A breakup after a serious relationship turns your world upside down. Even if the relationship was unhealthy, it's still hard moving forward without your boyfriend by your side. You're not going to feel better overnight. But with some healthy coping skills, you can eventually get back to a place where life feels normal and you feel happy.
Letting Yourself Grieve
People handle grief in different ways, and you'll probably experience a variety of different feelings as you process what has happened. Your moods might change by the hour. You may experience emotions such as sadness, anger, denial, disbelief and hopelessness. These feelings are normal, and you should let yourself feel them. Do what works for you -- have a good cry; write in a journal; listen to music; have a solid round with the punching bag at the gym. If you try to suppress your feelings, they're going to come out sometime down the road and may cause relationship problems in the future.
Taking Care of Your Body
Overwhelming grief can tempt you to not take care of yourself. Perhaps you want to overeat; perhaps you don't want to eat at all. Maybe you want to lie in bed all day or turn to drugs and alcohol for escape. These remedies might provide some brief relief to your pain, but ultimately you will be hurting yourself and lengthening your recovery time. Once you've had a good cry and released some of your sadness, get some exercise. Eat healthy foods such as fruits and veggies and avoid excessive sugar, fat and alcohol. Try as best as you can to sleep on a regular schedule. By taking care of your body, you'll feel more energized -- and the road to happiness won't feel as dreary.
No one has to grieve alone -- and you shouldn't. Reconnect with old friends or make some new ones. Cry on their shoulders or do things together that help you have fun again. If you don't have any other relationships that can help you cope, seek help from a professional counselor, join a support group or connect with a faith community. You'll find that most people have gone through painful breakups at some point or another and will understand what you're going through.
Spending Time Alone
Life can start to feel pretty lonely when your constant companion is suddenly gone. While it's good to connect with friends, it's also good to reconnect with yourself. During your recovery process, take some opportunities to pamper yourself and make yourself feel like royalty. That might mean going to a spa, meditating, digging into some interesting reads, starting some new hobbies or rediscovering old ones. Being on your own isn't so bad.
Exploring New Opportunities
One of the things that makes breaking up so difficult is that you lose the hopes and dreams that you once shared with another person. You have to start over. While you need to grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, you also need to find some purposeful new dreams. After taking time to take care of yourself, go explore -- and get out of yourself. Find meaning in the world that surrounds you. This might mean doing some traveling, volunteering or bravely trying new experiences you wouldn't have attempted before.
Taking It Slowly
Healing from a breakup can take a long time. Don't expect to feel better right away. You might feel at times that you take two steps forward and one step back. But as time passes, the pain should slowly fade. You will never forget your boyfriend, but you will be able to live a normal, happy life without him. Eventually, you'll feel good enough to want to see other people and find happiness with them. If the weeks and the months pass and your sadness doesn't subside, you may be experiencing depression. In that case, you may need professional help to heal.