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Breakups can be challenging, no matter if you were the one who initiated the breakup or not. And when it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a failed relationship, it’s important that you keep in mind these six dos and don’ts so that your breakup doesn’t end up breaking you.

“It’s important to let your friends and family be there. Getting a fresh perspective from the people who know you best and care about you most can be an integral part of the healing process, especially since they can often provide words of wisdom, personal anecdotes, and even a good laugh”

Do take time to grieve. The first major breakup do is to take the time you need to deal with what’s transpired. Breakups can be draining on your emotional health, and it’s important that you let yourself experience disappointment, sadness, or whatever else you may be feeling. So rather than brushing it off, putting on a brave face, and pretending that the breakup doesn’t bother you, it’s important to face your emotions head-on instead of stuffing them away — that way, you can work through your feelings and come out stronger as a result.

Do lean on your support system. When it comes to dealing with a breakup, it’s also important to let your friends and family be there for you during this time. Getting a fresh perspective from the people who know you best and care about you most can be an integral part of the healing process, especially since they can often provide words of wisdom, personal anecdotes, and even a good laugh. In a word, when your support system wants to be present for you, it’s in your best interest to let them.

Do enjoy your favorite activities. After a breakup, it’s critical that you continue to partake in the passions and pursuits that are important to you. And while you may feel like staying in and saying farewell to the activities that you once enjoyed, the right move towards moving on is to get up and get moving. For instance, don’t neglect your Saturday morning yoga class, keep showing up for your softball league, and make a cameo at your friend’s birthday party. Life goes on after a breakup, so make sure that you don’t miss out.

Don’t stalk your ex on social media. In the aftermath of a breakup, it’s also key that you refrain from certain behaviors that can be detrimental to your overall wellbeing—namely, keeping tabs on your ex on social media. And while you may be tempted to know what your ex is up to, see who this person’s hanging out with, and where she or he is, the more you focus on your ex, the harder it is to focus on a future without this person. Remember, when it comes to your ex and social media, you should block instead of stalk.

Don’t be hard on yourself. When you’re dealing with a breakup, it’s equally important that you’re not blaming yourself for what went down between you and your ex. And while you may find yourself fixating on what went wrong, what you could’ve done differently, and what led to your relationship’s downfall, reliving every interaction isn’t a beneficial action in any sense. Rather than spending your time being stressed, anxious, and mad at yourself, use this as a time for self-care and self-improvement instead.

Don’t be a pessimist. After a breakup, many people feel as though they’re never going to find another partner. However, this simply isn’t true, and staying positive is the only way to make this happen. After all, your breakup doesn’t mean that you’re destined for a life of singlehood, and it absolutely doesn’t define your identity. And as long as you continue to recognize all that you have to offer, believe that you’re worth it, and remain optimistic, you’re laying the groundwork to find a meaningful and long-lasting relationship with someone new.

About the Author

Stacey Laura Lloyd is an award-winning dating, relationships, and wellness writer and is the Dating Expert for About.com. Her work has been praised in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and has also been featured on The Doctors. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of two books, including Is Your Job Making You Fat? How to Lose the Office 15…and More!

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