Breakup survival 101

February 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Breakup survival 101: How to heal after heartbreak and come out better than before. Lisa Steadman, author of "It's a Breakup, not a Breakdown," shares this advice.

There's no denying it. Breaking up is oh-so hard to do, especially following the holiday season. With a new year here, and your old life gone, you're forced to face an uncertain future. But before you get down in the dumps about getting dumped (or even if you did the dumping), the following five tips will help kick start your recovery. Before you know it, you'll not only be surviving but thriving!

Tip #1: EXtract Your Ex from Your Life

Immediately following the breakup, cut your ex out of your life. That means no cyber stalking him on his Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter page, no 3 a.m. desperation emails or texts, and no driving by your ex's house to see who's home. You should also make a clean sweep of your home, getting rid of any and all items that remind you or relate to your ex. This exorcism can be challenging but in order to really move on after a breakup, it's absolutely essential.

If you have to keep your ex in your life (if you have kids together, run a business together, etc.), you should immediately create new boundaries and ground rules. For example, only discuss matters relating to your children or business and avoid talking about your personal lives. Do NOT try to help each other through the breakup. That's what your friends are for.

Tip #2: Recruit a Boo-Hoo Crew

And speaking of friends, as much as your instincts may be nudging you to wallow all alone in your comfy cocoon, you're never going to get through the breakup without them. Which is why now's the time to recruit a Boo-Hoo Crew. Part cheerleader, part therapist, your Boo-Hoo Crew should be reliable, patient, and consist of at least three friends for round-the-clock supervision and support. The role of the Boo-Hoo Crew is to provide the following:

  • A shoulder to cry on
  • · A voice of reason
  • Damage control (in case you get the urge to contact your ex)
  • The bright side

Tip #3: Forgive yourself

Women are especially tough on themselves following a breakup. They feel like a failure at love. They also feel like their chances of experiencing their happily ever after future have just been obliterated. The Why's, What if's, and If only I'd? statements take over, driving even the sanest woman to the brink of insanity. That's why it's essential in breakup recovery to forgive yourself, to understand that you did everything you possibly could, but things still didn't work out. It's not a character flaw. It's just reality.

Tip #4: Put your Focus Elsewhere

Feeling down in the dumps after getting dumped? While you should give yourself time to celebrate your slump, you shouldn't let your entire life go down the drain. Focus your energies on building your business, landing that promotion, or in some other way make your work life take off. By committing to your future success, you take the focus off your ex and the past and put it on your brilliant future.

Tip #5: Redefine Happily Ever After

While the future you and your ex had mapped out together has suddenly disappeared, your happily ever after future didn't die. Now's the time to reinvent what you want for yourself and your future. Is it time to change careers, go back to school, buy your first home, transform your body, etc.? Without being tied down, you're now free to do exactly what you've always dreamed of. Set some goals, identify some action steps, and go for it!

Buy the book on Amazon: It's a Breakup, not a Breakdown

About Lisa Steadman:
Internationally known as The Relationship Journalist, Lisa Steadman is an author, speaker, and success coach dedicated to helping women move away from the pain of the past and into their brilliant futures. Her first book It's A Breakup, Not A Breakdown is available now on Amazon. Her follow up workbook will be available in May 2009. For more information about her breakup coaching services, visit

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