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Did you just break up? Don't turn to destructive "coping mechanisms". Here's how to honor your emotional needs, the healthy way.


Losing the person you thought of as your other half is genuinely devastating. Rather than minimizing your sadness, feel free to let those tears flow, because crying isn't for sissies but for everyone in tough situations. Research shows that crying lowers stress and lifts the mood, as well as physically removing toxins from the body. It's not for nothing that New York Times reporter Benedict Carey called it "emotional perspiration". Whether you are crying because you sorely miss your ex, because you are incredibly confused about what to do with your life now, or because you are finally free from someone who simply wasn't right for you, let it all out. Those tears will stop, and rainbows really do wait for you after severe showers. 

Keep Busy

If you lived with your ex, your routine will probably change a lot after breaking up. Rather than making pajamas, nightclubs, potato chips and vodka an integral part of your routine, why not work on the things you have always wanted to work but didn't have the chance to engage in before? Activities that promote personal growth and health can include taking a class, going for a jog every morning, joining a gym, and doing lunch with supportive friends and relatives. You could also look into doing volunteer work.

Write And Reflect

Research shows that it's best to cope with break-ups by keeping the "focus on the positive aspects of their experience while simultaneously minimizing negative emotions". One way to achieve this very effectively is by keeping a journal of your feelings and experience during the aftermath of your break-up. "Writing about positive aspects of the break-up can increase positive emotions and can do so without a corresponding increase in negative emotions," one study notes.

You can focus on the positive both by exploring what you learned from the relationship you have recently left behind, and by examining how breaking up with your former partner has benefited you emotionally and practically.

Allow Yourself To Be Supported

Do you have supportive friends and relatives who are there for you during this hard period of your life? Don't shun them in favor of solo pity parties, but accept their helping hand and allow them to assist you during the process of rediscovering yourself as a single person. Should you not have supportive friends and relatives, now is the perfect time to turn to professional counseling or even, if you're not ready for therapy or can't afford it, internet discussion forums. By having someone to talk to about your feelings, you will recover that much faster. 

What About Rebound Relationships?

It is, of course, possible that you will meet the right person for you shortly after breaking up. Be weary, however, of plunging yourself into a rebound relationship simply to fill the empty space your ex left behind, in order to help you avoid working through all the feelings you have about your previous relationship. Use this time to heal, not to fall right into another relationship. If you do meet someone new during this time, take it easy. 

Note The Positive

After breaking up, you may just notice, after a while, how you are now able to do things you weren't able to enjoy before you split up from your ex. Whether it's watching your favorite TV show without being disturbed, focusing on your own emotional needs, not having arguments all the time any more, having really spicy meals, or really spreading out in the bed without another body there, take note and relish the moment.