Breakups are rough. Most people believe it’s the stuff of sad songs and romantic comedies, but in reality it’s a visceral and sometimes even debilitating pain to end a relationship in which you’ve most likely invested a great deal of your emotional energy. Cue anxiety, depression, and other mental illness and it’s almost impossible to breathe.
Healing a broken heart is difficult for anyone, but for those who suffer from mental health issues, it can cause us to question our self worth or even trigger potentially traumatic events. Personally, I have been going through a breakup and while it’s not my first, it’s an emotionally draining experience for someone who lives a heart-led life.
Fear the stress of a breakup could lead to a breakdown? Read these tips on dealing with anxiety in the aftermath of a broken heart.
Take Care of Yourself
Healing a broken heart starts with self care. Whether that means going to bed early, taking a day off to lounge on the couch watching Netflix, or reading your favorite book for the 20th time, do what you need to do to soothe your mind, body and soul. While you used to have someone to take care of you all the time, now you don’t. That partner is gone but it doesn’t mean you stop the care. You are most important – take this time to make yourself a priority.
Know Your Worth
Whether the decision was down to you or your partner, the act of someone that intimate actually leaving can call into question your own self worth. It can be hard to build yourself back up after a blow to your confidence, but it’s essential to know your worth. You will find love again, you were always whole and worth it.
Feel It Out
If you want to cry, cry. If you feel like screaming, get out a pillow and do your worst. Feeling relieved, or even happy? Don’t bottle those emotions up – let them out. It’s okay to not be okay after a breakup, it’s healthy to allow yourself to feel all the range of emotions. Whether it’s anger, hurt, or betrayal, acknowledge the pain – it will help you move on.
Learn To Let Go
Change is always hard to handle, and loss doubly so. Grieving is random – like a roller coaster. It will come in waves, but you must learn to let go. We struggle to accept loss. We constantly fight reality and avoid the truth of the situation, your partner is gone. Life is full of loss and pain – know this. Try not to dwell on what could have been, or if you should have done something differently: you cannot change what has already happened. Focus on who you are from this and loving yourself, it will go a long way for your mental health.
Lean On Your People
Although you must deal with grief and loss at your own pace – there is no set timeline for moving on – there are plenty of people who understand what you’re going through. Let them help. Yes, you must deal with this emotionally on your own, but support is healthy too. In the first few days after my breakup, I had an outpouring of support from close friends and family. Sometimes it can be unexpected, but it can help ease anxiety to know you have a support system who is on your side – no matter what you’re feeling.
Give It Time
Whether it’s a week, month or even a year – there is no timeline for moving on from a relationship. Nurture your mental health for as long as it takes and remember that you were always whole, you’ve never needed another person to be you.
The aftermath of a breakup is heavy. That pain is real. The grief is real. Your anxiety invading your mind, telling you weren’t good enough or how you could have done better is not. Breathe, and remember these feelings can’t break you – they can only make you stronger. This will pass. I promise, it will pass.