There’s no sugarcoating it. Breaking up sucks. From the moment you hear those dreaded words, “I think we should just be friends,” you’re handed a ticket for an emotional roller coaster of anger-fueled highs and grief-stricken lows.

As the shock wears off and the sorrow sets in, you may find you don’t know how to cope. Here’s what
you’ll need to get through the worst (ice cream not included, though personal experience tells us it
doesn’t hurt to have some on hand).

Permission to Wallow

Hey, your heart just got stomped on. Don’t try to tough it out. Cry, scream, write terrible love ballads. Give yourself permission to feel the pain deeply, to drown yourself in ice cream to purge yourself of the hurt. Indulge that little inner voice that won’t stop dwelling on the breakup until you finally hear it say, “I don’t care”. That will be the night you finally stop sobbing long enough to fall asleep. Things will look a little brighter when you wake up.

A Support System

You need someone – or many someones — patient enough to listen to every harrowing detail of the entire failed romance. Someone who agrees that your now-ex will never find someone who appreciated him or her quite the way you did. Someone who’ll pop out for another six-pack or pint of ice cream while you continue to mope. Someone who will rip the phone out of your hand when you’re tempted to call your ex’s number “just to talk.”

A Distraction

You’re still hurting, but you’re getting tired of crying and you’re worried you’re wearing out your friends.
It’s for these reasons that you need to find something to throw yourself into. Start an intense new project at work or pick up a new hobby you’ve wanted to try. Start hitting the gym with renewed vigor. In addition to taking your mind off your heartache, you’ll also start feeling your bruised ego start healing.

Some “Me” Time

Once you’ve survived through the early days post-break-up, you’ll be able to stop incessantly thinking about how miserable you are and can take the first small, stumbling steps toward moving on. Use this time to take stock of how you’ve changed, what you’ve learned and what you want from your next relationship. Armed with this knowledge you’re one step closer to recovering and finding the right relationship for you.

By Laura Snyder