No matter the time of year, going through a breakup sucks. But let’s be real, with romantic twinkle lights scattered across the city and cold-weather whipping through your bones, the holiday season only amplifies heartbreak. Fun fact: I’ve only ever been broken up with in December. My first boyfriend broke up with me in early December on his birthday… after I’d baked him a cake. My second boyfriend told me he loved me and couldn’t wait for me to fly home from a mid-December trip to Dublin, only to breakup with me via phone call 12 hours later.
While I’m finally in a very, very happy relationship (If you were planning to breakup with me at least wait until January) I’ve had my share of heartbreak and have created this handy Holiday Breakup Survival Guide. First things first, block him on social media, don’t delude yourself into thinking you’ll still be “friends,” put on this song ↓, yell “HOW MUCH YOU WANNA BET ME, HE GON’ REGRET THE DAY HE LEFT ME” and let’s get to it.
It’s The Season For Family & Friends
Yes, rom-coms will make you think the holidays are only about finding love, but they should be about spending time with friends and family. What were your favourite holiday activities as a kid? Baking cookies with your parents? Going tobogganing with your friends? Watching movies and cuddling your family pet? Indulge in these activities with your loved ones. Also, hit up bars with your friends (you can flirt again!), use the money you got returning your stupid ex’s Christmas presents and treat yourself to a mani-pedi or impractical sparkly heels. Plan a wine and cheese night with your friends or extended family. Help decorate the house, like go HAM and put tinsel on every inch of that damn tree.
There’s No Better Time To Be Sad
When you’re heartbroken in the summer, you feel guilty for wanting to stay inside and neglect the sunshine. But in the winter, oh boy, now is prime time to wallow. Put on The Holiday and cry along with Iris, sleep in, listen to Leonard Cohen, add whiskey to your coffee (this is acceptable in the winter, rejoice!), binge-watch a new TV show, binge-watch a classic like The Office, go down a Tumblr rabbit hole, watch Lemonade, take a long bath, ugh okay stalk your ex…we all know you’re going to do it so just get it over with. Look at how ugly they are! Did they always have that weird smile? Ugh, they suck.
There’s No Better Time To Be Happy
It’s Christmas!! If your office doesn’t give you much time off over the holidays, take a few extra days to go home and enjoy the luxury of having your parents make you dinner and clean up after you. Volunteer. Not to say your pain isn’t valid, but it’s important to remind yourself of the privileges you do have, plus it will make you feel useful. Sing carols obnoxiously while purging your closet, you need a fresh start everywhere. Wander around your local mall and see how giddy everyone is. Plan your dream vacation, take-up a hobby (this one has been on my wishlist). Listen to happy music. It’s going to be tough but I used to listen to this song and it filled me with hope that I would feel this someday. Also watch lots of SNL skits, the dumber the better. You simply can’t not laugh while watching this.
It’s Okay To Stay Home On NYE
On one of those sad, single Decembers, I stayed home and cried in my bed on New Year’s Eve until my parent’s dragged me downstairs at 11:50 pm to watch the ball drop. I wore baggy sweatpants and hadn’t washed my hair in days. It wasn’t glamorous, and I felt pathetic for being home with my parents instead of partying. But I’ll let you in on a little secret; New Year’s is overrated. Parents can be fun. It’s okay to stay home, but I recommend washing your hair. It’s nice to feel clean.
There Is No Time Limit or A One-Size-Fits-All Solution
If, like me, you googled “how to get over a breakup,” while in a late-night depression spiral, you got flooded with tons of conflicting advice. “Go sleep with someone!” “No don’t sleep with anyone!” Stay in, go out, make a list, write them a letter… don’t send the letter! While we all give our best breakup wisdom (you will get LOTS of well-intended advice from friends and family), every situation is different. There is no singular solution to handling a breakup. Some would say I handled mine poorly. I was sad for over a year. And I mean sad. Broken. Unrecognizable. I tried everything, but nothing and nobody helped ease my sadness. Then one day I was alright, and then something would set me off and I’d take a step backwards. But, slowly enough, I made progress until one day I was just happy. I found myself having fun, wanting to [wear less and] go out more, going on Instagram and NOT immediately lurking his page. I moved to a new city, made new friends, found a man who wasn’t an asshole and didn’t make me question his feelings. In the midst of this, my ex sent me a message about how sorry he was and that he loved me or something and you know what I felt? IDFWU.
In the words of Iris in The Holiday, “I’m miraculously done being in love with you!” It can happen just like that. It might take months or years, but I promise it will happen. In the meantime find small things that bring you joy, practice self-care, and force yourself to try new things.
What helped you get through a break-up? Leave a note in the comments!