Dealing with the end of a relationship is never easy. Follow these steps to ease the pain. – Compiled in Destiny Magazine by Gugu Maduna, contributions by Joanna Kleovoulou, Clinical Psychologist
Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of a break-up, it’s never easy to deal with the heartache that comes with it. Seeing a relationship you’ve valued come to an end is never easy, but Joanna Kleovoulou, a clinical psychologist at the PsychMatters Family Therapy Centre , suggests steps to take to heal from a break up.
- Limit contact: Cutting all ties is a good place to start – after all, you don’t need a constant reminder of what you shared and what can no longer be. “Although this sounds harsh, by doing so you give yourself time to experience the loss and open yourself up to the process of grieving your partner,” advises Kleovoulou.
- Take care of your body: Don’t allow the stress of a break-up get your body down. “Breaking up is stressful and nurturing your body helps alleviate stress and clears thinking. Avoid substances, as they perpetuate a negative cycle of being out of control,” says Kleovoulou.
- Allow time to heal: Time really does heal all wounds if you give yourself the room to grieve. “Allow yourself time to experience any painful and vulnerable emotions before stepping into a new rebound relationship as a way to escape the difficult feelings,” says Kleovoulou.
- Time for reflection: “Give yourself the opportunity to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work in the relationship; evaluate whether there are patterns that play themselves out in prior relationships that may have impacted on the outcome of the recent relationship; and take responsibility for your part in the break-up,” says Kleovoulou.
- Continue interpersonal connections: Don’t cut yourself off from communicating with others. Trust your support network to bring you out of your slump. “Adjusting to a separation is painful, and having the support of family and friends can alleviate some of the loneliness,” says Kleovoulou.
- Bring back the joy in your life: Do things that make you happy. Kleovoulou suggest you incorporate activities into your life that lift your spirits and remind you of the joys of living.
- Be open and move on: Beware of closing yourself off from other opportunities to find love. Kleovoulou suggests “stepping out of your comfort zone and being open to invitations, potential dates and social gatherings”.
PsychMatters Family Therapy Centre – Clinical Psychologists call on 011-450 3576