How to survive a breakup

Tips and tricks for mending your heart

Sofia Garcia, Editor-in-Chief

It’s been a long time coming. Or it hasn’t. The ringing in your ears masks their apologetic voice and the instantaneous flow of tears blinds the perfectly curated image of your person — only, they’re not your person anymore and it wasn’t your choice. They spoke the words that effortlessly became foreign to you the moment you laid eyes on one another. The separation is eager to course through your body: your appetite betrays you, your thoughts beg for every sweet moment shared and the hands of hopelessness are wrapped tightly around your neck. It’s time to endure the all-encompassing and beautifully disastrous pain of a broken heart. 

The fresh and raw ache that accompanies the death of a relationship is difficult to console, but there are a myriad of ways to temporarily escape it. As you move through the days of waking up with puffy red eyes and the frustration of visiting them in your dreams, it is imperative that you ride the wave of every emotion you feel. When you find yourself in the depths of darkness, observe the feelings that arise. Be in tune with the physical manifestation of the pain and do something that exhausts your body. Whether it’s running with the world’s angriest playlist blasting in your ears or dancing to the songs you used to listen to with them, give your body the chance to rid itself of the extremes. 

The inevitability of time spent alone after your person leaves might be intimidating, but learning to be your own best friend is an incredible part of healing. Think about an activity that makes you feel like your most authentic self, and do it alone. Read, write, shop, cry or unapologetically scream profanities at the top of your lungs, but do it while you’re in your own company. Bond with who you are outside of the presence of the person you love; find comfort in the complexities of self-discovery. It is not without difficulty and it will feel like your world is ending, but it’s worth it when you find the will to persevere. 

While there are many moments to indulge in self-fulfillment, it is important to recognize when isolation is becoming detrimental. Becoming a prisoner inside your own head and spending your days convincing yourself that the pain will not subside can quickly become an unhealthy obsession. In this case, call your friends. Focus on remaining in the present moment with them; learn new things about them and become invested in their lives. Celebrate their victories as if they are your own and nurture the relationship. If you find yourself lacking in the realm of friendships, pay close attention to your conversations with strangers. Make the exchanges meaningful: fully immerse yourself in the process of understanding who they are by listening carefully to every word. There is hidden beauty in the nuances of human behavior, and the search can bring you the sense of solace you’re yearning for. 

There is liberation to be felt in saying yes to every opportunity that presents itself to you. When one is engulfed by a life so deeply intertwined with another, therein lies the risk of losing the sacred pieces of individuality. Your decisions are flooded with concern for them, diminishing the potential for the exploration of new experiences. Take this separation as a sign to feel new things; spend time in nature and find art in the world around you. Romanticize the little things that are often overlooked, like buying a warm latte or driving to school. Your chest will ache for a while, but taking it day by day — even hour by hour — will ease the pain.

Do your best to steer clear of all social media while you embrace the freshness of the heartbreak as diving into the abyss of fake happiness will only hurt more. The desire to contact your former person will grow, but picture yourself possibly living in the regret of doing so. As soon as you have the thought of contacting them, counteract it by forcing your brain to focus on anything else. As long as you’re doing anything else — whether it’s cooking yourself a meal, taking a walk or watching your favorite movie — you will find that it’s just a thought and it does not have to be carried to fruition.

Allow yourself the time to grieve, and remember that the path to healing is all but linear. The aforementioned strategies by themselves will not heal you completely, but the steady accumulation of healthy coping mechanisms will bring you closer to peace. There is no pain like that of heartbreak, but your light is waiting for you.