Unless your breakup is the best thing that ever happened to you and you feel like dancing (it happens), you might find yourself falling into some bad habits to help cope. We’ve all seen Bridget Jones’s Diary and every other romantic comedy on the planet where the person sobs, pounds wine, gorges on junk food and watches sad movies because they’re lovesick. In a movie it can be funny. In real, it rarely is.
Of course, you’re allowed to feel sad, cry, go to happy hour and tear up old pictures—to a point. If you find yourself sleeping until noon everyday and waking up with your face in a half-eaten pizza, you’ve got a problem. It might seem like these things are making you feel better but they aren’t actually helping you heal. You have to pick yourself up at some point. Here are five ways you should not be dealing with a breakup—they’ll just make you feel worse, wreak havoc on your skin and put you in a worse place.
This can be literal quitting, like quitting your job or leaving school because of a breakup. It can also be quitting on love and dating. Of course right after a breakup you probably don’t feel like creating a Match.com profile or going on a blind date, but quitting on love is not the way to go. At some point you need to pick yourself up, get your date clothes in order and get back out there. Nobody likes a quitter and there are plenty of people out there for you to meet, so don’t give up.
Like drinking, stuffing yourself with Twix, doughnuts and Chicago style pizza will not mend your broken heart. It will however give you heartburn and make you feel sluggish, unattractive and depressed. Instead of melting into the couch with a package of Ding Dongs, go ride your bike, make a salad or go swimming. Don’t try to hide your feelings by cramming Doritos into your mouth.
Hopefully you are not literally stalking someone—ever. Still, if you find yourself driving by your ex’s house or lingering near their office just in case—go home. If you’re clicking through their Facebook page and obsessively checking their Instagram or Twitter, then stop immediately! This will make you feel worse because you’ll either get zero information or you will freak out that they just became friends with someone named “Candy” or “Ashton.” Stalking, cyber or otherwise, will make you insane and keep you from moving on. Which is what you should do—move on.
Like drinking, this might seem like a brilliant idea after a breakup. “I’ll just get with someone else and all my pain will go away” is what you’re thinking. Maybe for a brief moment, but it will bring you down when you realize that it’s kind of a sham. You’ll be ok on your own for a bit. Lean on your friends, take care of yourself and remember that you’ll meet someone eventually. That random person from the bar that you don’t really even like will not make the pain go away and can introduce guilt into the equation.
Unless you’re not a drinker at all, this is a pretty common way for people to handle heartache. Sure going out with your best friends right after your breakup might ease the pain a little, but if it becomes a pattern you are going to end up feeling much worse. It’s easy to forget that alcohol is a depressant when you’re two shots in and dancing on top of the bar, but you’ll just wake up feeling even more miserable with a horrible hangover, so what’s the point? Do yoga or go hiking instead! Enroll in a cooking class, watch South Park—just don’t try to drink your sorrows away.