Moving on is a part of life: we have to move on after relationships end, loved ones die or jobs are lost. What most people don’t realize is that moving on is a process. Time and patience are our biggest friends and enemies at the same time. While the task can seem herculean, it is not impossible. Whenever I’ve had to move on, I relied on a few tips to help me along the way, and I am happy to share some.
Stay busy with productive things: whether it’s school, work or both. Staying busy will keep your mind from wandering to where it shouldn’t.
Cultivate your support system: family and friends will be your medicine for a while. See them and talk to them often, and vent about your feelings to them.
Stay away from substances: it is never a good thing to abuse any substance, but many casual drinkers turn into alcoholics when times get tough. If you recognize a pattern in your behavior that could lead you to abuse anything, not just alcohol, then stay away from it all together. Resort to good practices instead, like walking your dog more often.
Volunteer: not only will it help you move on, but it will offer you a venue to meet other people who share your interests, and it will remind you that there are people who are worse off than you.
It’s O.K. to cry: let out your feelings. There is no pattern as to how often you will need to cry, but let it out when it comes, and rest assured that you will cry less and less as time goes by. But whatever you do, don’t play victim, even if you feel you were, as with a job loss. Playing victim will set you back in your recovery.
Remember why you broke up: if it was a relationship or a job, take a hard look at what happened and remember the reasons it happened. Store that information in the back of your head for whenever you find yourself missing that person or wishing you still worked for that company.
If things get worse, see a specialist: some people take losses harder than others, and for those folks, only a specialist will know what to advise them with. If you do all the right things and you continue getting worse, see a shrink. There is no shame in that.
Be patient: with yourself, love yourself, and as long as you know that you’re doing the right thing, things should get better for you.