Most of us want to have committed, meaningful and fulfilling relationships. Having an intimate relationship end can be one of the most difficult things we ever go through on an emotional level. When a relationship breaks down it can be a very distressing and painful process. People are more likely to experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, poor physical health, unbalanced eating behaviours and a decrease in productivity at work.
Working Through Relationship Difficulties
When a relationship breaks down, it is possible to work through the challenges that have led to this. Healthy relationships require good communication skills from both partners, a strong sense of identity within and outside of the relationship and a mutual respect for one another.
When a Relationship Ends
For some of us, despite our best efforts attempting to work through our relationship difficulties the relationship comes to an end. When this happens it can involve a significant disruption to our life including practical issues of needing to move and find a new place to live, being solely financially responsible for ourselves and building new relationships.
When Letting Go and Moving on Feels Out of Reach
When a significant relationship ends it can feel as though your entire world has been shattered. For some people it can take a long time to feel alive and interested in the world again. Factors that may contribute to letting go more difficult include;
- When the break up is your first serious relationship
- Not seeing the break up coming
- Not being the one who decided to breakup
- Your ex being your best friend
- The relationship making you feel whole or complete
- Believing that they are the only one for you
- Believing that no one else will love you
Ways to Care for Yourself
- Focus on the basics; sleep, eat and exercise. When we are in grief or high levels of distress we often lose a balance in our daily routines.
- Establish a regular sleep routine.
- Eat regular consistent, satisfying meals (many people either lose their appetite and do not get enough nourishment or can begin to emotionally eat with foods that do not provide physical nourishment)
- Develop a regular exercise routine. A form of cardio is helpful due to the release of endorphins which can act as a natural anti depressant. Other forms of relaxing exercise such as yoga, walking in nature or playing with a pet are beneficial.
- When experiencing high levels of distress feeling tired and fatigued are often a result. Cultivate ways of being that bring relaxation or enjoyment
If you are experiencing difficulties in your relationship or your relationship has ended counselling and psychotherapy can be beneficial. If you would like to book an appointment contact Diane McGeachy.
B. Psychology, MA. Counselling
Psychotherapist and Counsellor
Accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist