Cry it out

Bottling up emotions might seem like a good strategy for functioning in the days following a bad breakup, but it’s actually just likely to cause an explosion of feelings at the worst moment. Instead, make time to let your feelings out by crying, shouting or laughing; just make sure you’re doing it in a safe place.

Change your scenery

There’s a reason it’s a cliche in movies and TV for the protagonist that’s just been broken up with to board the first plane to literally anywhere else. Changing your scenery, even if it means just staying with a friend or going to your parents’ house for a couple of nights, can both help you to feel less alone and give you some much-needed emotional distance.

Block your ex

It’s a difficult step to take, but in almost all cases, blocking your ex after the end of the relationship is the right call. Even if the split was totally amicable and it ends up being temporary, seeing your former partner’s posts is a special form of emotional torture. Save yourself from zooming in on restaurant details to see if they’re dating someone new and block them.

Change your hair

If a breakup was particularly embarrassing or upsetting, it’s normal to feel an impulse to adopt a whole new person. One healthy way you can indulge this instinct is by changing your hair. While you should wait at least a couple of days before doing a big chop or dramatic bleach job, the right haircut can make you feel ready to take on the world again.

Make some art

The key to getting over a breakup is prioritising yourself, and that means getting to know who you are and what makes you happy away from your former partner. One great way to do this is by making art, whether that includes picking up a paintbrush, a guitar, a crochet hook or a scrapbook. Anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment and ownership is a win.

Date your friends

OK, so it should be pretty obvious that you shouldn’t literally date your friends in order to get over a partner. However, what you can do is go on friend dates with the other people you love. Whether that means hitting the bowling alley with the boys or just catching up with a bestie over a glass of wine, friend dates can be incredibly healing.

Talk to a professional

Sometimes, all the colouring books, coffee shop hangouts and highlights in the world won’t make a breakup feel less painful. If that’s the case, then it might be time to consider talking to a professional. Therapists can be hugely helpful in guiding you through rediscovering yourself, navigating emotional stress and moving on in a healthy way.

Have an intermediary

One often overlooked element of breakups is just how many logistics there are involved. There are clothes to pick up, CDs to return, photographs to pack up and sometimes even bills and furniture to renegotiate. That’s where an intermediary bestie comes in: they will be the one to return to your ex’s place to do the drop-off and pick up, so you can focus on healing.

Up your self care

Even if your relationship ended on the best of terms, going through a breakup can be exhausting. As such, it’s especially crucial to be extra-gentle to your body and brain in the days and weeks following a split. Make sure to do things that make you feel happy and safe: long bubble baths, lighting fancy candles and spending time making elaborate coffees.

Journal through it

If you’re going through a split, you have every right to vent to your parents, your friends or your dog – whatever makes you feel better and begin to move on. However, it might be worth journalling out your feelings first, so you’re not bringing your most intimate, spiteful, petty or embarrassing version of events to the people in your life whose opinion you care about.