Getting over a breakup is never easy, but the New Year is a great opportunity to get serious about moving on from your ex. If you've been stuck and feeling crappy about your breakup for a while, the beginning of 2018 offers a fresh start to being better to yourself and finally making that push to get over your ex.
This doesn't mean you should rush the process. If it's a new breakup, make sure you really give yourself time to feel the breakup before you try to move on. "Grieve the loss, cry, and get angry. Yell and stomp around, eat too much ice cream, and call your best [friends] over for support," psychotherapist Barbara Neitlich, LCSW tells Bustle. "Be in the moment and feel the pain.
If you just try to push right past it and move on — or overthink the breakup rather than feel it — you'll have a lot of unresolved emotions lying around. "By being particularly focused either in the past, trying to figure out or rationalize what happened, or in the future with some type of plan of getting [them] back or getting some type of revenge, [we] fill up the space in their mind and never leave room to truly grieve the loss," Neitlich says.
Once you've accepted your true feelings, it's time to give yourself a real shot at moving on and feeling better. Here's how to do it.
1. Focus On What You Can Learn
It's a lot easier to come to terms with a difficult experience if you focus on what you can learn and how it can help you in the future. "Every disappointment is a learning moment," Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences, tells Bustle. "After the initial upset, review the dynamics of the relationship and analyze what went wrong, what you could have done better and what you learned. There's no need to give yourself a hard time about it. Just process the information, so you don't repeat mistakes."
Instead of focusing on how bad the breakup was, focus on how it will help you in your romantic future.
2. Practice Self-Compassion
Focus on activities that are going to make you feel good. "The key to self-compassion after a breakup is to allow yourself to spend time being quiet so that you can tune into all of the gifts that you gained from that relationship,” spiritual author and guide Heather Kristian Strang tells Bustle. “So often, we will immediately launch into self-blame or blaming the other —but what will really bring us peace and harmony is taking time to truly reflect on all that we've learned from the relationship and how we've grown. And then we must take these reflections into the new chapter of our life.”
3. Reconsider Social Media
Self-care isn't just about doing things that are good for you, it's also about avoiding things that are going to make you feel worse. So consider taking a big step back from social media. "If someone is struggling through a breakup and fixated on their ex, staying actively engaged in the relationship through social media will make it harder to move forward and the recovery will take longer," Dr. Cortney Warren, clinical psychologist and contributing EXpert for EXaholics.com, tells Bustle. A social media detox can do you a world of good.
4. Form New Memories
After a breakup, forming new memories can help you move on from your ex. Dr Laura Brown, a neuroscientist, tells Bustle that personality is largely biological, but "we need to be able to reinvent ourselves" after we break up with someone in order to move on. You can stop viewing your ex as a part of you if you have more memories that don't involve them. So take a trip, try a hobby that has nothing to do with your ex, and just get out there and do things to create memories. Before you know it, your ex might just fade into the background of your mind.
There's no magic trick for getting over a breakup. But by looking at it as a learning experience, being kind to yourself, and creating new memories, you'll be in a better position to move on and get a fresh start. And that's what the New Year is all about.