Holiday Break Up Survival Tips
Heading into the holidays after a recent breakup is about as much fun as watching paint dry on the wall. This is particularly true if you were in a long relationship or if the person you were dating was close to your family. We won’t sugar coat it – if you recently broke up, this is most certainly not the most wonderful time of the year!
If you are trying to get past a breakup during the holidays, this article is for you. What follows are three practical tips to help you stay sane while balancing the understandable hurts you are feeling through self-care. Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
1. Surround yourself with friends
One of the worst things you can do while going through the emotional throws of a breakup during the holidays is to isolate. While it is understandable you want to be alone with your emotions, it can have the counterproductive effect of causing you to become more depressed.
To the extent possible, try to surround yourself with close friends. It is important however that you only choose friends who will be supportive and nurturing. This means not hanging out with busy bodies who want to get into your personal life and gossipers who are looking for their next news story.
Friends help to pick us up when we are feeling down. If you ever needed a set of good friends, now is the time to call on them. Just be extra selective about who you let into your support circle.
2. Have a canned response
One of the most difficult things about dealing with a breakup during the holidays are questions from family and friends. Specifically, we are talking about the folks who want to know exactly what happened and why the breakup occurred.
It’s like this – you don’t have to answer to anybody, particularly right now!
One things we encourage our clients to do in situations like this is to have a rehearsed answer ready. In other words, if you are asked the “what” and “why” questions, be ready to give a canned response. Examples answers might be: 1. Can we talk about this at another time? 2. It just didn’t work out and; 3. I’ll share more with you after the holidays.
Notice that all of the answers provided above did not go into specifics. In fact, these responses were designed to delay discussion and send the message that now is not a good time. Part of surviving the holidays after a breakup necessarily means choosing not to go into detail about the circumstances surrounding the split. There is nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, it may be a healthy way of creating emotional homeostasis.
3. Be good to yourself
This final point may seem like a catch-all saying but there’s real healing power behind the phrase. Being good to yourself means taking care of you. This can be accomplished in a number of ways – from engaging in physical activity to help reduce anxiety – to giving yourself permission to cry. Being good to yourself is really about softening the hard landing that you are going through.
Many people find that counseling is particularly helpful after a breakup. Speaking to a therapist about all of the things you are feeling provides a productive outlet for emotional discharge while also helping to integrate your new reality of being single into the here and now. If you were cheated on, therapy can assist you with working through feelings of anger and mistrust.
Surviving the holidays after a breakup is extremely hard. We would like to recommend a book for you as part of your path to healing. Getting Past Your Hurts by Susan Elliot if a wonderful, soothing and meaningful resource that can help provide concrete solutions to the pain you are feeling in the here and now.
If you would like to speak with one of our counselors about therapy regarding your breakup situation, please give us a call at 773-598-7797. You can also send us a confidential note using our online contact form.