IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO POST-HORRIBLE BREAKUP

To preface: recently I was surprise broken up with by the man I had thought was the one for a very long time. This was terrible in a way I can't begin to describe, but I have learned some important lessons on how to allow myself to grieve and heal
  1. Have emotions
    I cried until I thought I would shrivel up. I screamed and sobbed in my car on the way to work in the morning. I was scared of the strength of my emotions, but getting them out was definitely better than keeping them in.
  2. Find your people
    You need people. I needed my mom a lot. Reach out to whoever you need in your life at the moment. Sometimes it's not the people you think it would be - I've found a few unexpected friends have been lifesavers for me.
  3. Use denial, with caution*
    This gets an asterisk because it's a tricky one. I couldn't handle the reality and the shock of the breakup right away, so I let myself believe "we still have a chance in the future, someday." I moved on from that thought, because it's clearly not healthy to be in denial forever, but sometimes you need a little cushion. Don't keep it around forever though. Just maybe to comfort you through the initial days
  4. Be selfish
    Only hang out with people you really want to see. Talk your friends ears off when they're with you. Don't be afraid to ask for help or favors. This is a time to look out for only your best interests and sometimes that means being selfish. Other people understand.
  5. Do something you love
    Write, read, play a sport, paint, drink wine outside, dance, walk, nap in the sun, anything that makes you happy again, or at least reminds you of what happy felt like. Bonus points if it's something that never involved the other person.
  6. Keep a routine
    For the first couple weeks, I stayed with a friend from work so that I would be more motivated to get up and go to work myself in the morning. Sticking to a routine helped at least give me something to do and a way to occupy my brain that wasn't dwelling on the breakup.
  7. Tell yourself things you need to hear, even if you don't believe them yet
    A big one for me was "I don't want to be with someone if they don't also want to be with me." This is a healthy thought but not one I could really believe in for a while. I felt like at least being able to say it was the first step towards thinking it was true, so progress!
  8. Don't be afraid of making baby steps
    Some days are good and then there will be setbacks. Don't be scared that you're not healing fast enough or completely enough - it's all a process and moving slowly is better than not moving at all.
  9. Make a list about it?
    This was cathartic and also made me realize that I am getting a little better as time goes on. Sometimes it just helps to semi-anonymously write all your feelings down. Who knows, maybe someone else will read it one day and get some use out of it :)