It is no secret that the past few years have impacted us on the mental health front. Following the grief and turmoil of COVID-19, the search for counseling has skyrocketed. Therapists are booked to the brim, waitlists are packed with others searching for counseling, and there simply are not enough people to handle these numbers.
Breakups are almost always difficult and can put quite a strain on one’s mental health. So, how can you get the help and support you need when no therapists are found? The solution: do some inner work.
What is “inner work”?
Inner work is a form of care that focuses on personal growth. After a breakup, you may find yourself trying to, well, find yourself again. Inner work is a great tool for doing just that, and it’s easy, too.
In the following sections are some simple ways to do inner work — try them out and find which works for you!
Meditation is a simple tool to establish balance and mindfulness. Settling your mind eases stress, calming the storm of thoughts breakups bring about. It can even help you gain a new perspective, allowing you to rifle through past events and future hopes to show a new side to a stressful situation.
It can be as long or as short as you want it to be, at any time of day that works in your schedule. Apps such as Headspace and Calm are great tools, especially if you want a spontaneous meditation session during a busy workday. However, if guided meditations are not your thing, there are plenty of websites and YouTube videos to help get you started on your meditation journey.
Journaling is incredibly beneficial for your mental health. Journaling for a few minutes daily allows you to get your feelings on paper without fear of punishment or embarrassment. Breakups can cause us to think negatively about ourselves, so journaling is also a wonderful way to reverse that and practice positive self-talk.
You could use so many distinct types of journals — guided journals, blank journals, and even the notes app on your phone. Use one that works for you and that you can keep with you. You never know when you will want to jot down a few words!
It’s not a secret that exercise is great for your physical health, but it is also extremely beneficial to your mental health as well. When you exercise, chemicals like serotonin and endorphins are increased, lessening the stress in your body. It can also be a great outlet for frustrations and distraction from negative thoughts.
Good exercise looks different for everyone. Some prefer weightlifting, some prefer Pilates, and some prefer going for a long walk outside. Whatever works for you, your schedule, and your body are enough to release those endorphins and get your body going. Just remember that any exercise is better than none.
While it’s basically a breakup “tradition” to watch your favorite romcoms for hours on end, sometimes we need a break from the screen. Instead, pick up a book! Whether an old favorite or a new addition, a self-help guide or a cliché fiction novel, reading helps get our brain out of its screen-induced funk by escaping to a new world.
If you are struggling to find a book to read, Goodreads has plenty of lists for every mood — new horror, soon-to-be movies, young adult, romances, etc. Take your pick, find your closest bookstore (or reading app), and get to reading!
Connecting with Friends
They always say laughter is the best medicine, and who better to do that with than your closest friends? Breakups can make you feel lonely and isolated, so surrounding yourself with people you love and who love you can only be beneficial.
Even better, your friends love you for who you are, so there is no need to hide your emotions. Expressing your feelings with your friends can keep you from repressing these emotions until it all breaks. Getting your feelings out in the open can bring you peace of mind.
Inward is a great tool, and (lucky for you) it is designed with breakups in mind. It uses scientific research as a tool to help women through tough times such as these. Through the breakup program, you can learn to understand your emotions and work towards feeling better each day, and it is available through a text message-based program. Inward’s breakup program is an easy, efficient way to get the support you need, especially when the waitlists for therapists keep growing.
Going through a breakup is difficult, and trying to grow through it is even harder. Sometimes, however, we need to look inwards and do some inner work to see ourselves and the world in a new light. Not all help needs to be difficult to be rewarding — it could be as easy as a 10-minute walk, a few laughs with friends, a sentence in a journal, or a text message to Inward.