How Do You Get Through A Break Up?
For the last weeks and months, we have seen or heard people killing and doing unspeakable things to their partners as a result of break up/divorce with the majority being young people. This week’s Coffee Bar Tuesday focused on different mechanisms that people use to cope with relationship break-ups/divorces without resulting to violence as we have seen in recent cases happening in Kenya and all over the world.
The topic came at the right time since it stirred different emotions and people really shared their personal experiences and how they dealt with the situation as best as they thought fit. With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, majority of discussions dont touch on how to handle breakups thus why needed to have the discussion. The discussion was meant to create a platform to share how we managed to overcome break up and through this, we can all learn or pick something.
From the discussion, more than half of the participants have gone through a break up with different courting time frames. We noted that how long you have been in a relationship and how much you have invested in it in terms of resources (money, time and feelings) plays a key role on how hard the break up will hit you. In an example, 1 participant was in a relationship for 1 week while the other was in a relationship for 7 years. These two people will cope with the break up differently.
“I was in a relationship for 7 years and I had invested so much in it. One day while at work, my relationship ended with a text message. She sent me a text stating that she can’t continue with the relationship, I was confused and became numb.” One participant said
Coping with a relationship break-up can be challenging and can take time. Some of the points shared by the participants during the discussion on how they cope with break ups include, usage of substance and drug abuse, too much of gambling, looking for rebound sex, clubbing and gaming while others would just be alone and crying. It was also pointed out that there’s no right way to cope with breakup or divorce, you just have to have a positive mechanism that doesn’t hurt anyone or yourself.
During the discussion, we also noted that the majority of people in relationships don’t really think about their partners before ending the relationships. One participant stated that his relationship ended with a text message. The person who invests much is the person who gets hurt much.
There are better ways to overcome any type of break up without resulting in harm. During the discussion, we picked a few mechanisms that have worked for different participants. Here are mechanisms that can help you get through a breakup/divorce.
Allow Yourself To Grieve:
It’s always important to acknowledge and accept your emotions, including sadness, anger, and disappointment. At any point during the break up, you should give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling without judgment. One of the participants agreed that after a short period of crying, she finally moved on and accepted that the relationship was over and it worked for her. You should never feel ashamed of your sadness or grief.
Lean On A Support System:
We all need to have a support system, anyone would love to have someone standing or reassuring them that everything will be okay. It’s okay to reach out to your friends and family for emotional support. They can be a great source of comfort during that difficult time. One participant actually shared how her parents supported her and gave her a leaning shoulder when she was heartbroken. Even your friends can be a good support system. Another participant shared how his friends made jokes about his break up only to find that it was a good mechanism since his friends never judged him and stood by him all through the process.
Take Care Of Yourself:
Self-care is important after a break-up. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and getting enough rest. You should engage yourself in activities that make you happy and give you a sense of purpose. One of the participants shared how the break-up messed her up and she stopped doing the things that made her happy such as dancing, singing, cooking among others. At some point, she stopped taking care of herself but once she realized her value, she made an effort to love herself and started doing the things she used to love doing like which really helped her to move on positively.
During break up or any point of life, you should always know that you come first. Try to stay present in the moment and focus on your breath. Mindfulness can help you manage your emotions and reduce stress. Majority of the participants agreed that staying present in the moment and not dwelling in the past worrying about the whys and hows the relationship ended really worked for them.
Acceptance: The best way to move forward is accepting your current situation. People also pointed out that accepting the situation is one of the ways people can move forward after a break-up. This has worked for so many people. Acceptance is the first step to healing.
Seek Professional Help:
If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions, consider seeing a counselor. They can provide you with tools and strategies to help you navigate this difficult time. Majority of young people have trust issues, there’s always the fear of being judged or your story being shared everywhere. Talking to a counselor will help you solve this and get you all the help needed.
The points raised by the participants during the discussion however are not professional as they came from personal experience.
Before a relationship comes to its knees, there are signs that things are not working as they used to or signs of being hurt. So many times we tend to ignore these signs and desperately hope that things will fall back in place. The ignored red flags will always come to haunt you in the future. You should always be cautious and keen when it comes to red flags in a relationship. See you on Tuesday!