British musician Sam Palladio once said, “If you break up with a [partner], you’re in this vulnerable state where you’re still kind of half in the relationship with them, but you’re single, and it takes a while to feel solid in yourself again."
People choose to end relationships for a multitude of reasons. Regardless of the rationale, there is pain. You’ve experienced a loss, and you have to re-create your place in a world that puts a great deal of emphasis on relationships. It doesn’t matter if you were the initiator, the receiver, or the decision was mutual--it’s difficult. Here are my top tips for surviving a breakup. Grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and pack a bowl. Full disclosure: I’m currently in the midst of a breakup, so this article is as much for me as it is for all of you.
- Allow yourself to grieve: Dr. Emily Nagoski, a sex educator and author, explains why breakups hurt so much from a science perspective. “Grief is proof that we love, and love is both the most abundant and the rarest of elements in the universe. Grief is the effect of broken attachment (video). And attachment is the biological foundation of love and thus, as literally as can be, the blood and guts of human relationships. So if it feels like you’re bleeding...that’s why.” Acknowledge your grief, allow yourself to feel it fully, and honor it. Dismissing your emotions, pushing through your feelings, or denying them entirely only serves to delay the pain. It cannot prevent it. Sometimes you need to wallow, and that’s okay. Don’t listen to people who tell you to “get over it.” We all know it’s not that easy.
- Reach out for support: Talk to someone. It could be one close friend or relative, members of your community, or a mental health professional. Processing difficult emotions helps us integrate them into our narrative. At the same time, be aware of over processing to the point where all you talk about is your breakup, which can lead to feeling “stuck” in your emotions. It’s a balancing act
- Cannabis as emotional first aid: Sometimes in the midst of sadness, we can forget what it feels like to feel good. I’ve had breakups where I cannot remember the last time I laughed or smiled. Imbibing a sativa or hybrid can help remind you that you can feel happiness again. I’ve been utilizing some of my favorite euphoric strains, including Laughing Buddha and The Sauce. For those who lay awake at night painfully recounting memories of happier times, I suggest a heavy indica to help you sleep. LA Confidential, one of my all time favorite indica strains, has been instrumental in allowing me to turn off my brain and get some sleep. For daytime stress, try a CBD-rich strain like Harlequin. I’ve been keeping my W Vapes pen in my purse so I can take a quick pull if I feel anxiety creeping in.
- Detox from social media: In the age of Facebook and Twitter, reminders of your ex can litter the ground like cigarette butts on the sidewalk. At the end of 2015, Facebook announced that they were rolling out breakup friendly tools: “When people change their relationship status to indicate they are no longer in a relationship, they will be prompted to try these tools.” Some options include seeing less of a partner’s name or image on your newsfeed without having to unfriend or block them, as well as removing your tags from any posts or photos that you and your ex are tagged in together.
- Get your body involved: Go outside in the sunshine and feel the rays warming your skin. Hang out in a place where there are trees and flowers. Go to a body of water. Dance it out. Sing loudly to your favorite songs. Take a yoga class. Do something to embody the emotions you’re feeling, and express them. Paint a picture, create a sculpture, build a model airplane. Go to the fucking spa.
- Rest and hydrate: Get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Stress is incredibly hard on the body, and prolonged stress can have all sorts of physical side effects. Gastrointestinal distress, headaches, fatigue, and anxiety are only a few. You can find more information about the way stress impacts the body on the American Psychological Association’s website. Your job is to take care of yourself. People will understand.
What are your best practices for surviving a breakup? Share your favorite strains to improve mood or functioning!
This article was originally published on Leafly.com in March 2016. Read the original post here.