How To Find Peace After A Breakup When You’re Struggling To Get Over It

Just because your relationship ended, it doesn’t mean your life is over! You’ve still got lots of good times ahead, but it’s easy to forget about your bright future when you’re stuck in the paralyzing darkness of a bad breakup. Heck, even if you know in your heart of hearts that the breakup had to happen, it can still make you feel stressed out and anxious. Change is scary, but you can ride it out into sunnier days. Here’s how to get over it and find peace.

  1. Give yourself some love. Right, you might think that your grief is not touchable by a fresh mani, but we beg to differ. Pampering yourself isn’t just about getting a new haircut or manicure, but rather it’s about showing yourself some love. Plus, when you feel you look good, you’ll feel more confident and happier. Pampering yourself is a form of self-care that you really need right now.
  2. Use motion to deal with emotion. Have you heard the saying, “Motion dictates emotion?” It basically means that how you use your body affects how you feel. So, if you’re walking around with your shoulders hunched, you’re going to feel depressed. By comparison, when you walk around looking up at the people around you, you’re going to feel more positive. Be mindful of your body when you’re feeling down and helpless, and engage in positive movements to make yourself feel calmer.
  3. Think about previous victories. Sometimes what’s really helpful when you’re going through something stressful and traumatic is to remember how you found peace when you went through previous drama in your life. This can guide you to find the most effective ways out of this sadness spiral. You’ve gone through lots of hell before and you made it out, so you can do it again. Take comfort and peace in that.
  4. Talk about it out loud. You don’t have to talk your friends’ ears off about your breakup (unless they really don’t mind), but just talking to yourself out loud about the breakup, like why it happened and what you’re feeling, can help you to suss things out from a different perspective. You could even speak as though your ex was standing right in front of you, and tell them everything you never got to say. It’s a great way to unleash your emotions in a safe way (and it’s safer to your heart than writing them an email you’ll later regret sending).
  5. Cry about it like a big girl. You know what? Big girls do – and should – cry. Crying is great because it helps you to feel better instantly as a result of how it releases endogenous opioids and oxytocin, both of which are endorphins. These help your body to release emotional and physical pain, so don’t try to stop your tears! Let them flow and wash away your stress.
  6. Eliminate memories of your ex. You can’t find inner peace if you’re thinking of your ex every time you look at your phone where you’ve stored old messages from them or whenever you sleep in his sweatshirt. It’s time to eliminate all traces of him in your life so that you see other things that make you happy.
  1. List all the negative things about him or the breakup. Maybe the breakup wasn’t anyone’s fault, but there must’ve been some things that were wrong with your relationship otherwise it wouldn’t have ended. Make a list of them. When you see them written in front of you, you’ll remember why you’re better off being single.
  2. Engage in healthy behavior. Now’s not the time to pull all-nighters, drink a lot, or live on junk food. All those things can increase your stress, so you want to focus on healthy habits that will promote feelings of calm. An example of a food that relieves stress is yogurt, which contains probiotics that have been found to decrease activity in the part of the brain that handles emotions and stress. Similarly, sleep reduces the stress hormone cortisol, so get enough ZZZs every night.
  3. Call a zen friend. Although friends who commiserate and moan with you about what a jerk your ex was might sometimes be helpful, you need to be around friends who make you feel calm. If they’re wise and chilled out while giving you some great perspective, even better. Their zen will rub off on you.
  4. Forgive yourself. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of blaming yourself after a breakup, which can make you feel stressed and anxious. Enough of that. Take two sheets of paper. On one, write down what your inner judgemental voice tells you. On the other, write a self-compassionate response to it. For example, if your judgmental voice says you were stupid to walk away from a great guy, let your self-compassionate self reply that you walked away to find happiness and joy. This exercise can help you understand what you did and forgive yourself so you can free yourself of the burden.
  5. Be more mindful. When you’re going through a hellish time, you might become absorbed by stress. To get yourself out of it, do this mindfulness exercise. Focus on five things around you that you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This is a great tool to use when you feel overwhelmed and stuck, as it grounds you in the present moment.
  6. Do something every day that makes you happy. Finding and following a new routine after a breakup is a good idea, especially if your days feel empty without your ex’s calls or texts. This new routine should include activities you do every day to feel good. It can be something as simple as watching the sunrise every morning or taking an hour every day to work on your fantastic business idea. After doing things that make you feel good, you’ll want to do more of them, which will help you find peace in the process and move on from the breakup.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.