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How to Maintain Your Mental Health During a Breakup

a distraught couple after a breakup

For most people, going through a breakup is one of the most painful experiences they could imagine. Studies have shown that what we experience after a breakup is similar to drug withdrawal. We get so used to that person being the source of our happiness or stability that we would give anything to have them back. This is why finding the right coping mechanisms is vital during this period in order to maintain your mental health during a breakup. The withdrawal period can last for years and can lead to depression, anxiety, and even addiction. It's normal to feel a range of emotions after a breakup, such as sadness, anger, and loneliness. However, taking care of your mental health during this time is important to prevent long-term negative effects. To avoid this from happening and come out the other side happier and grateful, give some techniques a try, and you may be surprised by the effects on your mental health.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

After a breakup, you may have a huge sense of loss and feel overwhelmed. It's important to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with a breakup. Suppressing your feelings can lead to long-term negative effects on your mental health. You may feel sad, angry, or frustrated, and that's okay. Give yourself permission to grieve, cry, and process your emotions. The important part is to not stay in that state for a very long time. After some time, you have to concisely give yourself a little push. Once in that low state, it is super easy to give up and stay there indefinitely. Take small steps toward recovery. It can be as tiny as getting out of your pajamas or having coffee with a friend. The small steps will gradually lead to the bigger ones, which will eventually help you move on.

Set Boundaries

It is so easy to keep holding on to your former partner by maintaining communication. However, this will give you a false sense of normalcy and will end up causing you more pain in the long run. Setting boundaries with your ex-partner can help you maintain your mental health during a breakup. If you lived together, the first thing to do is to find a new place to stay. Although moving after a breakup will be extremely painful, cutting that cord as soon as possible is vital.

Setting boundaries can include limiting contact or communication, setting rules for how you communicate, or taking a break from contact altogether. It does not mean you should never talk to them again, but in your state of vulnerability, you might be grasping at straws and reading into every word, which can only lead to more pain. Setting boundaries can help you establish a sense of control and reduce stress. Once you are back on your feet and feel like you are not as emotionally invested, healthy communication can be reestablished—if this is something you still need at that point.

Practice Self-Care

This may be a cliché, but self-care is crucial during a breakup. It may be the last thing you want to do while eating pint after pint of your favorite ice cream or drowning your sorrows in alcohol. But taking care of yourself physically and mentally during this time of loss is essential. It will help you feel better and promote healing. Here are some self-care activities you can try:


Put down that bottle of wine, and get moving. Your guilty pleasures will temporarily numb the pain, but a regular workout will help maintain your mental health during a breakup and then-some. Exercise is an excellent way to get rid of anxiety. It will also improve your mood by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Even if it is just a walk initially, you can slowly build that up to a full-on exercise, bike ride, or run.

Eat well

Enjoy that ice cream, chocolate, burger, or whatever makes you happy in those first few days. After some time passes, getting back on the right track will help you immensely.Eating a balanced diet can improve your overall well-being and give you the energy you need to get through the day.

Get enough sleep

Although it may seem impossible while dealing with heartbreak, sleep is crucial for your mental and physical health. Make sure you get enough rest each night by creating some nighttime rituals. Some hot herbal tea, a nice bubble bath, a fun podcast—whatever relaxes you and puts you in a more positive state will help you get that rest.

Engage in hobbies

Engaging in activities you enjoy can help distract you from negative thoughts and feelings. Most of us feel very low on confidence after a breakup. Doing things you are good at will give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help you relax and reduce stress. Meditation and breathing techniques can be done almost anywhere, so you can practice them for a few minutes, even in your office. These techniques will help you handle waves of anxiety and sadness.

Seek Support from Friends and Family

Talking to friends and family can provide comfort and support during a breakup. Sharing your feelings and emotions with loved ones can help you process your thoughts and feelings. Don't be afraid to reach out to people you trust and lean on them for support. It’s ok to tell them what you are going through, even if you have told them many times already. You would absolutely do the same for them in a similar situation.

Take a Break from Social Media

Social media can be a trigger for negative thoughts and feelings during a breakup. Nothing positive can come out of you obsessively looking at your ex's Instagram profile and reading into every picture and story. Seeing all this can be extremely difficult to deal with. Taking a break from social media or unfollowing your ex can help reduce these triggers and promote healing.

Write in a Journal

If you are struggling to express your emotions after a breakup, try journaling. Writing down your thoughts can help you process your emotions and gain clarity on your situation. You can write about your feelings, memories, or anything else that comes to mind. Writing can be a therapeutic and healing practice.

Consider Therapy

If you're struggling to cope with your emotions or find that your mental health is significantly impacted by the breakup, consider seeking professional help. A therapist can provide you with tools and techniques to manage your emotions and cope with the breakup in a healthy way. They can also help you work through any underlying issues that may have contributed to the breakup.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health During a Breakup

Remember, taking care of your mental health during any time of pain and abandonment is essential. It's normal to feel a range of emotions during this time, but with the right support and tools, you can come out of this experience stronger and more resilient than ever. Allow yourself to grieve but avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms. Doing all this will help you maintain your mental health during a breakup and be on the path of healing in no time.

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