The pain of a breakup can last longer than the relationship itself. People who have just lost a partner can feel isolated, lonely and depressed. Methods intended to sooth the pain of a breakup -- sleeping late, over-eating, avoiding friends and family often exacerbate the pain instead. A bad breakup, such as when one partner doesn't want the relationship to end or where hurtful things are said or done, makes matters even worse. But time alone doesn't heal all wounds. If you are coping with a hurtful breakup, you can take the initiative in your own recovery.
Donate your time to a charity or service organization. For example, volunteer at a local school, soup kitchen or depression hotline. Helping others can make you feel better about yourself and circumstances. Seeing others suffer puts your own suffering into perspective.
Get physical. Go to the gym or take a yoga class. Sign up for a coed sports team, such as volleyball or soccer. According to Daniel M. Landers' article, The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health, exercise reduces depression, stress and anxiety. Joining a sports team can introduce you to new people and help you start a new life while also improving your physique.
Accept the help and solace of friends and family. Pick up the phone when a friend calls. If you have siblings that you care about, call them. Do not keep your pain to yourself. Share the story of your breakup and listen to the feedback of those who care about you. This strengthens bonds that may have grown weak while you were in a committed romantic relationship.
Review your goals and aspirations. Write down your goals for one year, two years or five years, and the steps you are taking to reach them. Meditate on what you value and how your actions express those values. This step can help you choose a volunteer activity as well.
If you have a spiritual or religious practice, visit your place of worship and attend a service. Talk with your pastor or mentor there about your hurtful breakup. Listen to that person's advice.
Forgive yourself for the failure of the relationship if you feel culpable or guilty. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Don't hold yours in front of your life as a wall stopping you from moving on.
- Write positive messages to yourself and put them around your home. Write inspirational quotes on a mirror. Tape them to walls, doors, the refrigerator or other surfaces where you can see them every day.
- Read a biography or autobiography of an inspirational figure or hero. Put photos of this figure up where you can see it daily.
- Accept invitations from friends, family and acquaintances to go out. Say yes to invites. Socializing helps alleviate your thoughts about the hurtful breakup, deepens bonds you already have in your social life and creates new ones.