If you are reading this article I am guessing that you are trying to figure out how to be happy again after a break up. I get it! I have totally been there.
I am not sure there is any pain more intense than the pain we feel after a break up!
I remember my first broken heart. With Bobby Fortunato in the 8th grade. I was devastated. I remember my mom let me stay home from school and she gave me Jello!
So, here you are, in middle of the storm, struggling to stay afloat and wondering how you will ever be happy again!
You can be! I promise!
Here are 5 things to do to be happy again after a break up.
#1 – Block them everywhere.
Blocking an ex is the number one thing that I recommend that people do to be happy again after a break up. And it’s the number one thing that people don’t do and it holds them back.
So, why is it so important to block someone after a break up and why is it so hard to do it?
The reason why it’s important to block your ex is because it’s essential that you go ‘no contact.’ That means no seeing each other, talking to each other, texting each other or liking each other’s posts on Instagram. Why is that important? Because any contact, any, will take you back to square one – the moment of your break up – when the pain was most intense.
Back in the day, when we broke up with someone, we broke up with them. With a little bit of effort, we could avoid them and then we could move on. Now, we can access any information about our ex that we want, at any time. And when we do, it sets us back.
I have a client whose man had broken her heart and, six months in, she was starting to feel better. She was even opening herself up to the idea of dating again. And what happened? Late one night, her ex drunkenly texted her. She was so excited because she thought that he wanted her back. So, she responded and they texted throughout the night. The next morning, there was radio silence. He had sobered up and moved on.
And what happened to her? She was devastated, again, and back to square one!
So, why is it so hard to block someone after a break up? I believe that it’s mostly about hope. Hope that someday their person will come back to them and they want to make sure that they are there in case that happens. People also want to keep tabs on their person, to see how quickly they move on. Sometimes they just can’t, or don’t want to, break the habit. But mostly, I believe, it’s because they are holding out hope for the future.
And now that I have explained to you what my client’s reunion with her ex did to her hopefully you will see that you don’t want to be there for your ex in future – you want to have moved on.
So, if you want to be happy after a break up, block your ex. I promise you it will be helpful in a big way.
#2 – Rearrange your space.
Be honest. How many times in the past few days have you looked at the chair that they sat in at breakfast or their side of the couch or the pillows that they slept on and then burst into tears. The memories of your ex’s time in your home are visceral and probably holding you back from healing.
So, what can you do about that? You can change your space! Shake things up so that your ex’s energy will be banished forever and you have space to make new memories.
What do I mean by changing your space? You can go big or little. Whatever feels good to you.
My sister, when she got divorced, switched her bedroom to another room in the house. A client of mine painted all the walls. I bought flannel sheets because my ex hated them. A friend moved the breakfast table to the other side of the kitchen. Definitely remove any and all things that they might have left behind, including pictures!
Imagine how it would feel to come down the stairs in the morning and not see your ex’s chair sitting there, empty. Imagine if your bed, because of your new sheets, no longer resembles the one you shared with your ex. If your space was truly your space again.
Even if your space is small there is still opportunity to make change right now. Take a look around. What would feel really good to change right now? Stand up and do it or make a plan to do it this weekend!
You will be glad you did!
#3 – Change your routines.
Much like changing your space, changing your routines are an essential part of being happy again after a break up.
We are all creatures of habit and we tend to do the same things day in, day out. I know for my partner and me, when we get home from work we go for a walk, have a drink on the couch, make dinner, watch some TV and go to bed. We do it almost every day and we love it. It is very comforting.
I know that, if we broke up, I would be devastated. And I would, most likely, carry on doing the things that we had always done together. And that would only make me lonely.
Take a look at your routines. What kind of habits did you and your ex develop over the course of your relationship? Did you go to the same coffee shop every Saturday? Go to a different one. Did you have pizza for dinner every Wednesday? Have burritos instead. Did you each have your own side of the bed? Switch your place to other side.
Changing routines will help you let go of your ex. It will also serve to adjust your brain to the new reality. When we do the same things over and over, we develop ruts in our brain. When we are pushed out of our ruts, we get very uncomfortable. But, if we can stay out of them, we can rewire our brains to do things differently – namely to no longer focus on our ex.
So, what kind of routines and habits did you and your ex share? Which of them can you change? (You can even start with just one!) When you can change that thing? And how would it feel to do so?
Changing your routines will be a key part of your journey to be happy again after a break up.
#4 – Push yourself.
When I got divorced 12 years ago, I was a shell of myself. For 20 years I had been married to someone who made me fearful – not afraid of him but afraid of the world around me.
As a result, there were many things that I didn’t do. That I couldn’t do. And, when I noticed this, I recognized that I was going to have to do some of those things if I wanted to be happy again.
So, what did I do? I set out to do all of the things that I was uncomfortable doing.
I had always been scared of jet skis and snorkeling – and I did both. I had become increasingly uncomfortable driving in snow storms so I did so every opportunity I could. I went to Peru and climbed a 17,000 foot high mountain and to Arizona and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
What did pushing myself do for me? It rebuilt my self esteem and made me realize that I was a person outside of my relationship. Accomplishing things that were challenging made me feel good about myself and very strong. And I realized that there wasn’t anything that I couldn’t do alone – that I didn’t need to be part of a pair to succeed or live a good life.
I would encourage you to take stock of the things that scare you and set out to do at least one of them. Do things that you have always wanted to do, even if you have to do them alone. Be the person you were before the end of this relationship. That person is still in there, waiting to be set free from behind the grief!
#5 – Have hope.
I know that, from where you sit, you feel like your future is hopeless and that you will never love or be loved again. What I can promise you is that how you are feeling just isn’t true. I promise.
When we are in a bad place it is virtually impossible to see the future as a hopeful one. We are feeling so fully what it’s like to be miserable and the journey out of that misery is murky.
What I can promise you is that, with time, you will be happy again. You will get your life back. You will be happy. You will love and be loved again. It is more than possible – it is most probable.
That being said, you can’t just sit back, eating ice cream, watching TV, stalking your ex on Instagram, and wait for the misery to pass. You must be able to step up and take the steps that are necessary to get your life back.
So, even if you are feeling hopeless, listen to me. You can do this! And it will be worth it, you will see!
I know it’s hard to believe that you can be happy again after a break up but hopefully I have inspired you to shake things up a bit so that you can move on and be happy, sooner than later!
When we let go of a relationship, it is often the residual effects, the energy, the loss, the sadness, that hold us back from healing. If you can shake up your space and your head, block your person completely, push yourself to find yourself again and have hope, you will be happy again. You will have the life and the love that you have always wanted!