Getting Over a Break Up: 6 Tips for When Your First Relationship Ends

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As you will know by now, university can be a stressful time with all of the academic worries you face from exams, assignments, and lectures.

You’re at a point in life where you are still finding yourself, what you want to do career wise and you’re just starting to experience what life has to offer, which makes it a pretty confusing time as well.

Now add in your first real relationship break up and it can become a not so happy experience.

Whilst everyone’s way of getting over a relationship ending is different and there’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to go about it, it is beneficial to find ways to cope and get through the painful period. 

If you find yourself experiencing your first break up whilst at university, then you have found the right place for some well-needed break up tips! 

Carry on reading to mend that broken heart…

1. Ensure There Is Space

No matter if the break up is amicable or not, one of the best ways to get over them is to create some space between you and your ex both physically and online. 

It doesn’t have to be forever, but long enough that all those feelings for them are history and are able to meet up as friends at most. Although, it’s good to remember that it’s very hard to become friends with an ex! 

So block that number, their social media accounts you really want to take a peek at and if possible avoid any possible areas on campus where you are likely to bump into them.

This gives you time to heal, reflect, to come to terms with your emotions and move on without the painful reminder of what once was.

Now we are not saying it will be easy, you may be tempted to check their posts and see what they’re up to but this will just set you back again and again.

So, be strong and stick to your guns until you get there.


2. Focus On Yourself & Self Care

A break up is not easy but you need to be kind to yourself so indulge in a lot of self care to get through it.

After all, you need to learn to love yourself again! 

How ever self care looks like is up to you, maybe you prefer something relaxing like watching a movie, listening to your favorite music or reading a book.

Or, self-care for you may be something more physical and demanding of your attention, like a walk round the park or whatever is near to your university campus, playing the sport you love or hitting the gym to get those endorphins.

It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it makes you feel better and distracts you from dwelling on your thoughts about the break up. 

If you’re helping your best friend with break up blues, you could bring them along on a spa day to help them relax or get away from uni for a few days.

Or, plan a fun cheap weekend somewhere nice (it doesn’t have to be that far away).

It won’t make the heartache completely disappear but it will help you gradually start to feel happier and move on from the break up.


3. Reflect On Your Feelings 

Whilst distractions can help you carry on, completely ignoring it or how you are feeling will only prolong the pain.

We’re sorry but crying and having bad days are things that are inevitable in a break up! 

Crying will help you let out all those emotions, the pain, the anger and the hurt.

You always feel better after a crying session, don’t you agree?

Another way to deal with your emotions and thoughts is writing them down. Journaling can help you let them out and process them.

There are no rules about what you can and cannot write, just what you are thinking and how you are feeling.

Plus if you ever start to think about going back to them (yes you probably will), remember that while there were good times and good memories.

It can’t have been like that all the time, so remember the hard times and ask yourself, is it worth it?

Or will it just make it more painful in the long run? 

Your feelings may change and feel conflicting, so make sure you write down exactly how you’re feeling and you can refer back to it if you do feel these moments of doubt. 

You could also write down your dreams and what you want out of life, you never know when the best ideas form. 

Relationships ending can sometimes inspire us to make changes and grow as a person so, have a think about your goals and jot them down. 


4. Surround Yourself With A Support Network 

When going through a break up, remember that you don’t need to be alone in this!

Getting support from friends and family is one of the best things you can do.

They can help you make sense of it all and offer another perspective on things.

Even if you don’t want advice, a break up can make you feel lonely and bring some not so nice thoughts. 

So, having some of the people who are close to you around you can help you feel less alone and distract you from wallowing in grief.

There is always that one friend who knows how to cheer you up when you’re down and won’t let you stew over anything that troubles you – let them take care of you.

Even if it’s just listening to how you feel, it is better to get things off your chest than let it continue to eat at you.

You could even go home to spend a weekend with your parents to help you get some space from your ex and heal that heartache in the comfort of home with the support of family.

There is nothing better than a hug and a home-cooked meal in front of the TV!


5. Grieve What Once Was 

Allow yourself to grieve the relationship, you are likely to go through a range of emotions that each needs to be felt before you can move on.

There are 5 stages of grief which you will experience at some point after the break up.

From denial and anger, bargaining and depression till the final stage – acceptance.

It will be a difficult time for you, but it is best to get it out of your system than to try and avoid it as that will take its toll on you mentally.

There is no time limit on how long it will be before you accept that the relationship is over.

So, don’t feel like you should be over them when you are not, but know that things will get better in time and don’t feel bad for how you feel in the moment.


6. Look Out For Your Mental Health

A break up is a challenging time and can really impact your mental health as you’re going through such a big change in your life. 

Whilst it is common to feel down and sad after a break up, you should watch out for some of the common signs of ill mental health like depression and anxiety. 

Some include having no interest or enjoyment in things, feeling worthless and restless, experiencing feelings of agitation, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, struggling to sleep or eating too much or too little. 

If you notice any of these signs or feel you are struggling in any way, do not hesitate to seek support. Even if you think it is minor, please reach out to someone who can help!

If you don’t feel like you can talk to someone close to you then find a support group near you.

Mental Health UK has lots of useful information and can help you find a mental health support group in your city, click the link to find out more.

Prefer to talk online? Clic is a free online community that helps people with their mental health.

You can connect with others in a similar situation and find a load of mental health information in a safe, secure and supportive environment.


Take away the break up tips we’ve mentioned and see how you’re feeling – give yourself permission to feel the way you’re feeling.

University work may be important but so is focusing on yourself, think of this break up like a physical injury that needs time to heal. 

Remember, everyone deals with breakups differently and there is no set time frame of getting over what happened within your relationship, or the person you were with. So, be positive and patient, things will get better in time! 

Healing from a break up

Whilst living in student accommodation, it is important to look after your mental health. If you’re wondering whether a digital detox is good for your mental health then have a read of our blog.