Going through a breakup is often one of the more difficult periods in a man’s life. Whether the breakup is with a spouse or a partner, the aftermath of a breakup is likely to leave even the most stable man a bit broken and lost. But just as with any life transition, breakups are something men must endure and overcome. While it might seem like an impossible task at the outset, if you follow a few simple steps and have patience and optimism, you can land on your feet and bounce back after a breakup. To land on your feet after a breakup, set an end date for your grief period. As you work toward this, establish healthy routines like eating right, exercising, and getting into nature. Once you close the chapter on grief, establish new personal and professional goals, and look optimistically toward your future. Reach out to friends and family for support, and seek professional help if the emotions become overwhelming. Life is full of difficult moments and challenging transitions. Tough times are unavoidable, but it is how we learn from and grow out of these experiences that shapes us as men. If you recently went through a breakup it is helpful to know some concrete steps you can take to move on in a meaningful way. Keep reading to learn more about practical steps to landing on your feet after a breakup, as well as some great tips to help you cope and move forward.
Important Steps Men Should Go Through After A Breakup
Step One: Set an End Date for ‘The Long Goodbye’
After any breakup, both parties involved are left with lots of pieces to pick up as well as a range of difficult-to-control emotions to work through. The initial phase of any breakup requires a thoughtful mourning period. This period of time is sometimes referred to as “the long goodbye.” While it might seem counterproductive to spend time grieving and mourning your relationship in order to move on, this is a necessary step. Thoughtful mourning can help give you a sense of closure and understanding. It also prevents you from bottling up your emotions and instead forces you to work through them in a more meaningful way. This, however, is rarely an enjoyable period. If you stay in this “long goodbye” too long, it can be detrimental to your ability to bounce back after a breakup. This is why it is important to mourn the relationship while also putting a deadline on this mourning. So when the wound of the breakup is still fresh, give yourself the time to feel all the emotions, but set a deadline for a few days, a week, or even a month if the breakup was exceptionally difficult. Once you set a date, commit to beginning to look forward and taking positive steps to get your life back on track and help you feel better after this date.
Step Two: Take a Symbolic Step in a Positive Direciton
After you reach your deadline to end your mourning period, you will find yourself at a crossroads. Down one road you will see the past, with your previous relationship and life plan. Down the other road you will see your new future, which may be mostly a blank slate. It can be helpful and important to mark this new step with a new ritual or routine. You can choose all sorts of ways to take your first steps into this new future. Some men adopt a new look, others attain memberships to a club or gym, and even others decide to learn a new skill. You can move homes, get a pet, or even a tattoo. The idea is you are taking conscious, outward steps to adopt a new, healthy, and optimistic future for yourself that is different from your previous life trajectory. A bit of change and acknowledgment of this change is critical. If you don’t mix things up a bit you might find yourself walking in the shadows of your former life, wishing you were still living it. This is not a healthy or productive way to heal. It also prevents you from moving forward and landing on your feet after the breakup.
Step Three: Establish A New And Healthy Routine
Once you made a symbolic step in the right direction, it is time to adopt some lasting positive change to your newly single life. A healthy routine helps you get over a breakup for several reasons. For one, a routine has the consistency you can count on and measure. After men experience a breakup, the world can feel like it’s on shaky ground. What once felt stable and secure suddenly feels out of your control. Establishing a routine allows you to get some of that control over your life back. Another way a routine can help a man get on his feet after a breakup is the fact that most intentional routines are healthy. As long as you establish healthy habits within your routine you are bound to feel better than you did before. This means making sure you incorporate things like healthy meal-prepping, exercise, and mental health time into your daily schedule.
Step Four: Take The Time To Move On Before Moving Forward
The next step is a simple but critical one: Take your time. Just like you need to take some time to mourn, you also need to take time to establish routines and slowly move on. When transitioning from a new beginning to feeling like yourself again (or even better than yourself), you need to put in the work and have some patience. This process might feel like you are “faking it until you make it,” in that you are trying to convince yourself you are happy and better than ever, even when you are still struggling. Eventually, you won’t be faking it anymore, and the hard work and patience will pay off in abundance.
Step Five: Embrace Your New Beginning And Hopeful Outlook
The final step any man needs to go through when he is trying to get back on his feet after a breakup is to embrace the new life he has created. A certain level of acceptance, personal congratulations, and optimism is a great way to feel like you have completely moved on, and are ready to be an even better version of yourself. This step involves a bit of reflection on your journey, and acknowledging where you were and how you have grown. You might even find yourself cringing when you think of yourself in the initial grief stages. All that means is you have come a long way – and for that, you should be proud, and also hopeful about your future.
11 Tips to Move Forward (Not Backward) After a Breakup
1. Reach Out to Friends and Family to Feel Connected
One important way to heal and get back on your feet as a man after a breakup is by having a solid support network. Breakups leave both parties feeling lonely and a bit empty. While there might not be anything to fill that specific void, having friends and family around is a great way to remind you that you aren’t alone. Friends and family can also serve as great positive distractions. Sure, sometimes you might want to talk about the breakup and how you are feeling, but these people can be equally effective at getting you out of your funk. Sometimes the best therapy is to remember there is so much that is good in your life, and that your existence is much more than the breakup.
2. Channel Stress and Anxiety Through Exercise
Another great way to land on your feet after a breakup is to channel the negative energy into a net positive. One of the best ways to do this is through exercise. If you are mad or anxious – take it out at the gym. This is a great way to channel your negative emotions for several reasons. For one, exercise is good for the body. It is a great way to keep you feeling and looking great. Confidence is often lost in a breakup, so maintaining or even improving your physical appearance might give you a helpful nudge in the direction of a positive new beginning. Exercise also provides endorphins, a natural way to help your body feel good. While those experiencing bouts of serious depression or anxiety might require medical help, endorphins are a great natural way to help you feel a little bit better during a tough time.
3. Establish a Healthy and Consistent Daily Routine
Establishing a new routine is one of the steps to moving on from a breakup. But what your routine consists of is just as important as the routine itself. When you start a new routine after a breakup, make it intentional, systematic, and healthy. Consider meal-prepping your food for work. Cooking can be therapeutic, and it is an effective way to ensure you are eating healthy when you aren’t at home. Make sure you budget time for self-care activities as well as your mental health. Establishing and sticking to a healthy routine will set you up for success moving forward.
4. Get into Nature to Gain Perspective
Stepping into nature can do wonders for a lost soul or broken heart. Not only do plants and trees provide us with oxygen, but nature is also a fantastic way to gain some much-needed perspective. During, and shortly after, a breakup, the events leading up to the breakup and your former partner are likely all you can think about. This is typical, but by no means is it healthy. Allow yourself some time to walk in nature and experience how beautiful the world is. Nature also has a grounding effect. It often helps us realize how small we are, and how much there is to see. Allowing nature to reset your mind and priorities is a great way to heal, which is helpful when you are struggling to shake a particularly dark emotion.
5. Focus your Energy on Work and Professional Goals
Life keeps moving after a breakup, even if yours might feel stagnant at first. One aspect of your life that likely remains the same, whether you want it to or not, is your job. It might be hard to put on a happy face and continue with work as normal, but it is important. Once you are over the initial mourning period, it is healthy and productive to channel energy into your work. If there are new skills you can learn for your job, or opportunities for advancement, consider taking on these challenges. Setting professional goals and achieving them is a great way to get your mind off heartbreak and move forward with your life.
6. Try Establishing a Healthy Diet Rather than Alcohol and Chemicals
Alcohol seems to go hand-and-hand with breakups, at least it does in the movies. Sure, alcohol can have a numbing effect that those experiencing extreme emotion might find temporarily helpful, but this is by no means a helpful remedy to your heartbreak. Instead of reaching for alcohol and other harmful substances, flip the script and put healthy things in your body. Purchase foods that are full of nutrients and vitamins. They might not give you an immediate euphoric feeling, but over time your body will thank you. Eating healthy not only makes you look better in most cases, but it helps give you energy, which is particularly important for those feeling a bit depressed, numb, or lethargic.
7. Seek Professional Help if the Emotions are Overwhelming
Sometimes a breakup can be a life-shattering experience. It can be even harder when children and property are involved. There may come a time when other coping mechanisms, including friends and family, simply aren’t doing enough to help you. This is when it is important to reach out for some professional help. Therapy and medication can be very helpful, and in some cases necessary, when trying to move on from a particularly difficult breakup. It can be an important step for any man who finds this transition overwhelming. It can also help expedite the process of moving on, which is the goal.
8. Pamper yourself with some new Self-Care Habits
Not every aspect of moving on from a breakup needs to feel like a chore or a job. It is important to sprinkle some enjoyment and self-care into your healing. Sometimes this means treating yourself to a nice haircut or hot shave from a barber. It might also mean upgrading your wardrobe. Whether it is new cleansing products, a trip to a day spa, or some other pampering treat, a bit of self-care can go a long way for your mood. Feeling and looking good is a great way to snap out of a funk, and help you remember your worth.
9. Work Towards Achievable and Measurable Life Goals
Moving forward from a breakup takes time, but it is always encouraging when you can notice real and measurable progress. This is why creating measurable and achievable goals throughout the healing process is so critical and helpful after a breakup. Setting measurable goals that are realistic, helpful, and attainable is a great way to measure your progress. Choose goals – think along the lines of fitness, wellness, and financial – that are meant to improve your life and are sure to help you land on your feet.
10. Try a New Hobby or Skill to Shake Things up
Another productive and fun thing to do to cope with heartbreak is to try something new and outside your normal comfort zone to shake things up. Consider embracing a team sport or signing up for a class to learn an interesting new skill you were always curious about. Meeting new people, working with your hands, and trying new things are all excellent ways of opening up your mind beyond the difficult memories of the past. It also helps give hope to your future and starts a new chapter of life.
11. Embrace the Stages of Transition
Lastly, make sure that along this journey you take the time to absorb and appreciate the path you find yourself on. While the transition during a breakup is not one you necessarily wanted to find yourself on, it is an important one. Let this be a time of growth for you. Allow yourself to embrace change and transformation. This will help make it all the more palatable when some of these changes are difficult.
Final Thoughts on Landing on Your Feet After a Breakup
Breakups are complicated, and often debilitating, times in life. They bring on an unwanted and challenging transition. There is a range of emotions that often come to the surface, and very few of them are positive. But just because a breakup is an often-negative situation, it does not mean the way you cope and move on from your breakup can’t be positive. As long as you are patient, healthy, and proactive, you should have no problem landing on your feet after a breakup. Take the time to mourn your relationship, but set a deadline to move on. Establish healthy routines, reach out to family and friends for support, and channel your frustration through exercise and walks in nature. Eating right is always a more productive coping strategy than drinking alcohol. Try and take the time to notice the measurable progress you are making. If you find the transition difficult to overcome, or find yourself in a dark place and are struggling to move past it, don’t be afraid to seek professional help to assist you in moving forward to a better place.