The Award-Winning Breakup Checklist
It can't be denied that going through a breakup really, really, really, really sucks - even if you were the one who initiated it. Unfortunately, the ones that come as a surprise, or if not a surprise then the ones you really didn't want to happen, can seem - utterly and without mercy - catastrophic. Let's pause for a moment of real talk. If you are feeling heavy emotions, talk to a professional licensed therapist ASAP. In fact, stop reading this article (as delightful and well-written as it is), close your laptop, and go do that right this very minute. Okay? This checklist is for the people who are feeling hurt, but not in a way that would cause them to inflict harm on themselves or others.
Is this really an award-winning breakup checklist? If not, it should be! Somebody needs to order the beautiful crystal awards, because we're about to earn them.
Step 1: Emblazon This Quote Onto Your Brain
Here's what you need to know: "This too shall pass." The quote is attributed to just about every kindly elderly person everywhere. It may not pass today, tomorrow, or even this year, but there's another saying: "Time heals all wounds." The reason you need to study this, memorize this, and emblazon this onto the back of your eyelids (metaphorically speaking) as part of your award-winning breakup checklist is because (a) it is actually true, and (b) you need to gain some perspective.
Yes, the person you are no longer with was the most magical, amazing, funny, sexy, beautiful person that ever did or ever will exist, and it really hurts right now that you can't just snuggle up with them and pretend that you haven't been trying to kill each other for the past several months (or pretend that they didn't suddenly drop you like a hot spatula), but it's eventually going to be okay. You will come out of this on the other side one glorious and sunny day, and although you may look back on that person with nostalgia and/or fondness for years to come, you WILL stop believing that they're the center of the universe. If it's eventually going to be okay, then that means it can be a little bit better right now, right?
Step 2: Download a Mindfulness App and Use It
Grab your phone and pick one of the many meditation apps that are available for purchase. After a free trial, it might cost you the equivalent of a couple of Harvey Wallbangers a month, but mindfulness is going to get you out of this funk far more quickly than drowning your sorrows in vodka. If you think you could never meditate, don't worry; everyone says that at first. Ghandi probably said that at first. The point of mindfulness with an app is not to clear your mind, achieve nirvana, or torture yourself. Instead, you'll use small - and totally not boring, by the way - daily increments of time to teach your mind not to be totally overwhelmed by things like running out of milk when you want cereal for breakfast or... the love of your life leaving you. It's a small time commitment, too. We're talking 5 - 10 minutes a day. You can do that before you haul your broken self out of bed in the morning to face your roommates (or bathroom mirror) with eyes puffy from crying all night.
Step 3: Try to Have Fun
You're not going to feel like laughing your way through the movies of John Candy right away, and that's okay. You might need some time to sulk around your apartment like Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." But each day, try to have a little fun. Try to do something that would make yourself laugh - or at least smile - if you weren't drowning in tears. Maybe ask your friends to throw you a divorce party, or start playing cards with your family and friends.
In closing, remember these tips: First, get professional help if you're feeling overwhelmed. Second, aim to find some perspective so this won't feel as terrible. Third, gain even more perspective with mindfulness. And fourth, nothing helps quite like a smile - even if you don't feel like smiling just yet. This too shall pass.