6 steps to moving on after a breakup

Has a recent breakup left you feeling like your world has tipped upside down? Are you wondering if you'll ever feel happy again? Perhaps you're feeling relieved, pleased to have got out in one piece. Breakups are never easy, but there are ways to cope with the pain and move on. They are part of life – everyone goes through breakups at some point, and they make it through. So if you're going through a breakup, know that you're not alone and that there are things you can do to help yourself. Breakups are a part of life, but they don't have to define you.


1. Give yourself time to grieve

Feeling your feelings is OK, so don't be hard on yourself. You might want to move on quickly and get back on track, but getting over a relationship can take some time, so be kind to yourself. Whether the breakup was for the best or you're struggling to make sense of it, allow yourself time to grieve. It is a loss, and you need time to process your feelings. Remember that this feeling won't last forever. You'll have good and not-so-good days, but you will get through this in time.

2. Look after yourself

Look after your basic needs; ensure you're nourishing yourself with healthy food, getting enough sleep, getting outside, and moving your body. When you look after your physical health, you can better cope with the stress of a breakup. Think of the things you do that you find relaxing; reading a book, watching a film, going for a walk. Do them.

3. Stay active

Focus on the things that make you feel good and spend time with the people who make you happy. It could be that you have more time now you're not with your ex. Planning, especially for weekends, can help. Watch out for alcohol and other drug use at this time, however. It might feel like they help in the short term, but they will make you feel worse in the longer term. Remember, your focus is on healing.

4. Be patient

There's no time frame for getting through a breakup; different people heal at their own pace, so be patient with yourself. You don't need to compare yourself to others and how they have dealt with breakups – keep your focus on yourself and your journey. 

5. Give yourself space

It's OK to avoid the other person for a little while, in person and online. You don't need to shut them out of your life entirely, but you might find putting some practical blocks and space to protect your space and to avoid bumping into them when you're not ready. 

6. Talk it through

Talking about your breakup with friends or family can help you understand what happened. There's also something quite therapeutic about your friends agreeing that you're better off without your ex! They can also help you see other perspectives, look after yourself, give you some great distractions, and remind you that you can still have fun.

A quick point on rebound relationships

Rebound relationships are a thing, but giving yourself time before beginning another relationship is better. Think about what you want your next relationship to be like; what does a healthy, positive relationship look like? 

If you're struggling to cope with a breakup and want to help things make sense again, please get in touch with me. I specialise in single-session therapy, which can help you quickly resolve one particular issue. You'll process your emotions, find coping mechanisms, and move on.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Seaford, East Sussex, BN25
Written by Jennifer Warwick, MSc Psych, BACP Registered | Counsellor and Parenting Expert
Seaford, East Sussex, BN25

As a BACP registered counsellor, I offer online sessions to individuals struggling to juggle work, home, and family life. My expertise lies in solution-focused, brief therapy, which focuses on resolving specific issues in a short amount of time. Get in touch if you want to learn more about single session therapy.

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