How to Handle Loneliness After a Breakup

It's normal to feel lonely after a breakup.
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Breakups can be heart-wrenchingly painful, and it can be difficult to adjust to being single. You are grieving the loss of your ex and feel a void in your life from his absence. This period of time can be extremely lonely. However, you can handle loneliness after a breakup by reaching out to others and taking care of yourself.

1 Spend Time With Friends

You may feel like sulking, crying and camping out in your bed after a breakup, but that will only make you feel more lonely. Force yourself to spend time with other people to help stop a pattern of loneliness, says Nathan Feiles, a counselor and author of "How to Get Over a Breakup" on Make plans with your friends and follow through on those plans. Go to the coffee shop with friends, see a movie, or go for a walk. By making plans and avoiding isolation, you will feel less lonely.

2 Talk It Through

Find someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member, and talk about how you feel. Knowing that other people understand what you are going through will help you feel less alone with your pain, according to the article "Coping With a Breakup or Divorce." For example, tell your best friend how you cry yourself to sleep at night because you can't stop thinking about your ex or how you feel like you will never find someone else.

3 Keep Yourself Busy

Accept that feeling lonely is a normal part of being human and that you have the power to change your situation, says Christine M. Allen, a psychologist who is quoted in the article "How to Handle Loneliness" on the "Everyday Health" website. With that attitude, set about doing something to combat your loneliness. Participate in hobbies and activities that you find enjoyable. Read a book, do a crossword puzzle, or try cooking a new recipe. Now that you have some extra time on your hands, it would be a good time to become involved in your community. Volunteer at your local homeless shelter, animal shelter or another organization in which you feel passion. This is also a great way to meet new friends.

4 Focus on You

It's important that you take care of yourself when you feel lonely following a breakup. Don't use alcohol and drugs as a means to cope or turn to emotional eating for comfort. Doing so will only make you feel worse in the long run. Instead, take good care of yourself by eating regular, healthy meals, getting enough sleep and exercising. Nurture yourself and do things that make you feel good. Get a massage, a pedicure or do something else you find relaxing.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.