10 Tips to cope with your emotions if you're going through a breakup.
Jan 09, 2023
Monday 9th January 2023 – the Christmas decorations are packed away again for another year, you’re back at work and you’re struggling to know what the year ahead has in store for you.
The first working Monday in January has traditionally been dubbed Divorce Day by the media. It’s the day when solicitors return to work after the Christmas break and find themselves swamped with enquiries from people wanting to end their marriage.
January can be a struggle for all of us – emotionally and financially. This year the cost-of-living crisis is putting even more strain on relationships. Couples who have previously been unhappy in their relationship often decide to wait until after the Christmas break before they take any action – especially if there are kids involved. Some hope that spending the Christmas period together will help them to reconnect - only to find that it proves to be the final straw for their relationship.
If your relationship has just ended, you will be grieving the end of that relationship – even if it was your decision. Divorce is the second most traumatic event that you experience in your lifetime, second only to the death of a loved one. It’s totally normal to experience a whole rollercoaster of emotions such as upset, anger, shock, denial and overwhelm.
If you’re in the early stages of a breakup, here are 10 Tips to help you cope with the roller coaster of emotions you’ll experience:
- Find support from a friend or family member – It’s really important that you have someone to turn to when you’re feeling low or struggling – which will happen. Think carefully about who you choose to rely on. Often our closest friends and family are too close and too invested in the situation to be objective. They won’t necessarily give you the best advice even though their heart will be in the right place. Ask your person up front if it’s ok to call them when you need to - so that you don’t feel like you’re bothering them at the time when you need them most.
- Allow yourself to feel your emotions - This is an essential part of the healing process. Yes, it’s awful – but you need to go through this to be able to move on. Don’t try and avoid your emotions by stuffing them down and working long hours to lose yourself in work, partying hard or turning to drink or drugs. They’ll just come back to bite you in the long term if you do this.
- Take off the rose-tinted glasses – It’s only natural that we romanticise our relationship – especially if we didn’t want it to end. But be honest with yourself – what was wrong with it? What frustrated you, upset you or annoyed you about your ex? Write a list of all the things you weren’t happy with and keep it to hand for those moments when you find yourself upset.
- Start paying attention to the questions you’re asking yourself – Asking yourself questions like ‘why aren’t I good enough?’ or ‘What’s wrong with me?’ just puts the focus on what isn’t working well in your life and leads to unhappiness. Instead ask yourself more empowering questions like ‘What can I do right now to improve my mood?’ or ‘What’s one thing I’m grateful for in my life right now?’. What you focus on in life is what you get so start focusing on the positives.
- Surround yourself with people who light you up – Research has shown that emotions are contagious. We’re wired to mimic the facial expressions and moods of the people we’re with. When you’re going through your divorce surround yourself with people who light you up and make you feel good about yourself. Their positivity will rub off on you. Limit your time spent with people who just want to hear the ins and outs of what’s going on in your life – that just reconnects you with all the negative emotions.
- Gratitude – Gratitude directly increases your happiness levels and is a great way to improve your mood. It calms the mind and reduces all the negative emotions you may be feeling. It’s a powerful way of getting your brain to focus on more positive things. Keep a list of 3 things you are grateful for every day for at least 3 weeks, and you’ll start to notice a
- Exercise – This is probably the last thing that you feel like doing, but it really does make such a difference. It releases all those endorphins which creates the ‘feel good factor’. Exercise was my saviour during my divorce. I would drive to the gym in tears but come out feeling so much better after. Choose an exercise that you love – even if it’s just a walk outside in nature – just get your body moving. Enlist the support of an exercise buddy so that you’ve got someone to motivate you on those days when you really can’t be bothered – which will happen.
- Take a break from social media – and as a minimum at least unfollow your ex. The last thing you need to see is posts from them showing what an amazing time they’re seemingly having. A lot of social media isn’t real - people only post the parts of their life that they want you to see. Take a break altogether if you can. It’s time to focus on yourself. Allow yourself the time to heal and start focusing on your future.
- Practice self-care – This is more important than ever and doesn’t necessarily mean a pampering session. What does self-care mean to you? It could be having a cuppa whilst reading your book, going for a run or a yoga class or taking a bath surrounded by candles. Listen to your body and what it needs. Remember that self-care is not selfish. We need to look after ourselves before we can look after anyone else, especially at times like these.
- Positive Emotions brainstorm – brainstorm all the things that make you feel good in your life. What do you love doing? What makes you laugh? Who do you love to be with? What have you always wanted to do? Start to actively plan some of these activities into your day and week and notice how your happiness starts to increase.
If you’ve just come out of a relationship, things will be extremely raw for you, and you’ll be experiencing a whole range of emotions. It’s a stressful and traumatic time and sometimes we just need to ask for help to get through it – especially in the early stages. If you’re struggling to cope, divorce coaching can give you the support you need to fast track out of your breakup and start creating a future where you feel even happier and stronger than before.
If you’d like to book a free, no obligation chat about how my coaching program could support you during this time, then send me an email at [email protected]
Or if you’d like to join my free Facebook group – The Breakup and Divorce Lounge you can do so here: https://bit.ly/thebreakupanddivorcelounge
It’s a group of women all in the same situation who are there to support and encourage each other during this difficult stage of their lives. It’s a place to find hope, healing, and happiness after your breakup.