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Figure it out: Get back to life after a break-up.

Updated on July 27, 2013
On track: Healing
On track: Healing

Let’s just be 100% honest and put it out there: Keeping busy won’t make you feel better about your break-up in the long run.

Simply your status as a human being, will require more of you then just keeping busy to truly get over this relationship ending. Intense emotions such as: sadness, grief, anger, resentment and shock are experienced and associated with most break-ups. Similarly, undergoing these emotional phases of your break-up, will be matched with the counter process of healing from those traumas. With that said however, this article is not about how to GET OVER your ex. This article is about how to get FAR ENOUGH BROKEN UP to even arrive at the “getting over your ex” party.

What on earth is this writer talking about, you’re probably wondering. Isn’t it true that the hardest part about breaking up is “losing your best friend”? Wrong. I mean right: that is what the hardest emotional unnerving is, initially. What I meant by wrong was, this person was not your best friend. As long as I have understood friendship I have had a deeper belief of a best friend as being a soul mate of sorts. You want the best for this other person, regardless of if you are along for the journey, or what you get out of the set-up.

The comfort cycle.

You know that couple that has been breaking up for a few years now? Or maybe you have been that couple that breaks up just to make-up. Regardless of who they are, their story is the same. The break-up is the decision made after the ‘unforgivable’ happens, despite what it is; cheating in the relationship, or even just growing apart, whatever it is that had broken you up, will never NOT have happened. Understood?

Then these couples “work things out”: a.k.a. trick themselves into believing that they have found the cure to make themselves happy and get back together, but the relationship has already been broken. Now there are more scars (the unforgivable of relationship attempt 1, and now break up 1) on the situation leading to break up 2. This is a sick and sad cycle that unfortunately I have to admit that I have been apart of myself and watch countless friends of mine live through all too often.

So why it's done.

I propose that the reason these people continue to get back together, even though they know that this relationship was ended for a reason, is that they haven’t found enough to do to expose themselves to a way of life after this ex. It is like because the two lives have been so entwined it may be easier for someone to continue to band-aid this relationship and attempt to put it back together than to de-tangle from this way of life and create a new one for themselves. The first step on the journey to truly recovering is accepting this break-up at face value for what is it, a failed relationship. Keeping yourself busy is merely the means to the end in detangling yourself from your old way of life and successfully launching a new one post-break-up.

1. Go to the gym

A great way to release some pent up anger, clear your thoughts, or just to push yourself to accomplish something, and set goals for yourself. If your are in tip –top shape as it is, challenge yourself to accomplish distance running, or a certain amount of reps of a work-out. If you are not, use this as a motivator to get in better shape, maybe lose the extra 5 in comfort weight you may have put on during your relationship, etc. Regardless, this is a major time killer, and it is nothing but beneficial for those to commit to making it apart of their lives.

2. Go tanning

It takes about a half hour of your day, it is something to do, and it’s a proven fact that a shot of vitamin D is good for any soul in moderation (regardless of who you are!)

3. Join a club/ Get a hobby

Browse the local community centers for flyers on free classes, or hobby clubs, town meetings, etc. Believe it or not, learning to do new things triggers a youthful kind of happiness that can be used to gain momentum in getting out there, meeting new people, and creating a life for you that you want to live. Learn how to make jewelry or frequent the local driving range.

4. Cut/ Dye your hair

Sometimes a physical response to an emotional change, such as changing your hairstyle, is just what you need to match the changing person inside of yourself. Plus, you can use this as a day to pamper yourself with a salon day for my girls or a day of getting shaped up by your favorite barber for the guys.

5. Get lost in a book

Whether you are traditionally a reader or not, sometimes getting lost in a good book is just the thing you might need to whip out at the end of the night, when you’ve kept yourself busy all day, and the sudden realization that the day is now done and you find yourself alone. Instead of letting this be the moment that you break down and start thinking about when there used to be someone there at the end of the day, get LOST in someone else’s world. Pick up a fantastic novel and read until you go to sleep, you will find that the next night at this same time, you may want to jump right back in to pick up where you left off.

6. Make more money

Pick up more shifts at work, or even get a second job. The time that you used to allocate to spending on a night out with a boo; instead of spending money that money, make that money. The money you are not spending is technically a gain in your funds, as well as the extra money you are making.

7. Ultimately DO YOU

Take a day off from work and make a list of everything you want for yourself out of life, and what steps you can take right now to make these things happen. Maybe going back to school is on that list, maybe losing a few pounds is on that list, or learning a trade skill is on that list. My goal for you is to one-day check every single thing on this list off as accomplished! For now though, take this list, and highlight the things you might not have had time or energy to do for yourself with your ex and do those first!

Now take this with you...

Reference your #7 list a multitude of times during this break-up, and put it in a spot it will be safe post-break-up because ultimately this list should never leave you. I challenge you to re-visit this list in one year; maybe you will even be with someone new then. IF you continue to remember who you are and what you want out of life, and never allow those to take a back seat, ever; I guarantee you that this ‘keeping busy list’ will be a second nature response to a future break-up. It will be the fall back plan because you will never have forgotten how to be you an what you want from life to begin with.


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