It’s the end of the academic year and as we head into spring and summer, many of us are also saying goodbye to the cuffing relationships we had during the winter. Yes, that’s right — ‘tis the season for end of semester breakups.
It makes a lot of sense that breakups occur at the end of the school year. Couples who meet in college are parting ways for the summer. With the warmer months ahead of us, many people are reconsidering their relationship prospects. Besides, if the relationship wasn’t working during the school year, things probably aren’t going to change just because the sun is out.
With that said, that doesn’t mean that breaking up is any less painful. As renowned life coach Carole Ann Rice says, “recovering from a case of a broken heart is no easy feat. Whatever end of the break-up you were on, the pain of splitting up can be severe and intense.” “As many times as your friends and family may tell you to “move on,” that is easier said than done,” she says.
If you’ve just broken up, here are some tips to help you move forward and have a fabulous summer — regardless of your relationship status or lack thereof.
- Embrace the discomfort.
Let’s be real — breakups can really hurt. Regardless of where you’re at — hurt, sad, frustrated, confused — allow yourself to have whatever feelings you are having. As Rice explains, “give yourself time to feel angry or weak and allow it to come. By setting aside times to be alone and have a good cry, you’re enabling yourself to authentically feel and work through your emotions. Don’t repress or suppress what you’re feeling as this will only come up in blame and anger later on” (i.e. when you return to school in the fall and are confronted with having to see your ex around campus). “Emotions aren’t something you can toss on the back-burner; learn how to feel and let your face turn tomato red,” says Rice.
- Practice self-care.
Rice encourages newly single folks to, “look after yourself – massages, facial, box set binges, chill out time. The starter pack to this can include everything from renting The Notebook with two tubs of Ben & Jerry’s to streaming the perfect Broken Hearts playlist on Spotify.”
But what we often forget is that self-care isn’t just about pampering. Self-care is also about making choices that put your physical and mental well-being first. Have your date with Ben and Jerry’s — heck, have six — but also make sure you’re doing things that benefit you physically and mentally. Get outside. Move your body. Do yoga. Talk to a counselor to help process your feelings. Block your ex on social media. Whatever you do, prioritize looking after yourself in all situations.
- Spend time with your people.
While it may be tempting to shutter yourself away with your feelings, don’t isolate yourself. We all need other people — especially when we’re going through a breakup. As Rice suggests, “find yourself a good friend, someone who lets you get everything off your chest and say everything you’ve ever wanted to say about your ex. Hashing it out with a friend – complaining, crying, and ranting – gives you a chance to verbalize your feelings.”
However, keep in mind that friendship is a two-way street. “In return for this be a good friend back! Don’t just dump all your baggage on them, but just ask someone to listen to you and get it out of your system, but make sure you’re there for them, too,” says Rice. Doing something nice for someone else is a great way to get out of your own head, so make sure you show your friends and family that you appreciate them.
- Allow yourself to be single.
It’s always tempting to get into a new relationship to help ease the pain of ending the last one. However, if you haven’t fully processed your feelings and moved on from your last breakup, you’re going to carry all of those messy feelings into your new relationship.
Rice advises, “don’t rush – don’t rush into a new rebound relationship as you will take your baggage with you if you’re not fully healed. Giving yourself a gentle pace and setting aside time to grieve and wallow (though, we’re not exactly suggesting scheduling a 10-minute crying session in your iCalendar, unless that works for you!).” Not only does getting over someone take time, being single is actually kind of awesome. Give yourself the chance to experience it!
- Make it the “Summer of You.”
Take some time to reconnect with your passions. What are your hobbies? What gets you fired up? This is the perfect opportunity to explore some of these interests. “Join a new hobby group, learn a language – distract yourself with something that’s good for you. Not only will this reinvigorate your daily life, it’ll show you that life goes on post-relationship, and you’re still a person even if you’re no longer a couple,” says Rice. Focusing on yourself will not only help you move on from your ex, it will also help you grow as a person over the summer. Whenever you decide you’re ready to start dating again, you’ll have that much more to bring to the table. As Rice reminds us, “you’ve survived before and you’ll survive again.”