The loneliness that occurs after a breakup can seem stifling, encroaching on your everyday activities and making you feel as though you’ll never be happy again. Loneliness is a completely normal feeling after you lose a partner, but it doesn’t have to rule the rest of your days with an iron first. Here are some tips on how to manage the post-breakup loneliness you’ll likely experience, as well as some information on what not to do.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
The first tip we have to offer when you’re thinking, “I’m so lonely” is to not isolate yourself. This is a classic technique for trying to cope with a breakup. Many people will isolate themselves in their house or apartment, or simply isolate themselves from friends and family. While it’s certainly ok to take some time for yourself, becoming a recluse because of a breakup is never advisable.
Your ex isn’t going to come back, and isolating yourself within the confines of the home you once shared or your post-relationship apartment is only going to make things worse. Extended periods of isolation can only help further those feelings of loneliness, and can even evolve into depression. Get yourself outside, go see friends and family, get some sunshine! The walls in your house aren’t going to help you heal, and can make things worse. Don’t retreat into the darkness of an empty house.
Being Alone Doesn’t Have to be a Negative Experience
One thing that people seem to do quite a lot is associate being alone with a negative experience or feeling. The fact is, loneliness isn’t fun, but being alone doesn’t have to be a bad thing; in fact, some of the most important personal growth in your entire life occurs when you’re not in a relationship. The mistake people tend to make when they’re feeling lonely after a breakup is to get with someone new. If you’re not over your ex, getting with someone new is absolutely wrong.
Think about it; you’re still harboring feelings for someone else, but you’re attempting to form a relationship with someone new. This is unfair to the new person and doesn’t help you grow or learn to cope with loss. Instead, you’re setting up a new relationship for failure. Give yourself some time to be alone. Go traveling. Pick up a new hobby. Meet new people. Go on adventures. Being alone isn’t all bad, and can be quite rewarding when you learn to be happy outside of a relationship. Don’t go through life thinking all of your needs can be met by someone else.
Don’t Neglect Your Hobbies
Hobbies and interests are some of the best coping methods you can utilize after a breakup. If you have a certain hobby or activity you love, don’t put it down or neglect it after a breakup. This will only add to this list of things you’ve lost, and you’ll feel even worse about the situation; especially if you greatly enjoyed the hobby. If the hobby is something you did together with your ex, it’s ok to try something new or a different variation of the hobby.
Keeping your mind and body busy after a breakup is crucial to maintaining mental health and clarity. Working out is excellent for your mental health, and can help keep your head clear of irrational thoughts. Hobbies will keep you focused on something constructive when your subconscious mind wants to flood the memory banks with images of what was.
Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
This should be fairly obvious, but more people than you’d think reach for a bottle (or something worse) after a breakup. The fact is, drinking doesn’t help anything after a breakup. Sure, you’ll feel a temporary sense of euphoria while you’re downing shots, but once the alcohol’s physical effects wear off, you’re left with just yourself, a pounding headache, and an even deeper sense of sadness for your loss.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it will not help alleviate sadness in the long-term. It can actually make things much worse and cause you to spiral into further self-destructive behaviors. The best thing to do after a breakup? Skip the bar and head to the gym or a park for a hike.
Writing is a popular activity for millions of people across the world and across the centuries, providing a private outlet for your innermost feelings. You can write anything, whether it be a song, a poem, a journal, a story; whatever comes to mind. Writing can help you put those feelings on paper when you simply can’t get a grip on them in your brain. Often, reading your own writing out loud can help you come to terms with a difficult truth (like your ex isn’t coming back) and gain an incredible sense of clarity.