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How to Survive a Break-up During the Holidays 

Let’s face it; break-ups are always difficult. This is true, even in the best circumstances and even when you know it is for the best. During the holidays, you are walking through a mind field of potential pain causing triggers and experiences- Nosey relatives, the constant flow of engagement and baby photos on social media, and the inevitable memories of last year. Even if you’ve been single for awhile, holiday time can make it all come flooding back painfully reminding you how single you are and making you wonder if you are ever going to meet some again. It’s a slippery slope. 

Below are 6 strategies that will help you navigate this time:

  1. Stop trying to figure-out why it ended- The thing that makes digesting a break-up so difficult is our mind constantly searches reasons why the relationship ended. We want to feel like we have control over life, so we continually look for stories that make us feel like we could have some of how done something that would have changed the ending inevitably. Most of the time, this process isn’t growth oriented. You already know what you want to change and that relationships are a two person dynamic. Continuing to go over and over this in your head adds layer of pain and keeps you from moving forward. How to combat this? Write one sentence that summarizes why the relationship ended. For Example: “We aren’t the right fit for each other.” “We didn’t share the same values.” “I fell out of love.” “She moved away.” Every time you go looking for what went wrong, remind yourself of this and stop thinking about it. 
  2. Make a list of 10 reasons the relationship wasn’t good for you- When we miss someone, or feel lonely, we have a tendency to idealize the relationship, or remember only the good things about them. There are just as many challenging things. Make a list of 10 things about the relationship that aren’t good for you. Then, when you feel nostalgic, read your list to yourself. 
  3. Temporarily Stop Following some Friends on Social Media- If you are getting overwhelmed with baby pictures and engagements, temporarily stop following people. Facebook has this great feature that allows you to stop seeing someone’s post of 30 days. Use it. It doesn’t mean that you love them any less. 
  4. Create a script for handling relatives-If you know that your relatives are going to ask lots of questions about your relationship status have a plan in advance. You choose the story you tell. You are in no way obligated to share details about your life with anyone unless you choose to. A script could be something funny, or something you know will catch them off guard. Or, you can plan to throw them off by asking them an uncomfortable question about their life. 
  5. Make a list of 10 things you’ve achieved or changed this last year- When you are feeling down on yourself, it is hard to remember the good things about yourself, and all of the things you have achieved this year. If you have read this blog this far, I can guarantee that you have done at least 10 awesome things this year. Write them down. Remind yourself of them when you are feeling down. Better yet, talk about them with friends and family. Take a minute to enjoy your success and all the things you do have, even if you don’t have the perfect relationship status.  
  6. Make a bucket List for next year- Your bucket list should include fun, pleasure-oriented experiences that you would like to have in the next year or so. Avoid putting too many self-improvement oriented things on your list. Some examples are: 1. Learn to Salsa Dance, 2. Scuba Dive with Sea Turtles, 3. Visit Peru. Whatever resonates with you. These can be great conversation starters to distract those relatives. It also reminds you that your future is bright, single or not.
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