Relationships are difficult and the breaking up is even harder. Whether you’re the one leaving or the one having your heart shattered, no one ever walks away completely unscathed.
Most of us, at some point or another, have had a broken heart. While it may seem like you’re going through an unbearable amount of emotional pain, breakups can stir up physical and mental symptoms that have the power to disrupt your wellbeing. The part of the brain known was the “reward system” is connected to addiction; it activates when you are falling in love. Just like an addiction to a substance, this area activates even more when you can’t have something or someone. When a romantic love leaves your life, your mental health and physical health need a little extra loving.
Although it’s an inevitable part of life, there are steps you can take to make sure that you transition out of a relationship smoothly and with as little damage to the ice cream aisle as possible. Chris Cohn, owner of Scottsdale Recovery Center, has tips for coping with a breakup and how to take care of your mental health.
Change up your routine
Chances are you and your partner got settled into a pretty comfortable routine while you were together – Friday date night, Sunday brunch at the regular spot and even grocery shopping together on your days off.
Now that you’re alone, facing this routine can be painful and daunting, but it’s a chance to spice up your life! Find different restaurants to try and take yourself out on dates or make weekly trips to the farmers market instead of your local store. Take this opportunity to fall in love with you!
Take on a physical hobby
You’re going to be sad and that’s completely normal and expected! What’s not ok is letting the sadness stop you from living your best life. You’re allowed to take a few days to feel all the feelings and process them but instead of sulking on the couch, wallowing in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and watching “Bachelor” re-runs, try exercising.
Physical activity, which can be something as simple as a walk, has the ability to increase your serotonin levels. Serotonin is the feel-good chemical in the brain that you’ll most likely be lacking after the breakup. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to get your blood pumping and heart racing can slowly bring back a positive attitude.
Talk to a professional
According to the American Heart Association, broken heart syndrome is real and you can become clinically depressed. A breakup causes depression simply because its biologically causing a negative emotional response to losing someone significant is completely natural.
If you’re still experiencing depression and anxiety after following the tips mentioned above, it is best to speak to a professional. Getting help will allow you to cope in a healthy and productive manner. Explaining and analyzing your feelings could shed some light on what your next steps should be.
At the end of the day, there are so many things happening in your life that make you an incredibly fortunate person. Take this newly discovered alone time to focus on those good things! Spend time with your family, have fun with your friends and dedicate yourself to doing well at work. Even though one chapter of your life has ended, there are still so many others you need to begin.