Most Helpful Guy
I have some tips. On an overall level though, I’d avoid a strategy solely like distracting yourself to avoid thinking about the subject. That’s kind of like taking pills for a mental health sort of thing— they only work as long as you’re taking them. In context of breaking up, it means the remnant feelings stay with you until actually confront them. With that in mind, I would argue an approach of changing the mindset towards the situation.
1.) Avoid the temptation of rebounds. I’m sure you know this, but I’ve seen friends go in a rebound relationship despite knowing it. Then I watch as it leads to a messy breakup and things are worse than before. Hence, not worth it. May be great for the moment, but generally leads to disaster.
2.) Free writing.
This is often a strategy I suggest for people going through depression or coming to terms with traumatic experiences, but it also can be super effective for post-relationship feels. It basically involves writing for 15-30 minutes about whatever you want. This helps you confront feelings and also sort of organize them internally by making them more concrete.
Instructions and research about it here:
3.) Try your best to not run away from the person or the memories, but accept that they were there and happened. May sound cheesy, I know, but bear with me. I’m saying here that people have a tendency to avoid things that make them unconfortable, but in doing this, the avoidance triggers a fear mechanism and makes a cycle of growing fear/avoidance (coincidentally how phobias begin). In context of the situation, I’m suggesting to realize that the good times you had together were good. The happiness happened, and that’s alright. Again, seems obvious, but it is important to know. I mean, some people do things like delete all photos on facebook of the other person.
4.) Talk to someone and vent when you want/need to. Doesn’t need to be face to face. It can even be Skype message or a PM to someone. Talking to someone (even without getting advice back) can help immensely in a similar fashion to free writing. The social component of talking can also further things.
5.) Wait. There is an aspect of time to this.
Time doesn’t heal things alone, I’d argue, but to heal things, you need time, if that makes sense. Acceptance to feelings won’t happen overnight, and it shouldn’t be disheartening when they’re still here tomorrow.1