On Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals, a reader asked for breakup advice. “How do I stop feeling depressed about a relationship breakup?” She wants to learn to think positively about letting go of the man she loved.
I have some breakup advice for her – but first, a quotation from a funny woman!
“I love to shop after a bad relationship,” says comedienne Rita Rudner. “I don’t know. I buy a new outfit and it makes me feel better. It just does. Sometimes I see a really great outfit, I’ll break up with someone on purpose.”
I’m not a huge shopper (I despise shopping, in fact), but I can get behind Rudner’s breakup advice! It’s all about “self-soothing”, which I describe below. If you need help getting over a breakup, click on It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy. And, read on to learn how to stop feeling depressed when you’re letting go of someone you love…
How to Stop Feeling Depressed About a Relationship Breakup – Rita Rudner
Remind yourself that the breakup happened for a reason. No matter how you feel right now – trust me, I know how devastating it is to lose someone you love – the relationship was not working. To stop feeling depressed, stay focused on the fact that the relationship wasn’t meant to be. For whatever reason, you and he weren’t a good match. For more help, read Overcoming an Unexpected Relationship Breakup – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Learn the difference between mourning and wallowing. The first few months after a breakup are the worst. Allow yourself to mourn your loss, but don’t let yourself wallow in depression because the relationship didn’t work out. Mourning involves crying or expressing your feelings in writing, painting, creative dance, etc for some amount of time each day. Wallowing is talking about the relationship breakup endlessly, obsessing about it, and refusing to think beyond your current feelings.
Think about your role in the relationship and breakup. To stop feeling depressed, find ways to empower yourself! Empowering yourself is about taking control, about learning how you can be a better, smarter, healthier woman. So, think about the breakup. Be honest about your mistakes and foibles. You don’t need to change who you are; you just need to learn from your experiences.
Learn how to “self-sooth.” I found this term in a book about eating disorders, and it’s great breakup advice! Self-soothing addresses Rita Rudner’s quotation about shopping and relationship breakups: to stop feeling depressed, do things that make you feel better. Avoid unhealthy habits such as spending too much money, overeating, or harming yourself. Self-soothing strategies come from inside yourself – not outside, like shopping (sorry, Rita Rudner! Your quotation about shopping and relationship breakups was funny). An example of self-soothing is to recall a time that you were happy, proud, and centered – perhaps after you made a mistake and moved on or accomplished something you were proud of.
Rebuild your personal identity. Take the breakup as an opportunity to figure out who you are. Many women lose their personal identities in relationships; now, you have a chance to get back in touch with your authentic self. What do you want out of life, who do you want to be, where do you want to go? You’re now free to answer all those questions; this breakup could open all sorts of doors for you.
I know I haven’t covered all the ways to stop feeling depressed after a relationship breakup! If you have suggestions – or questions – please comment below…