Ah, well...
December 7, 2014 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Tips for getting past a breakup..ish...

Was seeing someone exclusively for about 6 months now, and things just ended. I'm left with some tears, a splitting headache, and a list of things to do that I don't feel like tackling at all.

It was amicable and all for the best, since I wasn't getting what I needed out of the relationship and he was still wavering and unsure after all this time, not really defining things. I anticipate being friendly in the future since we have tons of mutual friends and I completely understand why it couldn't work. But it's still a bummer, especially around the holidays. Now I know to just give it time, but I feel frustrated because I don't feel like doing much of anything. I have a small online store I'm trying to get up, and work, and Christmas shopping/errands...and now I'm totally unmotivated. Also I don't really feel like talking about it with people yet, but I know I shouldn't just stay at home and wallow.

So...What are some activities where I can distract myself but not have to socialize too heavily? Going out to a movie sounds pleasant, but I'm hopeful for more suggestions. Also, what can I do feel motivated about getting stuff done?

This is better than my first breakup, by far, but it still sucks and I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks. Tips on the best way to get through it also welcome.
posted by sprezzy to Human Relations (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Run. Or walk, or whatever speed you can perambulate. Just get outside and move, and if you still feel mopey about him, speed up a little. Sweat it out.
posted by Etrigan at 4:27 PM on December 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

Exercise, as Etrigan says. You need to take big walks, and maybe consider picking up some barbell training, to forge yourself into a god/goddess.

Reading is probably out, because even if it's good, it's easy to let your mind wander. Pick yourself up the Peep Show box set and just play all 7 series on repeat forever.

Do you play video games? If you do, pick up a new video game that is really long and distracting, like GTAV or a big, dense roleplaying game. It's easy to get lost in a thing like that.

Stay away from the booze. Eat good foods. Try perfecting an omelette, or something.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:03 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Exercise- it releases natural endorphins which improve feeling.
Play energizing music constantly.
Read boring books to fall asleep at night.
Don't drink.
posted by uni verse at 5:17 PM on December 7, 2014

Also, it's okay to let yourself be sad. But consider giving yourself a time limit, like 10 minutes. And then feel as sad as you can feel during those 10 or 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, it's time for you to distract yourself, or enjoy yourself, or do something other than wallowing. Just a suggestion. In my experience, it doesn't work to try to ignore or stuff my feelings. It's important for me to acknowledge them without drowning in them. That's why I find a timer useful. YMMV. And Nthing exercise as well. Best of luck!
posted by Bella Donna at 6:13 PM on December 7, 2014

I kind of disagree, I think you should give yourself 24-48 hours worth of down time to process this, and then gradually work yourself up to other activities. After all, you are grieving a relationship and yeah, it was mutual, but it's still sad and you need to allow your nervous system time to process this.

Why not take a day or two to wallow in your bathrobe and watch TV? And then get up and do things? Hug a pillow or stuffed animal and eat popcorn. Call your girlfriends or have them over to sit with you.

Forget the holidays. If you were your best girlfriend, what would you say to yourself? Take time to heal from this. Put a mudpack on your face, shave your legs, rub lotion on yourself, put on your favorite music, cry a little. Go out with your friends and bitch about it. Get drunk and dance yourself silly, whatever it is that you do to get over things.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:39 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hang out at home and rest. Then do the biggest clean you've ever done. Get those baseboards, change the furnace filter. Move the furniture around, see if you can change your perspective.

Then call your friends, tell them you broke up. Ask each to bring something to a Whine and Wine party. You will watch RomComs, hang out, drink wine and nibble tasty things that other people bring to you. No effort really, but everyone can come and love on you a bit.

If you can, get away for a long weekend with a couple of friends. A wintery cabin, or Vegas, or a resort in a warm destination.

You don't feel motivated, push through it. Once you've had your wallow, decide what needs doing, and start doing it. Once you get into it, you'll be distracted and then you'll be excited about doing what needs to be done.

On my list for next week while I wait for my job offer:

Make curtains for the kitchen
Hang new curtains in the bedroom
Wash the walls in the hallway
Find one last present and mail off Sissy's Channukah box.

I believe that once you get going, momentum will keep the wheels turning.

Hang in there!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:05 PM on December 7, 2014

Learning to knit and then knitting that while watching Netflix? Catharsis like you wouldn't believe.
posted by ourt at 7:44 PM on December 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

There are no shortcuts to processing the end/loss of the relationship no matter how amicable. You're going to feel crappy at times; maybe sustained, or off and on. It is just how the psyche processes the loss and moves on. There is a cliched phrase- Feel before heal, but I think there is a lot of truth to it. All of the coping measures: the exercising, connecting with friends, hobbies, new projects, chores; it all keeps you from wallowing and digging yourself into a deeper hole than you need to be in. Alternate between licking your wounds and pushing yourself to be productive, social, and connecting. Find little victories all over the place to keep your head moving forward; don't beat yourself up for slipping back at times. You'll feel yourself coming back little by little and then at some point, you'll reach a critical mass when your recovery cannot be stopped! You'll get there!
posted by incolorinred at 10:02 PM on December 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yeah, knitting helped me through some very bad times. It's a great stress-relief and it helps take my mind off of things. It's literally mind-numbing.

Also I suggest just taking a day off for now. It's okay to hurt and feel your feelings and be generally unmotivated. Sometimes it's better to give in a little instead of pushing away your feelings and force yourself through this. Do things that make you happy. Order your favourite foods, go for a run, bake a cake and eat it all, cuddle your cat or watch cat-videos on youtube all day, have a karaoke-session in your living room singing along to the saddest break-up songs..

As for getting things done the next day (or the day after that): It helps breaking big tasks down to little tasks. For me, it always seems if I complete one small task, I get a sense of "I can do this" and suddenly the rest doesn't seem as daunting anymore. Gettings things done is also a great way to feel good about yourself!
posted by leopard-skin pill-box hat at 3:04 AM on December 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Wallowing is fun, and once you're sick of it, you'll get up. So rest, get a good nap in, have a good cry, then attack your list of things to do.
posted by discopolo at 6:21 AM on December 8, 2014

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