5 things you're doing that are making your breakup even more difficult

Breaking up is hard to do -- but are you doing it all wrong?

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  • There's no clearly defined way to handle a breakup. Each relationship is unique. But there is one universal truth I think everyone can agree on: Losing someone you love isn't easy. It's actually kind of the worst. You'll need to take some time to get over this person; but if you want to make it easier, avoid these things:

  • 1. Social media stalking

  • Just don't do it; end of discussion. One study talks about how the pain centers of your brain fire up when you look at pictures of your ex. What good comes from looking at perfectly filtered photos of him having fun at the beach? Or obsessing whether the girl in the background is a friend or something else? It's best to make a clean break and unfriend/unfollow all past loves on social media. Let yourself scroll Instagram without being afraid his handsome face will pop up on your feed.

  • 2. Being alone

  • By all means, spend time crying and staying in for the night — but don't let it become a habit. One of the best ways to feel sad, lonely and depressed is to isolate yourself. You might not feel like going out on dates right away, but let your friends come over for takeout, or phone a family member when you feel like shutting yourself in the closet night after night.

  • 3. Not starting over

  • Things will get better. Falling into the trap of believing that your world has completely ended is way more hurtful than it needs to be. Sure, things have not gone as planned and you need time to mourn that loss; but make plans for the future. It doesn't have to be today, or this week, or this month; but make plans to do something. Sign up to volunteer, plan a trip (and actually book the ticket) or get that yoga membership. Take the chance to have a fresh start on life, and look forward to that.

  • 4. Hanging onto things

  • There is no need to hold onto tickets from that concert you went to together, or the framed photos of you two. Purging things that remind you of him can be extremely therapeutic. If you have items he'd like back, ask a friend to return them; seeing him in person might stir up old feelings you don't need in your life right now.

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  • 5. Feeling sad all the time

  • You will feel sad. You'll want to constantly blast Adele and Taylor Swift. But don't let your sadness consume you. It will take a conscious effort to combat those feelings. Make yourself do things that bring you joy — like taking time to pamper yourself, or doing something for a friend you know will make them happy.

  • It will get easier. But falling back on these five bad breakup habits will only make that take longer. Do yourself a favor by not doing them.

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Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.

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