No matter what the relationship - long-term, short-term, friends with benefits - disconnecting from another human being is always painful. You can feel like it’s never going to get better or that you’re always going to be alone.
So, what can you do to pick up the pieces and start to move on?
1. Don’t medicate yourself. Quarts of ice cream and alcohol will only help you to gain weight, spiral into a depression, and lose sleep. Instead, buy one of those meditation tapes, and take 5 to 15 minutes a few times a day to just sit in a chair, zone out, and listen. It’s a sort of hypnosis; you’re relaxing and going over your thoughts. At first you probably won’t be good at it, but you’ll get better.
2. Try to get enough sleep. Don’t look at screens right before you go to bed.
3. Exercise. Walk to work, do yoga, go dancing - just do something. Without the endorphins, you’ll keep feeling tired and miserable.
4. Don’t deny your feelings. Ignoring your emotions doesn’t make them go away. Allow your tears to flow. Express the hurt, anger, and pain, and be vulnerable with close friends.
5. Surround yourself with activities that make you smile. When you laugh, your mood shifts immediately.
6. Stop obsessing. Every time the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” starts to creep into your mind, say out loud to yourself, “OK, stop. NOW!”
7. Talk positively to yourself. Address yourself just as a well-meaning friend might talk to you. You’re not a complete loser. You’re not stupid. The relationship may have been a mistake, but you don’t have to make it again.
8. Accept that you’re not automatically going to feel better. It’s going to be a rollercoaster of ups and downs for a while. Yet, it will pass and even though it hurts now, it’s for the best.
9. When you feel negative, do something positive. Think about friends and people you know who are going through tough times and offer them support. When you’re kind to someone else, it also makes you feel better.
10. Keep your ex an ex. Get rid of everything, block their calls, and don’t interact. Don’t try to stay friends - that’s just you refusing to move on.