Shalini and Alok had been in a long-term serious relationship. They shared numerous experiences together, as well as dreamed of having a beautiful life together. However, their romance recently ended, leaving Shalini completely heartbroken.
In the immediate aftermath of her separation from Alok, Shalini is overwhelmed with grief and loss. She is experiencing what she hasn't ever experienced-
Constant chest heaviness and difficulty getting out of bed.
Frequent bursts of tears due to emptiness, loss of shared future and friendship with Alok.
She is left questioning herself, why the relationship didn't work out, plagued by feelings of rejection and self-doubt.
Struggling to adapt to sudden routine change, feeling adrift and uncertain without the relationship.
Activities that were enjoyable now feel hollow with persistent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Continuously checking Alok's social media hoping to get a closure
Doubting the possibility of finding love again and concerned about trusting someone as much as Alok
Shalini's experience in this scenario exemplifies the extreme emotional distress that can accompany a breakup. Her anguish, loss, and perplexity are all part of her recovery process. She will need time, self-care, and assistance to work her way through the problems and eventually heal and move on.
Coping with breakup has almost become a natural part of the developmental process, of adolescence or early adulthood. If you are also someone, who is struggling to move on after a breakup, experiencing heartbreak and looking forward to healing after breakup, then this one's for you!
Let us first look at what happens when you go through a breakup.
BREAKUP EFFECTS - WHAT A BREAKUP MIGHT LOOK LIKE?
Going through and moving on after a breakup may be a very painful and emotional process, as also seen in Shalini’s case above where she is experiencing difficulty in getting over an ex. Let’s have a quick look at the discomfort and emotional difficulties, that an individual might face, after a romantic breakup:
Emotional Upheaval: The end of a relationship can cause an emotional upheaval. It is common to feel profound melancholy and have a sense of loneliness, and emptiness. Anger, bitterness, and perplexity are also some feelings that one might experience when a relationship ends. This emotional rollercoaster makes it really tough for an individual to find some stability and peace of mind in coping with breakups.
A sense of deep loss and grief: A breakup frequently results in a strong sense of loss and grief. It's natural to grieve not only the dissolution of the relationship but also the future dreams and shared past experiences that were attached to it. Hence, the discomfort of dealing with heartache can be intense and lasting. We end up looking for breakup advice and breakup quotes to soothe ourselves.
Fear of the Unknown: After the split, the unknown can be frightening. One may be worried about being alone and never finding love again. The lack of familiarity and a routine might add to feelings of insecurity and fear of uncertainty. Healing after breakup becomes difficult.
Self-doubt: A breakup or a heartbreak can really damage one’s confidence and can cause immense self-doubt. One may be left pondering over what one could have done differently, or one may even blame themselves for the loss of the relationship. This self-doubt and feelings of insecurity can have a bad impact on an individual’s self-esteem and perception of future relationships.
Adjustment Issues: Adjusting to a life without one’s partner might be difficult. One might need to develop new routines, establish new social relationships, and re-establish their identity outside of the partnership. These changes can further add to feelings of confusion and discomfort and require certain coping strategies.
Social withdrawal and loneliness: Individuals who have difficulty in coping with breakup, might experience severe emotions of loneliness. They may miss the emotional connection and the companionship and might feel uninterested in forming new bonds. It's typical to feel isolated, especially if you share a mutual social circle with your ex-partner.
Emotional Triggers, aka ‘Nostalgia’: Some reminders and memories of the past relationship can elicit feelings of nostalgia and anguish increasing the difficulty in coping with breakup. Specific melodies or scents, certain places or things can evoke strong memories and exacerbate one’s emotional suffering.
These were a few things that an individual might experience after a breakup! However, it's critical to remember that everyone's breakup experience is unique, and the degree and duration of these emotional issues will differ in each case. Similarly, the process of healing unfolds differently for each person. But, there are a few things, that one can try doing, for moving on after a breakup.
COPING WITH BREAKUP: TIPS ON MOVING ON AFTER BREAKUP
1. Allow and give yourself the time to ‘grieve’ your heartbreak!
It is very important to recognise and accept your emotions. It's okay to be unhappy, angry, or perplexed. Allow yourself to mourn the loss of the connection and the dreams associated with it. It is very important to go through the entire process of grief to process the heartbreak. It is natural to experience a wide range of emotions, including sadness, anger, uncertainty, and even relief while you try coping with breakup. Allowing yourself to process and ‘feel’ these feelings promotes healthy emotional release and aids in the prevention of emotional suppression.
2. Set boundaries and cut off contact to move on after breakup!
Limiting or completely eliminating communication with your ex-partner, particularly in the early phases of healing may prove to be very beneficial in the process of moving on after breakup. While you try getting over an ex contacting or being reminded of your ex-partner might cause immense emotional distress and make it difficult to move on after breakup. It allows you to focus on your own well-being and rehabilitation without continuously being reminded of the prior relationship. Seeing or hearing about their life can rekindle feelings of longing or despair. Therefore, it is very important to set firm boundaries and avoid interaction, to limit your exposure to these triggers, start by unfollowing or muting them on social media.
It will help you to regain emotional stability, control and will allow you to focus on your own well-being.
A progressive decline in contact may be preferable in some circumstances, especially where shared obligations or communication are required. As you navigate this process, consider what is best for your mental well-being and seek help from trusted family members, friends, and breakup counselling or online counselling by professionals.
3. Prioritise yourself and concentrate on Self-Care!
While coping with breakup, participating in self-care activities that nourish your mind, body and spirit helps. It’s also very important to note that taking care of your physical health is also directly linked to your mental well-being. Exercising on a regular basis, consuming nutritious food, and getting enough sleep can enhance your energy levels and contribute to a more positive mentality aiding the process of coping with breakup. Taking care of your body is also a very powerful tool that aids in the rebuilding of your self-esteem. It’s important to be kind to yourself and practise self-compassion during the process of moving on after breakup. Indulging in your hobbies or spending some time in nature also helps in the process of healing.
4. Understand what went wrong and learn from it!
In order for coping with breakup successfully, it is also very important to make time for introspection and self-reflection. Understanding what went wrong does not imply blaming only yourself or your ex-partner. It's about taking charge of your own development and learning from past experience. Accepting the lessons that you've learned might act as stepping stones for personal growth, and will allow you to approach future relationships with fresh understanding and great insights.
Self-introspection can also help you with these:
The development of self-awareness, which enables you to assess your own thoughts, behaviours, and habits within the context of the relationship.
Understanding what went wrong, allows you to spot patterns and warning signs that may have led to the split. It also allows you to recognise harmful patterns or behaviours in future relationships that you may wish to address or avoid.
Shed light on communication failures or unsolved tensions with your partner. It enables you to assess how you and your ex-partner handled arguments and identify opportunities for improvement. Effective communication and conflict resolution skills can have a favourable impact on future relationships.
Setting reasonable expectations for future relationships as it enables you to clarify your own wants, values, and boundaries, ensuring that they are consistent with those of your future partner/spouse.
Understanding what went wrong also gives you closure. It enables you to reconcile with the past and let go of any remaining questions or worries. This comprehension further allows you to concentrate on your future and go forward with a sharper perspective.
5. Practise mindfulness and acceptance for better coping with breakup!
Mindfulness assists you in being anchored in the present moment rather than becoming engrossed in ideas and feelings related to a previous relationship which in turn helps in coping with breakup. It allows you to fully feel and enjoy the current moment, which promotes peace and calm. Acceptance entails letting go of one's resistance to what has occurred. It is about admitting that the relationship has ended and accepting the truth of the circumstance. It allows you to let go of any attachment to the past and make room for fresh beginnings. It also aids in letting go of the desire for closure or answers that may or may not be possible. Remember to be patient with yourself and to approach the process of moving on after breakup with curiosity and openness. It is a path of self-discovery, compassion, and acceptance of the present moment.
6. Set future goals and rediscover yourself!
Setting future goals provides you with a sense of purpose and a much-needed direction while coping with breakup. It assists you in directing your energy and attention towards specific goals that are consistent with your values and desires. Having specific objectives provides a road map for progress and gives you something to strive for. Working for and attaining your goals also enhances your self-esteem and reinforces your belief in your own capabilities and qualities, as you reach milestones and achieve progress. This heightened self-assurance improves your overall well-being and resilience.
7. Give yourself time to heal and avoid ‘Rebound Relationships’!
Rebound relationships are becoming very common after a breakup, where people seek distraction or validation. However, entering a new relationship without sufficient healing can result in carrying emotional baggage from the prior relationship. Allowing yourself time to recover will allow you to approach new relationships with a clear and open heart, free of unresolved emotions and burdens. It allows you to think about your previous relationship, learn from it, and figure out what you genuinely need and desire in future relationships.
8. Seek support from family, friends and ‘Take Professional Help’!
While coping with breakup, family and friends can be a great source of comfort. Seeking help from others can give you a new perspective. They can provide you with a listening ear, comprehension, and empathy. Sharing your emotions and experiences with loved ones can help relieve emotional stress and bring consolation during difficult moments. They can assist you in gaining new ideas and navigating the healing process.
Although this can be helpful, the emotional hardships of a breakup can be overpowering at times, necessitating professional assistance. A Psychologist can provide you with targeted advice and support tailored according to your specific individual requirements. They can help you process your deep and intense emotions, help in building effective coping mechanisms, and can aid in personal growth, as they provide you with an unbiased and objective assessment of your condition. Their professional knowledge, expertise and experience can provide essential insights and tools to aid in your healing journey. They also provide you with a confidential and safe environment, in which one can express their thoughts and emotions freely, without the fear of being judged.
It’s important to understand that seeking assistance and support is a sign of strength, not weakness. Reaching out for help, whether through the support of loved ones or seeking professional aid, can greatly contribute to your healing and progress following a split. It's also critical to remember that everyone's experience following a breakup is unique, and the healing process also unfolds differently for each person. Hence, seeking therapy can help you a great deal, as it is tailor-made according to your specific needs and requirements.