Breakups blow chunks. Whether it’s an amicable breakup or a horrible, crash-and-burn situation, you’ve invested a part of you into another person and must accept that a relationship that you once nurtured is dead and gone. Brain-mapping studies have shown that the same regions of the brain are activated when an addict is going through withdrawals as when someone is going through a breakup.
Whether the relationship lasted three weeks or three years, breakups can leave us feeling heartbroken, lost and even physically ill. While there’s no magic formula to do away with the pain of a split, having healthy coping mechanisms in place is essential to getting over your ex and moving on with strength and grace.
Ending a relationship has very real effects on the mind and body: A 2010 Northwestern study found that breakups cloud our sense of self — and the more serious things were with your ex, the more of an identity crisis you’re likely to experience.
“Even if the relationship wasn’t great, you’re still starting at ground zero,” “The first thing you need to anticipate, no matter where you are in the process, is that there is a grieving [period]. There is a sense of abandonment, there is a sense of terror about the future, there is disappointment... There is a process of going from we back to me.”
Treating yourself well during the post-breakup period — whether you initiated the split or were on the receiving end — is a must. While it’s true that time heals all emotional wounds, you can speed up the process of moving on by taking control over your health and well-being.
To help you on your way, I’ve rounded up simple, expert-approved strategies for coping with breakup stress.