Candace Ganger
Updated Mar 18, 2015 @ 1:52 pm

Imagine this: You’ve just had your heart broken into thousands of pieces. You’re knee-deep in gelato and sappy movies, sobbing into whoever will listen, thinking “OMG! How will I live through this?!” I totally get it.

We are currently in the heart of what’s been coined ‘Breakup Month.’ According to a Facebook status analysis, March is prime for splits across the board. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to do with this information except to use it as a reminder: we’re not alone. We’ve all been through a rough breakup and we’ve all done things in response to heartbreak that maybe weren’t the best for our recovery, in retrospect.

While everyone deals differently, heartbreak is something most of us can relate to and though I want to give you an easy out, there’s no way around the pain. You’ve just got to push right through it. But it helps to have a guide—some tips to kickstart your recovery and shorten your heartbreak time in the long-term. Here’s what to do (and what to avoid) to heal from the pain faster, and come out of the whole process a lot stronger.

Temporarily breakup with social media (or, at least, cool it down).

Social media is like a gossiping friend. The only good that might come is a little sympathy. It’s tempting to keep tabs on your ex but seriously, just don’t! Not much good can come of checking whose posts he or she “likes.” You might even ‘unfriend’ or ‘unfollow’ to prove how totally over it you are but this sometimes has the opposite effect. Also, if you’ve had a few adult beverages, texting said ex won’t make things any easier either. So. Just. Stop. Give your phone to a friend, deactivate your social media accounts, turn the computer off, do whatever you need to not get twisted into your ex’s life 27/7.

Create a new route that doesn’t involve passing your ex’s house.

Maybe it’s sort of on the way to the grocery store (but way out-of-the-way) so it’s not your fault, right? And so what if you just happened to notice if anyone is home. Spoiler alert: You’ll get caught one of these times. It’s time to start going out of your way to avoid your ex. If that means a new routine or a longer trip to work or the store to avoid the pangs that you feel when you pass by his or her house, it’s worth every extended second. Ultimately, you won’t spend the rest of your day feeling all those icky breakup feelings so hard.

Avoid your old ‘couple’ hangouts at all costs.

Of course you still need to live your life but let’s be real. Do you really need to sit beneath that weeping willow at the park when the sun sets right now? And do you have to hit up the roller rink where you two spent every Thursday night? Also, does anyone but me still go to the roller ink? Anyone? Find new spots to hang, at least until the tide changes, the dust settles, (or whatever euphemism you want to insert here).

Take your ‘song’ off every playlist you have.

It’s bound to come on the radio but please – do yourself a favor and remove it from any playlist you’ve made so it doesn’t surprise-haunt you and send you into a sadness spiral. How many times can you really cry-sing that one Adele song anyway? Seeing as I’ve been there, the answer, sadly, is too many. Listening will only help you wallow longer, so, next song, please.

Do a massive house sweep and hide all those little ex reminders.

After all you two have been through, you’re entitled to your keepsakes: photos, videos, that over-sized tee that has the scent of “ex” all over it. But if you really want to move on, you can’t surround yourself with these things. Toss them, hide them, give them away. As long as you don’t have to see them, it doesn’t matter where they go. It’s like a Band-Aid. Rip it off quickly so you can really start to heal.

Send your friends the ‘bat signal.’ You need them to rally around you.

If you’ve burrowed between your comforter and bed sheets and no one has heard from in you in weeks, at least send a smoke signal to those who are reaching out. You may not feel like talking or seeing anyone but your cat, but at least let them know you haven’t run away to join the circus. And despite what you might not feel like doing, your BFFs might be exactly what you need right now so lean on them, and lean hard. They’ll catch you.

Don’t allow yourself to do a “closure” meet-up. It never ends well.

Listen: don’t ask for one last meeting to “figure things out.” It sounds like a good idea because they’ll realize how much they miss you and decide to get back together, right? Wrong. You don’t need an insincere apology from the person who hurt you, so as hard as it is, let it go. What will help is space and a lot of it. It’s going to take time, waterproof mascara, and more gelato. But remember, you will survive this. The best way to get real closure is to give yourself time.

Give yourself time to heal.

Oh, what’s that? You’re in a new relationship already and you want to post 1,000 pictures of the two of you for the sole reason of making your ex wish you’d never broken up? It won’t work. Save the pics. And if you’re really interested in finding love again, don’t jump into something right away, or you might accidentally be the heartbreaker next time, and you know how much that sucks.

Totally and utterly distract yourself from plotting revenge.

If you’re sitting around plotting ways to make your ex pay for leaving, divert your attention and energy to something more productive. Take a kickboxing class. Run fourteen miles. Solve the energy crisis. Do whatever you need to not destroy your ex because there’s no way you can come out of it the winner.

Breaking up with someone causes a real void. It hurts and it’s probably going to for a while. That’s not dramatic, it’s truth, and everyone who’s loved and lost knows this. If you knew beforehand the relationship would end in heartbreak, would you have changed a thing about it? That’s the beauty of love. It’s about taking chances. If you give up, you’ll never know that special someone who won’t break your heart.

It’ll get better. I swear it.

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