9 Unique and Easy Ways to Subconsciously Heal from a Breakup
Being broken up with feels horrible. Breaking up with someone also feels awful, but I feel like we all naturally give the most sympathy to those who have been broken up with - and let’s be honest, it’s never really mutual, no matter how many times either party says it is.
There’s a lot of advice out there on what to do when you’re suffering from a break-up, and frankly I’m sick of most of it! It’s tired, and repetitive, and so much of it advises you to heal in the healthy way and take this as a chance to learn about yourself and oooo maybe you should take up yoga.
Fuck that! I’ve had my heart broken and I’m feeling down in the pits about myself. The last thing I want to do is take extra effort to be healthy, or go above and beyond a normal lifestyle. If you’ve been broken up with, life’s already hard enough as is! No need to start juicing, or push yourself to go to the gym.
Just listen to your friend Shannon tell you about the life-hacks of a break-up. How to trick your subconscious into getting over someone, and heal under the surface in ways where you don’t have to try, or work hard, or god forbid - do yoga.
1. Change your phone case and your phone background
When was the the last time you changed your phone case? Odds are, you’ve probably had the same one for a year or more - or at least for the majority of your relationship with your ex.
Right now, I want you to go to an Apple Store (or any store) and get a new case. Not on Amazon - in person! This trick works best if you switch your phone case about 24 hours after going No Contact. If you don’t think you can afford a new phone case, reach out to me and I’ll Venmo you $40 for a new one (because you want a nice one). I’m dead serious, that’s how much I stand by this tip.
Also, change the background of your phone. We touch our phone for hours every day, and subconsciously you’ve connected the image of your phone with messages and communication from your ex. By changing how your phone looks, you’ll shift mentally into a different era - the era of you, without that person in your life, doing fantastically.
2. Change your sheets
I promise, not all of these suggestions cost money. But this is another very important one - changing your sheets will make so much of a bigger difference than you think they would! Change color and texture for added benefit. Previously blue flannel? Go for red silk. Previously satin white? Go for green bamboo. Make it different, fun and exciting, so this experience of you sleeping in your bed alone is an entirely new experience that you now look forward to. Also - it will change how your room looks, which goes back to the psychology of Tip #1.
3. Join a gym where the locker rooms are nice (hear me out)
This tip isn’t very obvious from the title, so let me explain. Joining a gym after a break-up is a common piece of advice - working out gives you endorphins, you’ll get a revenge body, etc. That’s all well and good (and truly it is, working out does make you feel better) but no one ever talks about the benefits of a good locker room.
When you’ve been broken up with - unless you’re strong enough to get back out on the rebound - you’re probably equally depressed that you now aren’t getting a steady income of dick in your life (or vagina, or…honestly whatever it is that you’re into). So you won’t have anyone looking at your naked body, or be looking at anyone else’s naked body for a while, right?
Going to the gym has been great for me after breakups, not because of working out (though that helps) but because of naked comradery. People see me naked. I see them naked. Humans, on an evolutionary level, are tribal creatures, and being around people in the same environment makes us feel very secure. Being naked is a vulnerable thing, so being naked while surrounded by other naked people - in the safety of an upscale gym locker room - makes you feel comforted and connected.
(Am I reading too much into being butt ass naked at the Equinox? Sure, maybe. But it helps me a lot and besides, I’m a blogger not a Pulitzer winner.)
4. Go No Contact (and frame it a certain way)
I frankly don’t understand people who are friends with their exes. I consider it a red flag. You guys used to profess your love for each other, and go down on each other, and suddenly we’re supposed to believe that those feelings have turned into the same ones I have for my brother? I don’t buy it.
The only way to get over someone is to not talk to them, and I’m not going to tell you that you can’t be friends with your ex (because a vast majority of people are) but I will say that you can’t talk to them for a month.
I know this seems hard - probably impossible. Trust me, I’m an anxiously attached individual myself, I get it. But there’s a reason why No Contact is the number 1 rule of breakups, it just works. And all of us want to see you having it work.
This tip helps make No Contact seem less devastating.
Don’t think of this as how you can’t talk to your ex, or how you can’t tell them about your day or you can’t have support from them.
You don’t have to reach out to them. You can leave your phone in the other room for hours. You don’t have to deal with the stress in your life that undoubtedly plagued you before you guys broke up. You don’t have to emotionally support them. You don’t have to lie awake at night, wondering if he is where he says he is, or if the sentences he tells you are true, or if you’re enough. You don’t have to do any of that. You’re free, baby!
5. My tip to not internet stalk
Going No Contact also means not stalking the person online because trust me stalking them online is contact, and it will hurt you. Every time I stalk my ex online I get anxiety diarrhea and then both my mind and my butthole are hurt so really it’s a lose/lose (although if I’m bloating sometime it’s a lose/lose/win because I lose a few pounds from diarrhea).
I struggle with online stalking more than I do anything in life, but I read a great tip online that helps me for this. When you get the urge to go on their profile, say out loud “whatever I see will either not interest me, or it will crush me”.
You’re either going to see a picture of a sunset or food or some uninteresting bullshit, or you’re going to a see a photo of him with his new girlfriend, or looking good, or moving on in life and it will crush you and really set you back.
Say it out loud and then refuse to go on their profile. Sometimes you crack and do it anyway - don’t beat yourself up. It’s truly an addiction to break.
6. Miranda fucking Kerr!
This tip helped me significantly during a recent break-up I had last year. I was feeling horrible every day, and kept plodding around my apartment thinking this guy and I were perfect for each other, I’ll never find anyone who will love me the way he did, for all of my flaws, and I could be 100% myself around him and I’ve never felt that with anyone and it was a continuous loop of that with sprinkles of sobbing in the shower and eating big bags of tortilla chips.
I kept Googling for answers to my heartbreak, and came upon an article where Miranda Kerr talked about the depression she went into when she divorced from Orlando Bloom. She talked about the pain, the loss, and how she started keeping a bit of Rose Quartz in her bra, close to heart every day, to help her to heal.
(And I immediately opened my savings and bought a rose quartz necklace on Amazon after reading that)
I felt for her. Orlando Bloom was a massive childhood crush of mine. Poor Miranda.
Then I researched what she was up to now, and saw how she’s now married to the youngest billionaire in the world (or was, seeing as Kylie Jenner has now taken that spot).
If you’re feeling ugly because you were cheated on, you’re not - because Miranda was cheated on too and she is gorgeous. And if you’re feeling like you’ll never find anyone as good as your ex - or Orlando fucking Bloom - Miranda is now dating a young billionaire. It will 100% be better. I promise.
7. Write Down Your Emotions Every Time You Feel Them
This isn’t a Shannon tip, this is a Shannon’s Therapist tip, so you know it’s a good (and expensive) one.
Every time you’re feeling sad, write it down like this in the Notes section of your iPhone
March 11th, at work in the handicapped bathroom stall, 9:55am
Feeling really sad and lonely because my coworkers are talking about spending the weekend with their boyfriend, and I don’t have one anymore, and also I’m having diarrhea so it’s making me feel vulnerable and I just feel sad and small like a tiny dog covered in water who is alone and hungry. Life sucks, I feel bad.
And every time you feel really bad, or weird, or anxious, write about where you are, what time it is, what day, what emotion you’re feeling and why.
Before I started doing this, I felt like every emotion I felt at the time was life. If I felt lonely for a bit, I was lonely. If life felt bad for a bit, life was bad. It wasn’t until I started writing down my emotions as they came, that I realized just that - my emotions came, and later they left. Emotions will always come and go.
Powerful emotions trick us into feeling like we will feel that way forever, and tracking and writing about them (side note: this is probably the purpose of my entire fucking blog!! expression heals it really fucking does!) is a great way to realize that they are short-lived.
8. Leave the house for 1.30.
When you find yourself starting to think about your ex, leave your house. Put on a coat, go down the stairs, and stand outside of your front door for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Make this a habit every time you do it.
Subconsciously, this is a way to ‘punish’ or not reward yourself for thinking of your ex. Your brain will associate the two, and thoughts of your ex popping into your mind will lessen over time.
I currently live on a 5 floor walk up so nobody better break up with me anytime soon.
9. Blame your chemicals
During breakups, we literally go through withdrawal. Ha! Yeah, right? Because break-ups aren’t hard enough on their own!
I’m not much of a science whiz, but this is true - brain studies of heartbroken people have shown activity in the same areas of the brain as cocaine addicts looking desperately for a bump. Your brain is literally in dopamine withdrawal. You’re expecting a dopamine reward to come (touches of affection, seeing your partner at end of the day, supporting words, etc), but after a breakup, this is either delayed or doesn’t come at all. Logically, you know the relationship is over, but the neurons in your brain that are expecting dopamine don’t shut down, keeping you unconsciously in love and hopelessly addicted to your ex.
Here, it helps to follow Tip #7. Recognize that these are feelings, brought on by chemicals. You aren’t hopeless. You’re feeling hopeless, because your chemicals are out of balance right now, but soon they’ll be back in balance and you will be okay.
Also, tips 10 through infinity are breakup memes. I love memes for anything, but breakup memes are particularly wonderful. They remind you of the vast number of people who have shared in this same pain.
There you have it! My tips on how to subconsciously heal from a breakup.
The other generic tips like going to the gym, spending time with your friends, and stuff like that are all great…but sometimes we get out of a relationship and biiiitch, it was toxic or abusive and we’ve alienated ourselves from our friends during our relationship, and we haven’t gone to the gym in months, so starting up those new habits is not easy. But changing your phone case, writing down your emotions - these are all digestible for anyone no matter the situation.
And of course, if you’re currently struggling, or working hard to get over someone and you need to talk about it, you can always talk to me. I’ve been in the trenches you’re in many times before, and it’s always comforting to talk about a shared experience.
Hugs and kisses (from ME and not your ex),