5 Ways to Manage the Stress of a Breakup

Stress Management | Sunday July 24, 2016

From Huffingtonpost.com

We’re not sure how it happened, but somewhere down the line, men gained a reputation for coming out of breakups relatively unscathed.

But the reality is, we all experience the pain of a split, even if the response is a bit delayed. We were reminded of that Tuesday, when a Reddit conversation broke out highlighting one recently divorced guy’s struggle to move on post-split.

As the Redditor tells it, he and his wife divorced six months ago, after he discovered she had cheated on him. Initially, he said he felt anger and”zero pain” over the breakup, but now he’s starting to feel depressed, in part because he’s been spending time on her Facebook page.

“Now that the dust has settled and we both are on our separate ways, I’m overcome with grief and depression,” he wrote. “I look at her on Facebook and she seems so happy with her affair and they look like they are getting serious. I thought I was over her and moved on, but now I’m just so sad.”

He added: “Does anyone have any advice or experiences on how they managed to deal with this pain? It seems to come in waves and it sucks big time.”

In return, Redditors weighed in with lessons they learned from their divorces and breakups — tips we found both refreshing and pretty on-point for both men and women. Take a look at some of their best advice below, then weigh in with your tips on moving on in the comments.

1. Whatever you do, stay off your ex’s Facebook profile.
Facebook is not your friend after a breakup — and your ex’s profile is the last place you want to find yourself. Plus, as one Redditor suggested, all those cute photobooth photos and tagged date nights on your ex’s profile are likely only telling half the story. “Remember that Facebook is just her highlight reel,”the commentor said. “You don’t know the problems they’re having behind the scenes.”

2. If you do look at your ex’s Facebook profile — or otherwise get wind of what he or she is up to — remind yourself that all of that is in the past.
“If any bit of information about her supposed happiness comes your way, tell yourself ‘that has nothing to do with me’ and repeat it until you know it in your heart,” a Redditor advised. “That’s been a very healing statement for me. Don’t look at her Facebook. Don’t listen to rumors from mutual friends. You don’t need to compare your life with hers. You now have your own new future that doesn’t include a cheating spouse.”

3. Observe all the stages of grief.
You know how they say you need to acknowledge the five stages of grief before you can truly move on after a loved one dies? The same absolutely holds true for the loss of an ex, one Redittor said.

“Denial -> Anger -> Bargaining -> Depression -> Acceptance is the usual pattern,” he said. “You may go back and forth. But over time you’ll spend more and more time in the acceptance phase. The good news is that you are processing your feelings.”

4. Try to focus your energies elsewhere — and if that doesn’t help, don’t be afraid to try therapy.
Another Redditor stressed the importance of finding an outlet that doesn’t remind you of your ex. “Take some trips. Pick up a hobby. Try online dating,” he said.

One activity you shouldn’t rule out? Seeing a therapist. “If you do see yourself getting lower and lower, get some counseling,” the man said. “It helped me immensely get over my ex and process what happened. I only went to a few sessions but they were a great help.”

5. Seize the opportunity to put yourself first again.
You probably put yourself on the back burner quite a bit during your relationship. A breakup is a chance to put the focus back on what you want out of your life, one Redditor said. “Ultimately, there is no going back and it’s time to rediscover yourself without her. Embrace it as an opportunity, and strive for the best.”

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