Feeling sad after a breakup, divorce, or bereavement is normal – and sometimes “sad” seems too small of a word. There’s nothing as heartbreaking as experiencing the loss of someone you love. Many people struggle with the delicate balance of moving on from their loss and the need to fully grieve this painful and complicated experience. Grief is a natural and necessary human response to loss that includes a range of feelings and reactions, from denial to anger to depression.
Our loved ones may understand our need to grieve when we experience the death of a loved one, though they might never know the depths of what we’re feeling. But the loss of a relationship due to breakup can also be hard to work through if people don’t “see” the impact the loss is having on you. Well-meaning friends might tell you to “move on” or “chin up” and your sense of grief can intensify under this type of subtle criticism. But it’s good for us to work through our grief and fully express our pain while still embracing hope for our future.
Love And Loss
One of the hardest things about loving someone is that we can often love someone who we know we shouldn’t marry. Whether it’s not having the same spiritual convictions, or whether there is some type of toxicity they bring to the relationship that you know will put you under, you can very much yearn for someone that at the same time you know you must give up.
On the other hand, you may have been “released” from a relationship in a cruel way, blinded by the quick cut-off. Regardless of how the loss occurred, you may be in the throws of grief and wondering if there is a way out of the dark sad feelings you’re experiencing.
The following four steps can help you process your grief and come out on the other side of healing.
4 Ways to Cope With Feeling Sad After a Breakup
1. Feel It Fully
Allow yourself to feel and fully process what happened. This is an area most of us are not good at. To feel the pain of a loss is not something we want to soak in for long. But not only do we need to acknowledge these painful feelings, we have to also process them and work through them. We have to try to take the emotional reaction out for a moment, and critically look at what happened and evaluate all the facets of the loss and how it occurred. This takes time. This is when grief can become a slowly realized truth.
2. Recognize God’s Love
Grieving and feeling sad over a loss does not mean you are not trusting God. Grieving is a healthy part of loving and of living, and God is the author of life. He does not expect us to act like robots, minimize pain, deny its reality in our life, or over-spiritualize and try to move quickly to the “victory.” Grief is dealing with the truth of loss and hurt in the light of God’s love.
3. Take Time
Work through the resulting painful effects of loss in your life today. It’s not helpful to fill our hearts with replacements for what we find painful to deal with. Avoid making big, life-impacting decisions that might just be symptoms of your grief crying out and not reflections of your true self. Be patient with yourself; acting impetuously when you’re sad will often bring you more hurt and loss.
4. Seek Joy
Allow yourself to feel joy when it rises. For many, it seems impossible to be sad after a breakup and still be happy at the simple blessings of life. Grief ebbs and flows; it may lessen for a season and return when it gets triggered by a memory. Feeling grief and joy is a complicated but natural experience. Grief can still contain moments of joy, but only if you let it.
Sometimes you may feel like your broken heart will never get over your loss. But you will eventually feel a return to peace and acceptance in the coming days. Grief, like the seasons of our life, is part of the full spectrum of knowing we can love, experience loss and move on.
God brings healing and hope to our lives. We can count on this.
You may also be interested in How To Flip The Script When Going Through A Breakup