Remember when Gossip Girl had us all thinking “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else”?
Well despite what 'she' might have suggested, this is actually not the most helpful, or effective advice to get you through a breakup.
Breakup sex might not be the answer
Whilst every breakup is unique, research published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, found that it can take 11 weeks to start feeling better after a relationship ends.
And, unfortunately moving on to someone else doesn’t mend a shattered heart.
According to mental health and relationship expert, Shamananda, a breakup is an opportunity to focus on personal growth.
She warns against ignoring this opportunity for growth as it could mean “you’re doomed to repeat the same problematic patterns as soon as you find someone new.”
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, she explained that taking time after a breakup is an important way to prevent further painful breakups.
“In order to find the one that’s right for you and to be ready for them, the greatest gift you can give yourself is to take the time after a break up to be alone and do some solid inner work," she tells us.
“Get honest with yourself and take a good look at what you were responsible for too, without beating yourself up.
“A breakup is like a kind of death, and you get to honour yourself and go through the grieving process in order to heal properly. This process is an act of self-love and it sends a message to your unconscious that you love yourself, which is what you need most right now."
How to support yourself after a breakup
That post-breakup time can feel never-ending. To support you through it Shamananda shares her tips for healing from heartbreak.
Be gentle with yourself
“The number one rule is to be loving and gentle with yourself. Do not beat yourself up or judge the behaviours or actions that may have caused the break up. Instead, forgive yourself for any wrongdoing you may have been a party to, and decide to love yourself unconditionally.
“Remember that there are no mistakes, there is only an opportunity to learn lessons in order to evolve into a greater version of yourself."
Avoid giving in to immediate temptation
Despite the temptation to focus on something or someone else, Shamananda's advice is: “Do not give into the temptation of immediately replacing the person that you lost. If you feel the compulsion to do that, explore why you feel you aren’t able to be alone with yourself.”
Put yourself first
The ending of a relationship can be a time of reconnection to self, friends, family and hobbies.
Shamananda says it’s important to focus on putting yourself first during this time.
“Take yourself out on dates and do wonderful things for yourself that you would ordinarily do for someone else. And, stand in front of the mirror at least once a day, look yourself right in the eyes and talk about how much you love yourself and how wonderful you are. You deserve to give yourself love and comfort after going through a difficult time.
“Show the part of you that’s grieving that you can count on yourself to provide the comfort that you need so that when the time rolls around for a new relationship, you’ll already feel fulfilled. That way, you won’t put the pressure on a new partner to fill the hole that occurs when you don’t love yourself.
“Instead, you’ll be able to enjoy the relationship pressure free.”
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