No More Track Pants: This Is Your Ultimate Break-Up Recovery Plan
Break-up? Don’t cry! We’ve got you covered, from the first agonising five seconds, to the one-month mark. Here, your very specific break-up recovery plan…
When you’re going through a break-up, it can feel as if your stomach is going to fall out your butt (still love ya, Mean Girls!), but the soul-crushing heartache will pass.
Your very specific recovery plan:
Feel the pain? Pop an OTC reliever. A US study found that 1 000mg of acetaminophen (the equivalent of two Panados) blunts how the brain reacts to emotional cues, which may cause the news to literally hurt less.
Drop and give us 20 burpees! “A break-up triggers the stress response, which floods the body with cortisol and adrenaline,” says Dr Ish Major. A sweaty workout sesh, even if it’s short, can help your body return to a calm baseline.
Hand a pal your phone and social media passwords and ask her to unfriend and unfollow your ex and scrub his presence from your device. Can’t bear to delete all of your mushy photos? Hide them for the time being in a password-protected photo app like Private Photo Vault, but have your friend create and save the password. Studies show that ruminating on social media following a break-up will only make you feel worse – and having someone else do the dirty work means you won’t even be tempted to look through that “I love you, baby!” album.
Now’s the time to sign up for those trapeze lessons you’ve always thought about. The more you focus on you – what you want, what you like, where you want to go on holiday – the easier it can be to disentangle yourself from your old relationship. Plus, having something to look forward to pulls your mind out of the not-so-fun past.
Get on some dating apps. Though, to be clear, the intent at this point isn’t to actually accept any date invites. Studies show that simply feeling wanted can help facilitate your emotional healing. “Knowing you’re desirable and that there are other people out there, can help you begin to think about the future,” says therapist Rachel Sussman.
Call your far-flung cousin to catch up and, when it’s your turn, share the nitty-gritty of how the break-up went down. A study in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that rehashing the ordeal – either through talking or writing – with an uninvolved, objective party can put you on the mend faster. Creating a narrative can help build a stronger sense of ownership and acceptance.
Don’t push yourself if you’re not ready, but if the cute guy from the corner coffee place asks to hang out, just say yes. “Dressing up and flirting is a powerful way to give yourself an ego boost,” says Sussman. And keep the first date low-key: a happy hour, not a three-course dinner, can be the perfect setting for you to finally think, I’m back, bitches!
Feeling better? Well, how’s this for a shocker: experts claim that women get the better end of the heartbreak deal than men.
Looking for more? Here, 9 love experts share their #1 piece of dating advice.