I recently broke up with my boyfriend of over three years, and it sucks. Most days, I manage to stay positive and focus my thoughts on anything and everything else. Some days, though, a dark cloud looms over me and makes me question everything I thought I was so sure about. On those days, I force myself to do the following:
Remember why I chose to walk away in the first place. It’s natural to question our choices when feeling lonely or depressed, but these are the times when it’s most important to stick to your guns. There is a reason the relationship ended, and it’s crucial to recall these reasons before falling into a black hole of nonsensical self-pity.
Confide in friends. I tend to be closed off when it comes to my feelings, generally covering them up with jokes or sarcasm, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes you just need to let things out, and that’s what friends are for. Plus, if I don’t reach out to them, I’ll end up texting my ex, and that would be a much more difficult situation for everyone involved.
Do something I enjoy doing alone. It’s tempting to call everyone I know and hope that someone wants to over-indulge in wine and forget all our woes (and yes, sometimes this is what I resort to), but it’s important to remind myself that I can, and do, enjoy being on my own. I tend to go for long walks, read books at local coffee shops, or experiment with arts and crafts. This differs for everyone, but there’s a lot to be said for enjoying your own company.
Plan future trips. Traveling is the one thing that I always look forward to. When I’m feeling extra down, or downright bored, I find comfort in knowing that I can escape and explore somewhere new soon. Even if I don’t book flights then and there, letting my mind wander and entertaining possible options brings me joy.
Write. I know that not everyone enjoys the process, but I think it’s one of the best outlets no matter your skill level. Whenever I’m feeling anxious, alone, sad, hopeless, or questioning all my life choices, I write. I make lists, I write letters that I’ll never actually send, I journal about how I’m feeling, I jot down memories that I don’t want to forget. It’s messy and honest and usually garbage, but it helps.