There’s a reason why there are so many songs and movies showcasing the end of a relationship – it’s hard and we can all relate to the painful steps in the recovery process.  Even when you know a relationship isn’t working out, it can be hard to accept that it’s truly over. We’ve come up with five suggestions for making the transition a little easier.

Stay Busy

The worst thing you can do is sit around and dwell on all the things that went wrong.  Instead of laying in bed or vegging out on the couch – get out and about. Find a new hobby or enroll in a class. Essentially, do anything you can to keep yourself busy so that, when your mind drifts to the break-up, you will have somewhere else to direct your attention.

Confide in Friends

You may drive them crazy, but that’s okay. Whenever you’re feeling particularly low, or when you’re fighting the urge to send your ex a text, call a friend and tell them what you’re going through.  Chances are you’ve supported them through a similar situation.  If you truly feel like you’ve exhausted all of your buddies, you can look at online support groups and forums. Many of them have public areas as well as private journals.  It can be a great way to anonymously vent and express yourself.

Focus on Yourself

We spend so much time trying to figure out how other people are feeling but we don’t spend nearly enough time looking in the mirror.  Going through a break-up is a great reason to make yourself a priority.  Almost all of us can do something to improve our health and/or lifestyle.  Commit to eating better.  Join a gym.  Look for a better job.  Invest in some new clothes.  The goal is to find a way to come out of this feeling better about yourself than ever.

Take Time to Grieve

Well-meaning friends and family might think they are doing you a favor by encouraging you to start dating again but the important thing is to not rush yourself.  You will know when you are ready to start seeing new people. Respect your own process and allow yourself time to fully grieve and heal from the break-up.  If you move on too quickly, you risk bringing your old baggage into your next relationship.

Seek Counseling

If, at any time, you start to feel too overwhelmed by your sadness or if you feel like you cannot handle the way things ended, it might be beneficial to seek the help of a professional.  They may be able to recommend useful resources while guiding you through creating better coping strategies.

Whether you initiated the break-up or not, you will likely feel a sense of loss.  Be patient without yourself during this time and focus on the future.  We’ve all been through it.  Hang in there, it gets better!