Breakup and Not Down: 5 Steps on Surviving the End

By: Cleo Clatney


If you’re reading this, your relationship may be coming to an end or is already over. Maybe it was a fling, long-term relationship a marriage or a mutual ending, breakups are never easy. Let me preface this by saying I am not a relationship expert or love guru, but I am a human, friend, sister and lover- who has been there. Are you feeling overwhelmed and confused? You are not alone. Rarely do you hear stories of perfectly amicable situations where both parties are ready to say goodbye. This time can be hard and sad and in order to come out the other side stronger than ever, it takes some understanding and planning. With your emotions riding a rollercoaster it’s a challenge to know what to do next. These five steps can help you find some clarity and come to terms with this new chapter and allow yourself to start healing.

1. Reflect : At the beginning of your healing process you might be feeling like shutting your bedroom door, staying in bed and watching all four seasons of The O.C. That is perfectly fine. In fact, I would encourage giving yourself some healthy space in order to process all the emotions. Friends and family may be curious about the status of your love life, but you need to understand it for yourself first. You might have some figuring out to do on your own or with your former partner before you let others in. Meditation and yoga can help you with this quiet time. If you live in Toronto, check out Octopus Garden  yoga on College. They’re rad. It is a good way to connect to yourself and engage in active relaxation. Also, wine.

2. Reach Out: As important as it is for you to have some quiet reflection time, you also don’t want to sequester yourself for too long. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member and let them in on what is going on and how you are doing. People will understand your situation and your friends want to be there for you. Begin to surround yourself with people you trust and who care about you. Having a support system is a key component to not losing your mind.

3. Take Care of Yourself : Your mind and body will thank you for this one. When you feel your worst on the inside, try and look your best on the outside. That means that no matter how shitty you feel or how hard it is to take those over-sized sweatpants off, do it! The saying “feel good, look good, do good” rings true. Eat healthy foods that give your body the nutrients it needs. I am not saying that you shouldn’t eat chocolate or ice cream or whatever other vices you want to indulge in. Just moderate, always. Check out all of Ben & Jerry’s flavours so you’re prepared. Get active, the natural endorphin that your body releases after a good workout will leave you feeling happy, strong, positive and motivated. Listen to what your body and mind need. You know best; you might need a good sleep, a routine to stick to or you might need a couple glasses of wine. Or five. Listening to yourself is taking care of yourself.

4. Do You: This is your time. Enjoy it. Get to know yourself as an individual, separate from the relationship. Maybe you always wanted to visit a foreign country or pick up a new hobby. This is the time. You now have the freedom to do the things that maybe weren’t possible with schedules and compromise before. Establish a new normal for yourself and get in touch with what makes you tick again.


5. Let It All Go: Things ended for a reason. Whether you agreed with the decision or not, the sooner you accept it the quicker you can get back to normal. It is so easy to replay the sequence of events over and over again trying to see where things went wrong. You may never know the answers to where things went south. Endings are complicated and require time to digest. Trying desperately to solve the puzzle can be tiring and your energy can be better spent elsewhere.

No matter how hard it is now, things will get better. Everyone at some point in their lives has felt how you are feeling and we are all on this road to love together. It’s not an easy journey but it is one that we can all relate to. You possess infinite amounts of love within yourself and even when you feel low you have so much more to give and contribute. Are you ready to take your life into your own hands? Are you excited to begin the healing process? In the great words of DJ Kahled, “You smart. You loyal. You’re grateful. I appreciate that.” Giddy up.


Cleo is a public relations student at Humber College in Toronto. She likes wine, cats and writing.


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