Column: Breakup to move on

Everybody reacts to breakups differently, but there’s a more productive approach to the post-breakup process.

It’s almost winter and cuddle season is already starting. You have lost your cuddle buddy, but this is no excuse to make contact with them. If feelings still linger on your end, keeping the ex on your social media will not be of any help. You don’t want to find yourself checking in on their lives and perhaps seeing something you would rather not see. Missing someone you spent a lot of time with, especially intimate time, is normal. But if you want to move on stalking their life will only make it impossible.

Be more productive with your time and focus on yourself. Go to the gym and sweat it out. Not only will you feel better after a workout, but you’ll ultimately look better. According to a CNN article, endorphins are responsible for the good feeling you receive after exercise, so if you’re having a hard day, go for a run, visit a gym or even follow along with some YouTube exercise videos at home.  

Reflecting on the relationship is always good to learn something about yourself. Knowing what went wrong in the relationship helps to not repeat that situation again. Next time you will see the signs early or you will know what things don’t mesh well with you.

You’ve got some time on your hands now that you aren’t out and about with your formally significant other. Fill that time with positive things that make you happy. If reading a book helps fill in that time and you enjoy it, go for it. If you were putting off trying out a class like yoga, dance or guitar lessons, you can do that now. You’ll feel good about learning a new skill and it just adds to your qualities.

If you don’t already have a bucket list, make one. Anything you hope to do or you’re scared to do goes on the list. You don’t have to go and do everything during this time, but it’s nice to know you plan on it. I have skydiving, parasailing, travel, scuba diving, bungee jumping, kayaking, rafting and volunteering already crossed off my list. Some of these I did after breakups and I felt empowered and rejuvenated afterwards. However, the list does not have to be physical. Something as simple as going to a restaurant and eating by yourself can be empowering. If it’s uncomfortable, but you wish you were brave enough to do something, that’s the kind of stuff you want on that list.

While you are here working on yourself, you won’t even notice you moved on already. Distraction is key when you are feeling down about anything because like the saying goes, “time heals all wounds.”

If you’re savings allow it, there is no better investment than yourself. Traveling is beneficial to all sorts of aspects in your life. You won’t have to be in the place where you have so many memories of your ex because you will be in a whole new city, state, maybe even country. You will get to explore another culture, visit beautiful sights and expand your knowledge of the world outside your own. You will learn some independence being on your own for a while and being able to stay afloat. With this independence comes confidence in yourself and you will grow as a human.

While you were spending most of your extra time with your ex, you might have neglected or maybe lost some friends. Now you can revisit and nourish these friendships and have a support group. Good friends are always important to have because they remain through all the romantic failures and they will give their outsider opinions and advice. That great advice we all give isn’t easily taken, you need friends to help you.

Breakups have never been fun for me and I’m the type that upgrades my style, goes to the gym and jumps out of a plane. The best thing of all is time, but in that space between being crushed and moved on, you need to maintain positive habits and environment. Give yourself this time. Don’t jump into another relationship that will steal that time you need for yourself first. Be selfish.