The holidays are often fun times, but they can be lonely and stressful. This is never more the case than when you find yourself dumped by a new love or breaking up with a long-term partner over the festive season.
No matter how long your relationship was, going through this situation is difficult and causes all sorts of uncomfortable feelings. While there’s no one right way to deal with a breakup, you can take steps to look after yourself and move on in ways that are as healthy as possible.
Cut All Contact with Your Ex
If you want to make life easier for yourself, don’t keep seeing your ex over the coming weeks. As much as it might be tempting to, and even if you want to be friends eventually when the breakup is fresh and raw, the last thing you need is constant interactions with this person rubbing in the fact that you’re no longer together.
If you have children with your ex you’ll have to speak to and see them occasionally, but limit this as much as possible. If your ex seems to keep trying to stay in regular contact with you, let them know you need a breather for a while and will be back in touch again when you can. Set the boundaries that you want the other person to abide by.
Pay Attention to Your Feelings
Next, pay attention to how you’re feeling. Obviously, it won’t be happy, but don’t just gloss over the likely emotions of sadness, anger, frustration, grief, and the like that you may be dealing with right now. While it’s natural for us to look for ways to stay busy and move on when we’ve experienced heartbreak, we don’t want to do so in a way that simply buries our feelings rather than processing them. Let yourself feel however you feel.
Yet, while negative emotions are perfectly normal and healthy, try not to let yourself get into a downward spiral where you start judging and blaming your ex or any other people that may have been involved in the relationship or contributed to its demise. It’s wise to distinguish between good and bad behavior and choices so you can learn from what went wrong but harboring resentment isn’t helpful to you or anyone else.
Communicate to Someone You Trust
Spend some time talking about your thoughts and feelings and how you get into and handle relationships and related factors with someone you trust. This may be a close friend or family member, but it’s often better to chat with a professional therapist who doesn’t know the other party and whom you can confide in wholeheartedly without fear of judgment.
A trained specialist will know how-to guide and prompt you to best deal with your emotions and take away from the breakup and the relationship some positive learnings that you can apply in future relationships and elsewhere in your life. However, if you can’t afford to see a therapist and don’t want to talk to someone in your life about your feelings, at least write them down. Utilize a journal to get the negative “stuff” out of your brain and onto paper so you can clear your head and heart.
While going through a relationship breakup isn’t physical in the way that completing a marathon, say, would be, it can still take a lot out of our bodies as well as our minds. The cortisol and adrenaline and other hormones that peak when dealing with such a stressful situation can deplete the body. Plus, we typically don’t get much sleep the night after a breakup or indeed the next few nights after it.
As such, now is a good time to get as much quality rest as you can. Go to bed earlier and sleep as much as you need to help your body and mind recover. Rest is restorative and can help you see things in a much better perspective once you’ve caught up on it. If you’re struggling to fall or stay asleep lately, though, you may need assistance. You might require a sleeping tablet, or you could take some valerian root tablets or utilize lavender on your pillow. You could also use a calming CBD lotion on your body or take a relaxing bath before bed.
Some other tips for handling a holiday breakup include thinking about what’s good in your life and what you want in the future, and the silver linings you can take from being single again. Also, don’t neglect exercise, and be sure to eat healthily. Declutter your home to shake up your negative energy and remove items that remind you too much of your ex, too.
Try to do some fun things you enjoy, too, such as spending time with family or friends, going to the movies, playing with your dog, etc. All the positive steps you take to feel better will quickly add up before you know it.