The holiday season is just around the corner and many people are making plans to celebrate with loved ones. While break-ups happen throughout the year, they seem to be especially prevalent around the holiday season; the “turkey dump” isn’t just for College or University students!
Break-ups involve not only saying goodbye to a partner, but also letting go of newly won family relationships and celebrations. Break-ups at any time of the year can be incredibly hard and life changing, so here are some tips on how to navigate this particularly difficult time:
- Engage in self-indulgent activities. Put simply – treat yourself. At times when loneliness hits, do solo activities such as a spa day or binge-watching a Netflix series. Make sure to also plan fun events with friends, such as paint nights and dinner dates.
- Take a mini vacation with friends. Guys’ or girls’ trips can be particularly helpful. Exploring new places and taking a time out from the typical routine may refresh your spirits and can be a good distraction. It’s always good to start making new memories!
- Connect with single friends. If you have had enough of all the “perfect” couples and are starting to feel like the 3rd wheel, it can be helpful to spend some time with people who are single (and ready to mingle!), just like you.
- Join co-ed hobbies and explore new things. Make sure to take those piano lessons you always wanted to book, or simply join a running or book club.
- Host a pity party. You may have heard of divorce parties that are thrown for people in Hollywood. Simply plan yourself a pity party that you can enjoy with friends or just by yourself.
- Read self-help books. Many self-help books out there have great reviews and can help to deal with the difficult thoughts and emotions following a break-up. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is highly rated among those who have recently experienced a break-up.
- Stock up on healthy coping mechanisms. While wine and chocolate can be soothing, they may not be the best coping mechanisms for a prolonged period of time. Find healthy strategies that work for you. One that can be especially helpful is meditation. Check out the Calm.com app, which currently has a “Relationship with Self” series full of meditations and thoughtful exercises that will help you move forward.
- Engage in activities you’re good at. Break-ups can be crushing to one’s confidence, so doing things you know you’re good at will remind you of how great you really are.
- Try and identify your emotions. Are you feeling angry? Hurt? Sad? Lost? Do you think non-stop about the past? Write a letter to your ex saying everything you ever wanted to say, uncensored. You do not have to send the letter and we hear that burning it or ripping it into tiny shreds can be quite cathartic!
- Say goodbye. While saying goodbye to a former lover or partner is a given, it is also important to have the chance (if you wish) to say your “goodbyes” to your in-law family and friends. Send them a text, give them a call, or simply write them a letter or card.
- Choose your surroundings wisely. Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself and where “the break-up” is not always the topic. Breaks ups can cause people to choose sides while trying to give you advice based on their own experiences. Make sure to surround yourself with people that lift you up.
- Be prepared to be taken off guard. Expect weird relationship questions. Once people know you are separated, questions might be asked and unintentional comments can be expected. Prepare some scripts of short and simple answers that will save you a headache and reduce anxiety during gatherings.
- Resist creeping on your ex or their friends on social media. Life goes on, for both of you, so try and take a break from social media, or simply unfollow friends and people that make your break-up even harder.
- Its ok to cry. A good cry session can help immensely and it is important to allow yourself time to be sad and grieve. Break-ups can involve incredible loss so give yourself permission to shed some tears.
Finally, remember that good things take a while. There will be periods of loneliness, sadness, anger, and sometimes even relief. Make sure to take care of yourself while you go through it and do not expect to heal overnight. Give these tips a try and if you still find yourself having difficulty moving forward, contact our YEG Psychologists for individualized support.