired in the agony of a breakup, sometimes all the advice in the world doesn’t feel like it will help. First, allow yourself to mourn (you CAN have this stage) but after that, it’s up to you to fight through.
You need to be a warrior – strong, independent, and ready to take on the world one small step at a time … even if it’s just sipping tea on your patio.
Want more articles? Maybe these will help…
- Rebound Sex – The Positives and Negatives
- Sex After Divorce – 4 Things That Will Affect Your Libido
- Stalking Your Ex on Social Media – 15 Ways to Let Go and Heal
Anything you want to add? Share in the comments!