When you’ve had your heart broken, it’s tough to find ways to move on. You may find yourself thinking about the person day and night, wondering what you could have done differently and wishing for a reconciliation. It’s an intensely painful process and one that can seem unending. At times, you may worry that you’ll always be alone or that you’ll never be able to fall in love again. However, there are practical ways to get over a breakup, and you can be happy again.
The trick is to think of moving on from a broken heart in stages. For example, what you need in the first few days is not the same as what you’ll need a month or so down the line. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect, and how to promote healing at every step of the way.
Move On From The Past With The 6 Stages Of Getting Over Someone
Moving on from a relationship is a grieving process, as it moving on from a crush or dealing with unrequited love. Everyone experiences that grief differently, but it tends to involve six major stages.
1.Denial: You’re in shock, and can’t accept what has happened. Letting go and moving on requires first acknowledging the truth of your situation, and with a breakup, this usually begins to develop within a day.
2.Anger: You start apportioning blame and perhaps even contemplate revenge. Although anger can be invigorating, getting stuck in this stage is toxic. Progress your rage through talking, writing or engaging in therapy. You have to express it if you’re going to move past it.
3.Bargaining: When people ask about how to move on from the past, they’re often really still in the bargaining stage. When you’re here, you imagine being with your ex again, immerse yourself in memories, and may feel drawn to melancholy music. This is a natural part of grieving, but it’s also dangerous. If you spend too much time bargaining, you close yourself off to the present and to real chances for happiness.
4.Depression: Often experienced at the same time as bargaining, the depression stage is all about losing hope for reconciliation. While this hurts, it’s also necessary. It’s a precursor to fully accepting reality.
5.Acceptance: You start to reason about what to do after a breakup, and can resume thinking about the future. You may still feel sad, but there will be a new pragmatism and honesty to your perspective.
6.Recovery: Finally, you find yourself feeling “normal again”, responding to life the way you used to. You know how to be happy alone, and you may notice that large chunks of time pass without any thoughts of your ex. When you reach recovery, you are ready for a new chapter of your life to begin.
What To Do After A Breakup To Mend A Broken Heart
When you’re learning how to forget your ex-girlfriend or figuring out how to get over your ex-boyfriend, it’s extremely helpful to have a realistic timescale in mind.
As noted above, there are six general psychological stages. However, you can also think of the hardest part of your breakup in terms of three main, early time periods… today, tomorrow, and next week. Here’s what you can do to help yourself move on during each of these.
1.How To Handle A Breakup Today
If you’ve just had your heart broken, everything in your world has changed. Consequently, you should be completely focused on self-care.
Figuring out how to mend a broken heart comes later. Right now, it’s all about damage control.
Here are some of the best things you can do to process your feelings and take the first step on the road to learning how to let go of someone you love:
-Stay away from social media. You’ll likely regret angry updates and photo purges at a later date. Unplug from the internet, and avoid the temptation to send rash messages. Save any communication for a time when you can think more clearly.
-Reach out to one person. It’s too early to explain your breakup to everyone. That said, it’s important you not be alone. Pick a close friend or family member who can support you and check on you and don’t be afraid to ask them for what you need.
-Get rid of reminders. If there are things around you that remind you of your ex, put them away for now. They’ll only hinder your recovery and may bring you down when you’re starting to cope.
-Treat yourself. Do something that reliably makes you feel better. It might be watching a favorite movie, ordering takeout or eating your way through a tub of ice cream. However, avoid self-medicating with drugs or alcohol.
-Don’t judge your reactions. You might cry buckets, or you might not cry at all. Don’t worry, there is no “right response” to a broken heart.
Affirmations For Healing A Broken Heart
Breakup affirmations can help you at this early stage.
Try saying the following out loud, repeating as many times as feels right:
-“I can and will heal from this heartbreak.”
-“I forgive myself.”
-“All things happen as they are supposed to.”
-“I am whole by myself and don’t need anyone to complete me.”
-“I will feel my sadness, but I will not get lost in it.”
-“There is something better waiting for me.”
-“I have lived and loved, and will be happy again.”
-“I will be better than I’ve ever been.”
-“There will be opportunities to find love again.”
-“I release the past.”
2.How To Handle A Breakup Tomorrow
In the days after a breakup, figuring out how to get over someone is partly about finding a balance between actively processing your feelings and getting relief from them. For example:
-Get outside. Even if you just go for a walk around the neighborhood or go to the store, get out the house. If you can stomach some exercise, even better!
-Engage your brain. Give your mind something to do other than pine. Instead of ruminating on how to get over an ex, do it by turning your attention elsewhere. Pick up an absorbing book, go to an art gallery, or express yourself creatively.
-Let more people know. Of course, you don’t need to tell everyone. However, when learning how to get over a breakup, acknowledging it out loud helps you move past denial. Consider drafting a brief message covering what you want to say, and sending it to other friends and family.
-Arrange to see loved ones. Best friends and close family members can be wonderful company at this time. Again, make sure you tell them what you need, whether it’s a friendly ear or a funny joke.
-Make a motivational playlist. Fill it with songs that make you feel empowered. Dance if you feel like you can.
3.How To Handle A Breakup Next Week
As you finish the first week after a breakup and work your way towards a month, your needs change. You’ll still be dealing with challenging emotions and should rely on your support network, but you’ll also be building energy for the future.
This is an ideal time to reinvent yourself. Doing so draws a symbolic line under the old relationship, and also emphasizes the positive side of major life changes.
Ways To Reinvent Yourself After A Breakup
There are so many ways to interpret the idea of reinventing yourself after a breakup. Allow yourself to be guided by inspiration and by what feels authentic.
Here are some good ideas to get you started:
-Change your hair. Chop it, dye it or style it differently. Any change, even minor, can make you feel different and boost your self-esteem.
-Buy new clothes. Think about a new type of clothing you’d like to wear, and go for it. Like a fresh haircut, this can rejuvenate your sense of self.
-Listen to new music. Don’t get stuck listening to all the old love songs that remind you of your ex! Explore new artists, and consider seeing some in person.
-Get fresh bedding. Instead of sleeping under the sheets you shared with your ex, get something entirely new—preferably something they’d never have liked that much!
-Rearrange your rooms. If you’re staying somewhere that you shared with your ex, shift the furniture to get a new perspective. If you can afford to redecorate, so much the better.
-Re-evaluate your priorities. Finally, think about what you really want from a relationship. What didn’t work last time, and what could work next time? The lessons you learned from your breakup could lead you to the happiest days of your life.
Do you still feel like something is holding you back from successfully moving on? Take our free quiz, with personalized results and advice specifically for you.