The aftermath of a breakup can leave you feeling shocked and raw. It’s hard to manage the flurry of emotions that flood your system. You not only lost your relationship with your partner but also the future you imagined you would share together. One day you’re together and then, before you can grasp what’s happening, your life is changed in an instant. It’s as if the wind has been knocked out of you.
As you attempt to regain some normalcy to your life, you may find activities you once enjoyed are no longer enjoyable. It’s also harder to wake up for work, and as soon as you sit down at your desk, all you can think about is getting home and going to sleep.
Once the dust settles after separating from your partner, it’s common to feel hopeless and depressed. Here are some ways to manage depression after a breakup.
1. Identify your feelings
It can be hard to sift through the difficult feelings that come with a breakup. Rosalind Sedacca, a divorce and parenting coach, says you can work through this by putting a label on your feelings. This can help you let go of toxic emotions. “Your last relationship very likely has left you with some unresolved issues, anxiety, and possibly low self-esteem. Those doubts and negative emotions can trigger irrational thoughts or behaviors within you,” Sedacca told The Cheat Sheet. She went on to say, “What can you do instead? Realize that giving negative emotions so much power can actually be harmful.”
One emotion that’s important to release is guilt. Psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, author of Love Styles, says guilt can keep you stuck in the past, making it hard to move forward. When you hold on to guilt, you have a tendency to replay past wrongs, continually punishing yourself.
“Guilt is like time payments; you can keep suffering forever. Instead, do the grieving you need to do, figure out how you helped create the problems (or stayed around for them), and decide to change what didn’t work before. Grieve all you need, but don’t exaggerate your feelings,” Tessina advised.