The time after a break-up can be a really raw time. It’s incredibly normal – whether you were the one “being broken up with” or “did the breaking up” – to feel utterly abandoned afterwords. This is because the unconscious doesn’t know direction – it just knows that the person you call/text/sleep with/come home to every day is gone. It can be a time for self- indulgence (cue movie montage of weeping and eating ice cream while binging Netflix) and that’s okay – sometimes that’s the initial self-care we need after a break-up . Here are some additional self-care tips for when the ice cream runs out:
1. Invest in a good stuffed animal
I recommend this one often and sometimes I get strange looks from clients afterwords because they are professional adults and think they don’t need a stuffed animal like a child. But here’s the deal – a break up is a regressed sort of place. You’ve lost your daddy-mommy-best-friend-family all in one when you break up with your partner. It can bring up all the losses you’ve had over your life. This inevitably brings your child self to the table, and that child self would probably feel comforted by a big old teddy bear to hug if you have to get into a bed by yourself for the foreseeable future. I like the ones filled with lavender that you can heat up in the microwave, like this purple lamb.
2. Sleep with said stuffed animal and a hot water bottle
It’s comforting, it’s like body heat, it works. Or just heat up little lamb-y in the microwave.
3. When a love song comes on, sing it to yourself
One of the hardest parts of a bad break up is hearing love songs and seeing couples loving each other in public. It can sting and make you feel like you’ll be alone forever. Symbolically, can you turn it around by singing that love song to yourself? Extra credit for telling yourself every time you see PDA that you’re going through this break up to bring you an even more special partnership down the road that’s deeply fulfilling and supportive.
4. Deepen a friendship
A wonderful time to invest in a friendship is after a break-up. By valuing a good friend and prioritizing them, you are reinforcing that you make important special committed bonds – with both friends and partners. It can also take the sting out of weekends and times you might have spent with your partner if you can spend time with your friend.
5. Read yourself this awesome poem
Love After Love by Derek Walcott is a beautiful poem and often is wonderful balm for those healing from a break up.
6. Start Therapy
If you’re not already seeing a therapist, a break up is a great time to start. The raw exposed feeling you are trying to shake is actually beneficial in terms of therapy because your emotions and challenges and stuck spaces are all right out in the open for you and your therapist to begin to understand. It can be challenging to see that as a good thing, but truly it’s the fastest track to change. To book an appointment with one of our therapists to speak about your break-up, click here.