Breakups straight up suck; I won’t lie about that. You trusted someone with your heart, and instead of taking care of and nurturing it, they let it drop, causing it to splinter into thousands of irreparable pieces.
After a breakup, you don’t like yourself very much, and for whatever reason, instead of helping yourself make healthy mental and physical choices, you set yourself up for failure and destruction. As if what your significant other did to you wasn’t enough, you further prolong your punishment by mentally and physically torturing yourself. After a breakup, we often forget to take care of ourselves.
After my first breakup, I didn’t do any of the right things. I took the advice my friends tried to give me, and did the opposite. As a result, it took me far too long to pull myself out of the pit I had created for myself.
There are things you should and should not do after a breakup, which I’ve learned the hard way over the past six months. I honestly wouldn’t wish a heart as broken as mine was on my worst enemy, which is why I took a long, hard look on everything I did post-breakup and wrote a list of things opposite of what I did.
1. Delete that playlist right now.
At this moment, a playlist comprised of TSwift, Adele, and Christina Perri seems like exactly what you need, but it will only lead you down a dark path of bitter self-loathing into a pit of semi-masochistic thoughts. Yes, ‘Break Even’ may be exactly what you’re feeling at this moment, but trust me, you don’t need to reminded at this moment that he was the always the best part of you or that you’re all choked up while she’s okay. Just trust me on this one. Instead, make yourself a playlist of empowering songs that remind you how great you really are. (‘Girl on Fire’ was my favorite.)
2. Don’t lie in bed for months on end, sobbing into a bag of Cheetos.
You’ll scare your roommates, for starters. I know what it’s like not to want to be awake; I know all you want to do in the beginning is swaddle yourself in blankets with the blinds drawn. You’ll want to skip class and never leave your room but it’s a mistake — the longer you let yourself sit in your own misery, the longer it’ll take to feel normal again. When you allow yourself to be miserable for so long, you lose count of the days, and before you know it, it’s been two months and you haven’t showered or gone to class in four days. Push yourself to do something other than lay in bed; get fresh air, stretch your arms and interact with other human beings. Be miserable some place other than your bed, couch, floor, etc. etc. If nothing else, it’ll at least get your roommates to call off the suicide watch they had going.
3. Don’t use social media as an outlet for your misery.
I REPEAT: DO NOT TWEET. Please, for your own sake, the sake of your ex and every friend you have and want to have six months from now, stay off of social media at all costs. I’m not going to sugarcoat this — you look like an idiot. You look like an idiot for badmouthing your ex, for talking about how miserable you are, for letting every acquaintance you have know about your broken heart. Instead, take yourself over to the nearest Barnes and Noble and buy yourself a nice, leather journal. Go to town, pour out your soul on to the paper, write every negative thing you can think of about your ex but please, please, please do not use social media as you’re outlet. You will, without a doubt, regret how immature you seemed a few months from now.
4. Don’t call/text/go out your way to see your ex.
The worst thing you can do while your world is falling apart is to remind yourself that theirs isn’t. It may seem like you absolutely have to talk to them, but texting them only reopens the wound; calling them only perpetuates your heartache; and seeing them will only remind you how happy they are without you. There has never been an instance where I felt better after texting my ex, so instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, stop yourself while you’re ahead. Text a really good friend instead of texting your ex. If you live with your best friends like I did, let them know whenever you want to call them; good friends won’t let you self-destruct, or will at least try their best to stop you. Support is always a good thing to have.
5. Don’t stalk their social media.
It won’t feel good to see them carrying on with their life while yours feels as though it’s at a standstill. And it definitely won’t feel good when they start posting pictures of other people; in fact, it will be downright devastating. Save yourself the heartache and stop yourself from scrolling through their feed. Unfriend, unfollow, and block if you have to. Social media is the downfall of your happiness at this point, and if you can’t stop yourself from stalking your ex, you’re better off deleting social media for a few months rather than keeping yourself updated on his or her whereabouts post breakup.
6. Don’t eat your feelings.
The whole pizza pie sounds good right now, but you’ll regret devouring it when you feel winded going up a flight of stairs or walking slightly uphill. Bad self-esteem accompanies a breakup, and gaining an extra 10 pounds will only make you feel more miserable than you already are. Breakup calories do, in fact, count, and I learned that the hard way. Put down the gallon of ice cream and get your butt to the gym. Work off the calories, the frustration, and the anger. You’ll feel better, I promise.
7. Please stop talking about them.
Your friends will understand in the beginning, but after hearing that name for four months straight in every single conversation you have, they’ll stop listening all together. Every time you say their name, you get a syllable farther from moving on. You keep yourself in the past every time you mention them. Think before you speak. The less you talk about them, the less you’ll think about them, and the less you think about them, the happier you’ll be.
8. Learn to use a mental stop sign.
Every time you start thinking about your ex and how much happier they are without you and how they could very well have their tongue down some other person’s throat at this exact moment, put up the mental stop sign. Stop yourself in your tracks, cut your thoughts off, and focus on something else. Start this habit now, while the breakup is still fresh because trying to train yourself to throw up the stop sign six months down the road is hard. Start as soon as you can, and you’ll thank yourself.
9. Say yes to new adventures.
Laying in bed won’t get you to happiness. Doing what makes you feel alive again will. Hang out with friends, surround yourself with positivity, experience new things. You won’t regret it. You will regret spending months shrouded by sadness and disappointment.
10. Cry whenever you feel like you have to.
Just, you know, don’t do it out in public wherever you are. The cashier at the local convenience store will be forever giving you a weird look after you attempt to buy tissues and chocolate whilst sobbing. Just trust me on that one.
11. Keep it classy.
Yes, I know you want to hook up with someone new. I know you wanted to feel wanted again. I know you just want to feel beautiful. But just…don’t be pathetic about it. Because when you’re pathetic about it, you end up as the drunk chick crying in the corner of the party. And not only is that not cute, but it’s just downright sad.
12. Actually listen to this advice.
Immediately after my breakup, I went online and looked up advice on how to survive a breakup. My friends filled me in on tips and tricks to get over my ex faster. I compiled so much advice on breakups. I followed none of it. As much as I said I wanted to get better, I allowed myself to wallow in my misery for far too long. After a while, even you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Listen to this advice in the beginning, because it feels much worse to pick yourself up out of the wreckage you’ve caused six months down the road. You have to pick up the pieces of your heart as soon as you can before they start to erode and no longer look like they fit together.