Break-up Survival Guide.
Maybe you knew
it was coming. Maybe you didn't.
You've been dumped.
So, other than moping
around in your pyjamas, spending quality time with Ben & Jerry,
what can you do? Well, clear away that mountain of soggy tissues, and
I'll tell you how to get through the worst of it, the first 30 days.
Three things: Take
care of yourself. Give yourself time to mourn. Move forward.
The first 48
The first 48 hours are the toughest. Give yourself at least one
full weekend to cry your eyes out, eat junk food and lie around on your
couch in a broken-heart coma watching sappy movies or a kung-fu marathon.
Try to throw a few comedies into the mix if you can, laughter is good
for you. If you want to be alone now, be alone. If you want to be with
friends, by all means, invite them to console you. Whatever you do,
don't call your ex. Don't e-mail your ex. Don't see your ex. Turn your
answering machine on and screen your calls. I'm not saying you should
never talk to your ex again, but give yourself at least a month or so
to build up your ego again. If you think you might be tempted, by all
means, invite a friend over to run defence and keep you away from the
phone. Next, force yourself to think of the relationship as over. Sure
it's tough right now, but it truly is necessary. Grieve for what it
was, and consider it dead and gone.
The first week.
After your first 48 hours, it is important to get off the couch
and take a shower. Not just for hygiene reasons, (but trust me, by this
time you'll really need it) but because it's now time to start taking
action. Take down all photos that include your ex. If you need to have
a ceremonial snapshot torching, by all means, go ahead. Put all reminders
of your ex (letters, gifts, photos, etc.) in a box and stuff it way
in the back of your closet, or better yet, your garage - someplace you
won't see it on a regular basis. If you feel yourself starting to idealise
your ex, and feel the desire to call him, sit down immediately and make
a list of all the things about your ex that really annoyed you - the
more humorous, the better. Think hard, I know there's something
· The way he gave the exact same 22-minute response to every
single person who asked how his job was going for three solid years.
· The psycho-squirrel noises he made when she laughed.
· The cheap, ugly, green, plastic phone he gave you for Christmas.
· The way he tried to hold in her sneezes, producing that imploding,
snorty noise instead
Whatever you do,
don't call your ex. Start returning to your normal life. Take an extra
20 minutes with your appearance this week. Sure, you may not feel like
getting dressed at all, but trust me, if you look good, you'll feel
even better. Wear something that makes you feel stunning or confident.
Nothing smoothes the ragged edges of a recent break-up like a few well-timed
compliments. If your weekend on the couch still shows in your face,
put some tea bags on your eyelids.
Make plans with
friends for every Friday and Saturday night for the next month, and
stick to them. Get out and go dancing. It may be the last thing you
feel like doing, but you'll find it's a fantastic release. The music
and physical activity will make you feel tons better. Speaking of which,
exercise four times this week. Yeah, I know you won't feel like it,
but do it anyway. You need those happy endorphins that exercise brings.
Do a little bonding with your pals. Go to a basketball game, or even
bowling. Just get out of the house. One last thing for this week, schedule
a massage. You need it!
The second week.
Whatever you do, don't call your ex. Make a detailed list of all
your good qualities. Remember, you're a unique, wonderful, person, and
someone (probably several someones) will fall madly in love with you,
and you with them. Keep your plans with friends every weekend, and by
all means, do something physical, or humorous, like going to a comedy
club. Work out (three times this week, and for the rest of the break-up
survival period), go rock climbing, or dance like the Backstreet Boys
in your living room (nobody will see you.) Get your heart rate going.
Aside from making your body look good, you'll boost your mood as well.
This week is all about pampering yourself. Get a pedicure, or sit in
the sauna. You've been through a lot, and you deserve it. Spend some
of your newfound time (and probably extra cash, too) on something just
for you. Treat yourself to a little something nice this week, (read:
shoes) and every week for the rest of the month.
The last two
Whatever you do, don't call your ex. You're halfway through the
black period, and the worst is over. This is when you'll start easing
back into your pre-guy routine. Be a little selfish with your time,
and do exactly what you want to do. You should be focusing on taking
care of yourself right now. Now is also the time to start making long-range
plans. Make two plans: One plan for a vacation (even if it's three years
away,) and one plan for your life. You have a clean slate, what do you
want to do? Go back to school? Become a rock star? Learn how to make
crawfish traps? No one is holding you back now. Write down your goals,
and the steps you'll need to take to reach them.
Holy Moly! Before
you know it, the entire month has gone by. You're through the thick
of it now, and on the road to recovery. Sure, you'll hit some bumps
along the way, but you'll live through this. You've made it this far,
and you'll be a stronger, wiser person because of it. Someday, you'll
meet someone who will love and appreciate you for the amazing person
you are. And this break-up, which is so awful now, will just be one
forgotten U- turn on your path to true love.