Relationship breakdown

— Skylight Trust

​If you've just had a relationship break-up and are feeling down, you're not alone. Here you'll find expert tips for helping you find balance again.

Getting over a Break-up

Just about everyone experiences a break-up at some point, and the associated heartbreak — a wave of grief, anger, confusion, low self-esteem, and maybe even jealousy, all at once.

Millions of poems and songs have been written about having a broken heart and wars have even been fought, because of heartbreak.

Although the causes of heartbreak may be different, the feeling of loss is the same - whether it's the loss of a romantic relationship, a friendship or something you only hoped for. People describe heartbreak as a feeling of heaviness, emptiness, and sadness.

How Can I Deal With How I Feel?

Most people will tell you, you'll get over it or you'll meet someone else, but when it's happening to you, it can feel like no one else in the world has ever felt the same way. If you're experiencing these feelings, there are things you can do to lessen the pain.

Here are some tips that might help:

  • Share your feelings. That could mean talking over what you are feeling, even having a good cry on the shoulder of a comforting friend or family member
  • Don't be afraid to cry. Going through a break-up can be really tough, and getting some of those raw emotions out can be a big help
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Remember what's good about you. Sometimes people with broken hearts start to blame themselves for what's happened. They may be really down on themselves, exaggerating their faults as though they did something to deserve the unhappiness they're experiencing. Remind yourself of your good qualities
  • Take good care of yourself. Get lots of sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly to minimize stress and give your self-esteem a boost
  • Do the things you normally enjoy. Whether it's seeing a movie or going to a concert, do something fun to take your mind off the negative feelings for a while
  • Keep yourself busy. Sometimes this is difficult when you're coping with sadness and grief, but it really helps. That doesn't mean you shouldn't think about what happened - working things through in our minds is all part of the healing process - it just means you should focus on other things too
  • Give yourself time. It takes time for sadness to go away.

Some people feel that nothing will make them happy again and resort to alcohol or drugs. Others feel angry and want to hurt themselves or someone else. People who drink, do drugs, or cut themselves to escape from the reality of a loss may think they are numbing their pain, but the feeling is only temporary. They're not really dealing with the pain, only masking it, which makes all their feelings build up inside and prolongs the sadness.

Sometimes the sadness is so deep — or lasts so long — that a person may need some extra support. For someone who isn't starting to feel better after a few weeks or who continues to feel depressed, talking to a Counsellor or therapist can be very helpful.

So be patient with yourself, and let the healing begin.

Resources Available at Skylight

Skylight is here to help you through difficult times. We can assist you in a variety of ways with information appropriate for your situation. You are welcome to visit us and receive free information and a support pack from our resource centre and borrow books from the specialist library. We also facilitate Professional Development training and offer Counselling support services for children, young people, family/whānau and individuals who are experiencing tough times.

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