Breakups are hard, especially if they’re messy. Support your mental health by engaging in the follow three self-care rituals after any breakup.

Self-care after a breakup is key.
Self care after a breakup is key! Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

1. Self-Care Sometimes Means Relying On Others: Lean On Your Support System After A Breakup

Spending time with your friends after a breakup is self-care.
Spending time with your friends after a breakup is self care. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The loneliness we experience after a breakup can manifest in the symptoms of depression. I am a depression sufferer and when I’m depressed, I often isolate myself from my friends and family. Resist the urge to do fall into this pattern and let your loved ones take care of you.

Although most peoples’ post-breakup depression is temporary, they still shouldn’t go through it alone. Keeping yourself away from your support system will only magnify your feelings of loneliness and worsen your depression.

2. Be Patient With Yourself After A Breakup: Practice Self-Care Mindfulness

Get out of your head and engage in self-care by finding moments of joy after a breakup.
Get out of your head and engage in self care by finding moments of joy after a breakup. Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

We grieve after a breakup in much the same way we grieve after the death of a loved one. You will have lots of feelings to process after losing someone you care about, so be patient with yourself!

According to the Kübler-Ross Model, there are five stages of grief people typically go through when they experience loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. It is natural to feel these feelings after a breakup. Keep in mind, though, the five stages are not linear. You won’t start at “denial,” and process through these feelings one at a time until you hit “acceptance.”

Grief looks different for everyone. You may not go through all five stages. Or, you may cycle back and go through a stage more than once. Practicing daily mindfulness can help you rebuild self-love during the in-between moments and support you in processing your grief after a breakup.

3. Find a Way To Say Goodbye After A Breakup: Self Care Is Sometimes Letting Yourself Move On

Sometimes self-care looks like a "breakup bonfire."
Sometimes self care looks like a “breakup bonfire.” Photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash

I am an enormous fan of using symbolic actions as self-care after a breakup. A “symbolic action” could be any ritual that helps you say goodbye to something you’ve lost. I practice self-care with symbolic actions every time I transition away from something or experience a loss.

The symbolic action you perform to take care of yourself after a loss will be personal to you. Here are some examples of symbolic self-care actions that either I or one of my friends have used after breakups:

  • Pack up and return any of their belongings left at your place
  • Breakup Bonfire: any of their belongings left at your place (safety first!)
  • Smash any of their belongings left at your place (wear protective eyewear)
  • Write a letter to them saying everything you want to say. Burn that letter.
  • Block them from all your social media
  • Repeat affirmations of your power to yourself as you get rid of pictures of them

Most importantly, always remember you are not alone in this process and that everyone experiences a breakup at some point in his or her life. Through kindness and self-care, you can (and will!) make it through.