OWW Blog

From licensed healthcare providers who are experts in their field

Tips for Self Care After a Break Up

break ups mental health Jun 05, 2023

By: Haley McSweeney, M.A., LMFT

Why do break ups feel so terrible? Even when we know breaking up was the right choice? It’s important to understand that you’re experiencing a combination of grief, withdrawal, dysregulation, and actual physical hurt when you go through a breakup.

Here are some practical tips for taking care of yourself and healing from a breakup:

  1. Give yourself some time to feel your negative feelings. Grief is a process you get through, not a thing you get over. If you let yourself feel sadness, it will decrease over time.


  2. Talk about it, but don’t dwell on it. Research indicates that talking with others about your breakup can improve your overall well being as you are healing, but over-focusing on your breakup can lead to ruminating and keep you from moving forward.


  3. Commit to taking space from your ex. Even if you still care for your ex and want to remain friends, you can’t do it overnight. The more time you spend in communication with your ex following a breakup, the longer it will take for you to heal from it. Brain scans of people post-break up have shown that ending a romantic relationship is similar to going through chemical withdrawals. Give yourself time apart before making any attempt to transition into platonic friendship, and stop texting each other unless its absolutely necessary.


  4. Prioritize meeting your basic physiological needs. Breakups can really disrupt our routine, appetite, motivation, and sleep. Going through a breakup is a legitimate stressor. Do your best to maintain your baseline needs.


  5. Diversify your support network. Often times we rely on our romantic partners as main sources of support, comfort, affection, and companionship. Now is the time to lean on your friends.


  6. Focus on creating a clear sense of self. Breakups can really mess with our sense of personal identity. Who are you as a stand alone person? What do you care about? What aspects of your life can you focus on cultivating now that you have more open time and space?


  7. Keep yourself busy during that first month. Say yes to invites, spend time around other people, get out of your house. This is a big one. Staying involved in activities unrelated to your breakup help with avoiding dwelling, decreasing isolation, gaining support, and increasing your sense of self.


  8. Be honest with yourself and others about where you’re at emotionally. There’s no rule that says you need to avoid dating other people until you’re completely 100% healed from your breakup. Sometimes dating can actually be very healing and validating after a breakup. Just make sure you’re in a headspace to date new people in a way that won’t harm you or others, and be clear with new partners about what you’re looking for in dating.


  9. Remind yourself that even though it feels like it will never end, time does alleviate the pain of a breakup. This too shall pass.I have extensive knowledge and experience in this field having been a Physical Therapist for the past five years and now going into my third year of performing PT remotely. In the beginning of OWW, I wasn’t sure how online PT would work. However, after working with my first couple clients, I was amazed by the results. The ability to measure and assess with online tools makes remote treatments just as accurate as those in-person. The only difference is that you can complete online sessions wherever you are, which allows for increased flexibility in a sometimes uncertain world. In addition, this gives us the ability to provide quality healthcare to those anywhere in the states of California and Nevada.


You can find more great info and upcoming workshops over at Outdoor Women’s Wellness website, our Instagram page, or on Basecamp, our membership program that gives you access to ALL of our recorded webinars, upcoming LIVE webinars, and blog posts like this one.

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