Nobody wishes for themselves or others to feel the pain of a break up. Still, it is a virtually unavoidable experience for us all, which is why it’s so important to have a reminder of how to deal with these tough times. This guide on how to get over a break up is here to help remind you of some things that may become unclear during a time of grievance, or you may have just been unaware of to begin with. Always remember that however bizarre or abnormal your thoughts or actions might feel at first in response to a break up, they’re most likely completely normal and just a part of the healing process. Take your time and work to move on with your life.

1. Keep Your Distance

Seeing your ex for nearly any reason during the immediate period of time after a break-up is almost never a good idea. Besides for any necessary logistical reasons, communication, in all it’s forms, should be avoided at all costs. Be sure to make the necessary updates to social media accounts in order to ensure you don’t inadvertently receive any reminders of them during the time it takes to move on. While this certainly does not need to go on for ever, it’s just a temporary measure to take while you give yourself time to heal—even if your intentions are to maintain a friendship after your break-up.

2. Remove Triggers

Anything in your life that will remind you of your ex—good or bad—is best removed as much as possible, again, only as needed to provide yourself with time to move on. Triggers might include a gift, favorite song or food, a cologne or anything else that will spark a memory. Again, the goal is to separate yourself from them as much as possible for the time being until an adequate healing period has passed and you’ve moved on. Eventually, it may be necessary for practical purposes to re-introduce some of these triggers into your life, and that’s okay—just be sure they’re doing more good than harm.

3. Find As Many Distractions As Possible

Surround yourself with supportive and productive distractions. Your most trusted friends and family members are almost always more than willing to help you pull through such a difficult time. Carry out your normal day-to-day, keeping in mind that the right people can make the transition out of a relationship far less painful. Consider tackling any long-delayed chores or errands, especially those taking up a lot of time. Find anything to distract your mind from the break up, productive or not: go for a long run, read a good book, start a new Netflix binge, stay social and go out with friends, volunteer in the community, paint your nails, or do anything else that you enjoy to keep your mind turning.

4. Address Your Feelings

Unless you feel the urge to sneak into his house through the back door at 2 a.m. to thumbtack his bedroom floor, your feelings are almost certainly normal and will pass in a relatively short period to time. Be aware of this and don’t let yourself believe all of the negativity that might crop up in your mind about yourself. Constantly remind yourself of the tough time you’re having and realize this is a substantial reason for your frustration. A journal is also something to consider. It’s a great way to be forced to coherently put together thoughts in a physical form, which plays a large role in being able to lay out exactly what it is you want moving forward. Often times, its seems to just come back to being a reminder of why there was a break up in the first place. If feelings of grievance start to feel that they just won’t disappear, or if you feel they are becoming a distraction so great that it is difficult to continue living your normal everyday life, think about meeting with a counselor or therapist to have a professional who can help you talk through your thoughts. Friends are great, but sometimes—despite however great their intentions—they may in fact just be adding to the emotional scars, completely unaware.

5. Don’t Forget About Yourself

Sometimes during times of grievance, it becomes incredibly easy to forget about the most important person in your life—yourself. If you find yourself unable to gather the energy or will to maintain necessary care for yourself, definitely look into therapy. Otherwise, it’s quite common to want to skip out on minor activities that don’t take too large of a toll on your physical health when neglected.

6. Avoid the “Don’ts”

While it’s great to check off goals that you’ve set in how to make it over a break up, keep in mind some things to avoid along thew way. No matter the circumstances, playing the blame game is never an answer. It is a highly counterproductive process that will wear more on yourself in the long run. Being alone is also risky since it gives yourself the opportunity to let your mind wonder in nostalgia. As mentioned above, one of the main ways of how to get over a break up is to distract your mind as much as possible. There will be times it feels necessary to be alone for a few hours or the evening, but if you can bear it, invite your friends or family over to be there with you.

Conclusion

However devastating break ups tend to be, they may sometimes be an unavoidable step in your life. They are ultimately an essential stride forward to finding the perfect person for yourself. Remember some of these tips in the time following a break up, know that you are free to take as much time as is needed to move on, and don’t forget to do what’s best for yourself.