(Photo courtesy of rachelzello.com)
5 Ways to Deal with a Breakup During the Holidays
By Rachel Zello
A breakup is like grieving a death of someone that is still alive. You’re grieving the loss of a relationship and a friendship. Grieving is a process and healing takes time. It’s okay to cry, and feeling sad is necessary to get through it. Take a deep breath. You WILL get through it.
During the holidays it can be especially rough. As it starts to get cooler out and winter break starts, you see the cute couple pictures everywhere with their Christmas sweaters and mistletoe and people getting engaged. And you just know your family is going to want to bring up your ex, the breakup, or your love life in general. You are completely normal and you aren’t crazy for feeling sad. I want to give you five practical ways to help you not just “get through” the holidays being single again, but really be able enjoy this new season.
First, you will be tempted to contact your ex. Don’t. Communicating with your ex will only make it harder for you to enjoy the present and not linger in what is already finished.
Second, don’t stalk your ex on social media. It’s very easy to look up their name and peek into what’s going on in their life without them even knowing, but that just opens up old wounds. It even makes new ones because now you’re seeing their life without you in it, which makes you begin to feel a fresh sting of the loss, rejection, anger, and even more sadness. Your relationship status does not determine your worth. As often as you see couple photos everywhere and others getting engaged, married, or having kids, there are plenty of people just like you who are single and people who don’t post. You are not alone.
Third, stay active. Go out. Don’t stay cooped up in bed forever. Getting your heart rate up by going to the gym, running outside, dancing, or playing a sport, or even doing jumping jacks, is super important in the healing process because it releases “happy hormones,” (endorphins that all around make you feel a little bit better). When you think about your ex again and begin to feel sad, stop and do 20 jumping jacks. Instead of walking to the freezer to get ice-cream, run! Call a friend. Go out and do something. Try something new. Be smart though, don’t do something that you will regret or will add onto the difficulty you are already experiencing. Shadow a friend’s life and what it’s like to be in their shoes while you’re figuring out what life is like again for you, without your ex. Whatever you do, try not to be alone by yourself too much, because it’s easier to begin to think about your ex again, and overthink.
Fourth, write it out. Write out exactly what you’re feeling when you feel it. Are you angry at how your ex made you feel, because you said something you wish you wouldn’t have, or wish you would have done something differently? Are you sad? Happy? Confused? Ask the question, “why?” Write it out. It doesn’t have to make sense. No one has to read it, but you’ll find that writing down exactly how you feel helps you process your emotions and heal. When you’re finished writing out how you feel, try to think of one thing you were grateful for in the relationship and three things you are grateful for being out of the relationship and write it down. Then make a list of character qualities you want in your future spouse. You can even write letters, prayers, etc. that will help as well.
Lastly, singleness can be just as exciting as being in a relationship. You have time to focus on other extremely important things such as yourself and who you want to be, family, friends, work, and most importantly, you get to invest in your relationship with your First Love—Jesus. He was with you before your relationship, during it, and He is with you now. He understands you. God loves you more than your ex ever could have, and He also loves your ex more than you ever could have and will take care of that person as well. You are in God’s hands, and, now that you have a little extra time, invest in Him. James 4:8 says that when you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. Talk to Him, read His Word (read 1 John if you do not know where to begin), volunteer at church, join a Bible study, get a prayer journaling/scripture doodling book (aka. a blank notebook that you can find anywhere). If you have never had a relationship with Jesus, or you don’t really know where you stand with God, know this…He loves you so much. 2000 years ago, He came down from Heaven where He also faced broken relationships and rejection, to die in your place. He rose again three days later, defeating death, so that you can have an intimate relationship with God. He is perfect. He will never fail you or leave you alone. He gets you. Time does not heal, Jesus heals. The more time you spend with Jesus, and growing your intimacy in your relationship with Him, you’ll find in time that you are healed from this breakup.
Rachel represents Jewels 4 God International, a 501(c)3 organization that helps rescued women and children from human trafficking all over the world. Each year Rachel travels to India to spend Christmas (Rachel’s Birthday) with children who have been rescued from slums and brothels. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation and make a difference in the lives of these rescued children Rachel supports you can donate here: jewels4god.com/Donate.html