There's no better post breakup medicine than keeping yourself busy.  But, staying busy isn't easy when our break-up blues leave us feeling lonely, bored and depressed.  Staying healthy and active is so much harder than polishing off a couple pints of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey® ice cream.  Dare we say more?

Breaking up is hard to do

For most of us, if we aren’t a little lonely or bored after a breakup, then we probably had a good reason to get divorced.  Most of us spent a reasonable amount of time with our ex that now leaves us with plenty of time to lay around and do what we absolutely should avoid at all costs, think about our divorce, ex or circumstances.  It’s a vicious cycle that can only be nixed by a new forward thinking mindset that gets us moving, doing and improving.  

Start a new positive activity

Staying busy with day-to-day chores, work and family obligations can actually leave you feeling incredibly exhausted in your off-time.  This may actually worsen your glum feelings as you feed your exhaustion with too much rest and downtime. 

Don't just take on more work and obligations without considering the quality of the activity.  Start new activities that actually recharge your batteries instead of draining them.

Why exercise helps

One example would be a physical activity1 like exercise.  Physical activity is a great stress reliever and can certainly fight the break-up blues.  While the research ranges on the reasons why, one of the possibilities includes brain chemistry.  Your physical activity stimulates the pleasure hormones, like dopamine and serotonin, that induce the biochemical processes to improve your state of happiness and motivation. 

While it's true a pint of ice cream has similar affects on the brain, junk food and sweets will only go on to raise your blood sugar and encourage a food addiction.  In this case, the biochemical process actually works against you as you begin to crave unhealthy foods to feel better.  

Physical activity like walking or jogging, are both healthy ways to start the process in your brain to naturally combat the fatigue, blues and negative rituals that are common following divorce.  In addition to increasing the good hormones, exercise decreases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that are known to increase blood pressure, induce weight gain and cause feelings of low mood and irritability.

Start a new hobby

You'll want to consider what you really enjoy.  Are there any hobbies or interests that you never had the time to learn or take part?  The important consideration is that it’s something that has a stimulating effect on you.  It's something you look forward to doing and learning.  This engages that pleasure center of the brain again in a healthy way.  As your interests develop in a specific activity, you'll continue to realize improved mood, motivation and concentration. 

Learn the history of honky-tonk!

If you like painting, seek some classes at the community college and learn some new techniques or take a class on art history.  If you enjoy the outdoors, find local hiking trails or volunteer for a local Clean Stream Program or other outdoor volunteer opportunity.   If you play an instrument, learn some different styles or music history like honky-tonk or R&B.  

You have talent, you have interests and you have an opportunity to improve yourself and have fun at the same time.   But you won't know your true capabilities until you get started.  

When you learn, help, improve or create - you develop accomplishments.  Accomplishments have a wild effect on your psyche, amidst adversity and the unknown.  They give you a sense of purpose and direction.  You'll notice improved confidence and self-esteem.

When you start seeing the progress of your accomplishments, you feel better about yourself.  The funny thing is that when you feel better about yourself, you feel better about others and your life.  Your problems lose the spotlight.  Suddenly, a little bit of talent and a whole lot of honky-tonk make the world a whole better place! 


12/03/2018 - "Dopamine and Learning: What The Brain's Rewards Center Can Teach Educators" 9/18/2012

1Check with your doctor first if you have any health conditions or concerns that are related to a new physical activity plan.


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