Mental health professionals have long suggested that there are two general phases of breaking up: Protest and resignation. The Protest Phase is when you dedicate yourself to winning your partner back. Then, when you finally realize your lover is gone forever, it is easy to slump into hopelessness and despair – AKA, the Resignation Phase.
No matter the phase you are in, I have outlined nine tips to follow to help you get over your breakup for good. (Promise!)
Unfriend him on social media, delete and block his phone number, and maintain a radio silence. The bottom line is, you should position yourself so that you don’t have to engage in any contact. (At least for the short-term) This will allow you the space you really need to move on.
Fight the urge for quality time with your couch and Scandal repeats and instead get up, get out and get some physical activity in each day. Social scientists say during a breakup, your brain pumps out cortisol, epinephrine, and other stress hormones that can cause headaches, tense muscles and stomach troubles. Exercise, however, triggers the release of mood-boosting endorphins, relaxes muscles and eases digestion to help you feel good.
While a pint of Breyer’s cookies-n-cream ice cream or some Garrett’s Chicago mix popcorn probably sounds like the perfect post-breakup diet, research shows theses types of food can actually drag down your mood through the release of stress hormones. However, foods rich in vitamin D, folate, and omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to promote mental health and cut rates of depression. Try some of these mood-enhancing foods: apples, cod, lentils, lamb, milk, sardines, sprouts and yogurt.
Science studies suggest that music has a therapeutic effect. (This doesn’t mean to download Al Green’s greatest hits. No sad, lovesick songs, please!) Time to go hard. Put something on that gets you feeling good (for me, it’s Wale’s 88). Listening to your favorite music can trigger the release of endorphins, lifting your spirits and combating stress.
Blogs and bookstores are chock-full of material that says, “This is your fault. You created this situation by the way you thought or by carrying forward childhood wounds.” Steer clear of the self-help section for now. Don’t try to come up with reasons on why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Allow yourself to feel heartbreak—that’s what actually gets you over it.
Identify your values and then feed them! Indulge in all the things you value right now. As Frank Sinatra famously said, “The best revenge is massive success” and success is directly tied to optimally living out your values.
It will be very tempting to see his most recent Facebook posts, follow his twitter feed or just drive by his house to see whose car is parked out front, but please, don’t do it. I repeat, don’t do it! Stalking (digital or otherwise) is not helpful and can actually be detrimental to you.
The best way to balance the sorrow and rage from the heartbreak you’re dealing with is to give love to whatever situation or person you interact with. Be the love you want to see.
You may need to see a therapist or other such professional if the grief is really destroying your life. A professional will care and know how to help you get through it. They can almost certainly offer further and better advice.
Comments, concerns or questions about my advice? Tell me about it below! Paul Carrick Brunson is a 2013 NAACP Image Award nominee and a 2012 iDate Matchmaker & Relationship Coach Of The Year nominee. His bestselling book It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be) is in stores now. Contact him directly on Facebook or Twitter anytime or visit his website.