9 ½ Tips For Surviving A Break-Up
This month's guest post is an early Christmas gift from me to you. It comes from the team at Femsplain. These talented ladies are a community of storytellers sharing personal experiences to inspire discussion and connection. I know you'll enjoy their insightful advice. Happy Reading!
As it’s coming up to Christmas, couples are snuggling down, drinking mulled wine, buying each other presents, and…breaking up. Yep, this time of year is just prime for break-ups, which sucks because it’s no fun being left alone in the cold. Luckily, there’s a fail-safe way to pull through a bad break-up: with a little help from your friends.
That’s why the Femsplain team have been sharing tips—because we’re always there for each other, and now we want to be there for you too. Here’s how to pick up the pieces, and have a merry Christmas after all.
1. Set The Perfect Soundtrack
“When I was going through my divorce, one of the things that helped me most was listening to Laura Jane Grace sing her guts out in Against Me!’s newest album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Find something that you can relate to, that can carry you through all of the stages of grief as your soundtrack. Realizing that you’re not alone when you feel at your most lonely is an amazing thing. Kick-ass girl rock like Against Me! and any other Riot Grrl-esque stuff is also helpful because turning to girl power and feminism is helpful in remembering and re-affirming your worth when you feel worthless, as many of us do after a major break-up.” -Victoria Turley
2. Find A New Rhythm...
“Sometimes the most difficult part of a break-up is that your rhythm is disrupted. Your life moved to a beat, in sync with someone else—and now you’re re-learning to keep time on your own. And it hurts like hell, because you can feel all the way down into your gut that something is missing. The only way I know to pro-actively combat this is to completely change my routine: if I’m doing things that are a departure from my usual, there’s no memory of him in them. Even the smallest thing like walking a different route to the subway, so I don’t pass street corners where we shared kisses or said “I love you,” makes me feel like I’m creating a life without him in it and making a space that is all my own again. And most of all, I tell myself that it’s okay to take my time.” -Danielle Sepulveres
3. ...And Don’t Let Your Ex Invade It
“Try your hardest not to see the other person afterwards, at least for a few weeks. This is different for everyone, of course, but from my experience it only ever ends in more mess. There is always an imbalance between two people after a breakup, and one of you will mess with the other whether you mean to or not. So don’t seek comfort from your ex, even though it feels they’re the only one who can comfort you, and remember that if they ask to see you, you’re allowed to say no.” -Jenni Midgley
4. Put It All In Perspective
“When your heart is aching and you're numb and distraught all at once, remember your 6th grade crush. I'm serious. A study once found that thinking about childhood problems made present anxieties feel a little less daunting. Maybe because so many issues seemed life-or-death—but you get through them, years go by, and suddenly it's not such a big deal that you crashed your bike and knocked out a baby tooth. It's perspective. So think about your 6th-grade crush, and they way you'd doodle their name on your notes and gossip with your friends about how their hair was "totally cute." Think about how they made your heart race all the time until one day... they just didn't. You're going to be okay. You're going to be great.” -Victoria Billings
5. Let Time Go By
“Time doesn't heal every wound, but it puts them into a helluva lot of context. Whether you're thinking you and your boo are done forever or if you're hoping there's a chance for reconciliation, taking clean-cut time apart to think and to heal is so important.” -Maura Friedman
6. Work Out Your Anger
“When I’m angry and need to physically deal with it I go running or to the batting cages. It can be incredibly gratifying to swing hard and hit something to the point of exhaustion and sore muscles.” - Danielle Sepulveres
7. Have A Good Laugh...
“Stand-up made me laugh when no one else could. I stayed up late listening to Demetri Martin, Aziz Ansari, Robin Williams, and Jerry Seinfeld in my room. I listened to their sketches in the car, during long commutes; I watched their specials on Netflix as I studied; I read their books in the library; I shared YouTube videos with friends after class. When you go through a break-up, it's a great opportunity to pick up an interest or hobby that fills that empty space.” -Danielle Corcione
8. ...But Don’t Forget To Let Yourself Cry
“Too often, society tells us that being sad means that we're weak. And that couldn't be further from the truth. Just like everything else in your body, your emotions are there for a reason. Instead of pushing all "negative" emotions away, allow yourself to feel them so you can move on to the next phase of your breakup. If you want to cry on the subway, cry on the subway! If you want to read all of Anna Kendrick's tweets and ignore the piles of laundry you have to take care of, what are you waiting for? If you want to eat potato chips and chocolate chips and fish & chips all in one sitting, go forth! Trust yourself, follow your intuition, and let your heart be your guide.” -Anna Gragert
9. Find The People Who Know How You Feel
“When I’m going through a break-up, or any hard time really, I feel alone in my emotions. But the second I hear a song lyric, or a line from a film, or read that perfect quote that reflects exactly how I feel, then suddenly my problems seem manageable. Hey, if other people have survived it, I can too, right? That’s why I love Femsplain so much. Whatever I’m dealing with, I can read essays like this and this, that reassure me: people get through this stuff. I can get through this too.” -Emma Oulton
And Of Course...
“The most important thing to do? Have a cocktail/hot chocolate/magnum of red wine with good friends. It does wonders.” -Jenni Midgley