Who would’ve thought that Ben & Jerry’s and a bottle of wine would go so well together?
A sommelier may beg to differ, but if you consult any newly single person in a rom-com, they’ll swear the combo works wonders.
Except it actually doesn’t, and generally it’ll only take you 10 more minutes into the film (or a good few weeks in your actual life) to realize that nursing your breakup by overdoing it with booze can actually make the pain of a tough breakup way worse.
Trust me, I’ve done the drunk break-up thing, and it left me crying over my ex for a good six months after. I’d been numbing myself so hard with “mind-erasers” (ironically my favorite vodka-Kahlua-soda shot at the time) that I never really gave myself the time to admit I was actually pretty sad about the whole thing. Oh, and in the meantime, I slept with guys I didn’t like, puked on my carpet, and gained ten pounds (thank you, tequila and whatever fast food was open at 3:00 a.m.).
I made the decision to have a better relationship with alcohol in December 2016, and since breaking up with my boyfriend a few months ago, I can honestly say I haven’t done one thing I regret. And, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a while. Rather than turning to my good ‘ol vodka and Kahlua combo, I’ve found other ways to cope post-breakup—none of which will make you drunk text your ex.
Get Inside Your Head
We turn to alcohol after a breakup because we don’t want to face our feelings, but all that really does is push those feelings to a far off corner in our brain that’ll come out and bite us when we’re feeling down, lonely, or when we’ve polished off a one too many margaritas.
Instead, try looking inward to face the mixed feelings you’re likely having after a breakup. This can mean journaling all the thoughts and emotions that are swirling around your head or simply calling up a good friend for a vent session.
As a bonus, this ensures that when you find yourself in another relationship (because there’s always another one, I promise), you’ll have the self-awareness to know where things went wrong and to not repeat your past mistakes. It’s tempting to blame a failed relationship on the other person, but it always takes two to tango. You won’t regret your last relationship entirely if you use it as a lesson.
Numb Your Mind… In a Healthier Way
Okay, so I know #1 is hard, so if you have to work up to it, that’s okay (I know that’s what I’m doing).
If you’re still craving that numbing feeling where you need to forget your ex exists, try guided meditation. I know it doesn’t sound quite as fun as chugging whiskey and belting out “IDFWU” by Big Sean at the bar, but the way it makes you feel is 100 times better than your best hangover.
If sitting still and silent for multiple minutes seems challenging, try Hatha Yoga, which will coax you into that blank-minded state, but still allow for movement (and stretching as a bonus!).
There are likely meditation and yoga studios in your city, but if you’re on a budget or don’t feel like heavy breathing in a room next to 30 people, there are tons of apps and YouTube videos that can be your guide. I personally like Headspace for meditation and Yoga With Adriene’s YouTube channel — she even has a “Yoga For a Broken Heart” practice!
Nurture Your Non-Romantic Relationships
Post breakup, many of us either default to trying to find a new partner, or we go full-on introvert mode.
Instead of immediately downloading Tinder hoping to get over someone by getting under someone else, work on the other relationships you might’ve neglected while you were busy with your ex. Call your best friend and have that venting session I mentioned above, spend a weekend at home visiting family, ask that cool coworker if she wants to hang out outside of work for once.
By surrounding yourself with great people, you won’t feel the void of the person who’s no longer in your life.
Speaking from experience, there’s actually a good chance that your life will feel more whole—because instead of depending on one person for nearly everything, you’ll have an entire support system.
Make a Bucket List. Then Start Crossing Things Off.
As great as relationships can be, even healthy ones can be limiting. Celebrate your new singledom by making a bucket list of things you want to do now that you have extra time on your hands and nobody to answer to. Have you always wanted to travel solo? Start a blog? Try the whole vegan thing?
Use this solo time to do all the things you’ve been wanting to do but never “had the time” for. Instead of wallowing in bed hungover on a Saturday morning wishing you had a cuddle buddy, I have a feeling you’ll be out in the sunshine living your best life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Write Ashley Uzer is an artist, writer, and digital consultant. She is currently based in Washington DC, but is frequently traveling. Her happy place is somewhere warm, eating chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, and listening to pop-punk music from 2006. You can follow along with her adventures on Instagram @ashleyuzer or on her website where she blogs about food and fashion, loxandleather.com.