thanksgiving breakup

Breakups: A Holiday Survival Kit

The holidays bring on a pile of emotions. From sensory overload and buying gifts to cooking and reconnecting with old friends, there’s laughter and “meeting the parents,” but for so many people, the holidays can be be sad and lonely. This is especially true for those working through the pain of a recent breakup. Happy couples are everywhere! Unless you live off-the-grid, you can’t escape them. Do you keep your normal pre-relationship holiday routine or do you hide out and take care of yourself?

Post-Breakup Holiday Ideas

  1. Volunteer - Give back to the less fortunate and surround yourself with people who appreciate your help. It is easy to get lost in our problems. Sometimes a reality check that others have problems too can help us re-focus our own energy. Staying busy is one of the best ways to get your mind off your sorrows, even if it’s only for a few hours. Volunteering is something we should do year-round regardless of the feel-good benefits we gain, but it’s perfect timing when your heart is aching.
  2. Prioritize self-care - Relationships take compromise and sometimes that means skimping on self-care routines. Uninterrupted bubble baths, sleeping in late (alone, horizontally across the bed!), spending money on yourself, spa days, the works! The good thing about self-care is that it can be free. You can do any of the things listed above or simply start the day with an affirmation, do a series of stretches before lunch or write in your journal. Use positive self-talk and remind yourself that you’re worthy of love and that this lost love isn’t your last chance.
  3. Ask for support and lean in to your family and friends - This means keeping your plans even though you just want to hide under the covers and cry. It can be therapeutic to see your family and be distracted by their crazy stories, the noise, and the food for a while. It’s a good in-your-face reminder that there is a house full of people who love you. 
  4. Clean house - Staying home to wallow among all his stuff isn’t going to help you move past the heartache. Sitting and looking at pictures of her won’t make the days pass by any faster. A clean sweep is necessary and most times it’s going to hurt. Enlist a friend or family member to help you clean out old memories and prepare for a new year, finishing out the rest of this year in better spirits. You might do this close to new year’s eve as a way of getting “out with the old and in with the new.”
  5. Don’t ditch your mutual friends - This can be tricky depending on who was friends with whom first, but you can still spend time with mutual friends without your S.O. If you know that your ex will be in attendance, skip those parties! Your true friends, even if they were mutual, can be a support for you and welcome you, especially in your time of need. But be aware that you may get asked a lot about “what happened” and anyone going through heartbreak knows it’s never just one thing. Have a response prepared that is positive but gets the point across that it’s not a topic you want to discuss at length. Do your best to present both of you in the best light and if you don’t want to keep having the same conversations over and over. Reach out to people ahead of time to let them know.


No break-up is ever fun, though holiday break-ups can suck the life out of the season. Try to be present and feel all the feelings you need to feel so they don't come rushing back next year. Remember that people love and care about you, so share some holiday cheer!

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