This last month, our book club read was Girl on the Train. We were a little late to the game on this one, but as soon as we all picked it up, we couldn’t put it down. It’s a dramatic thriller, with plenty of unexpected twists and “what could possibly happen next?” moments. In discussing the novel, we chatted a lot about Rachel, and the struggle she had in recovering from the end of her relationship with Tom. While there are a number of factors that play into why this recovery was so difficult for her (we won’t include any spoilers!), we thought we’d share a few tips for picking yourself back up after a difficult break-up.
Create a fresh environment. It won’t help to be constantly reminded of your ex-partner, so do what you can to remove yourself from any past shared spaces. Whether it be moving to a new place, or just rearranging the furniture in your apartment, a new environment can help you to distance yourself from the relationship. In learning from Rachel — it’s probably not the best idea to take a daily train past their place, or hang out across the street from their home.
It’s okay to blow off some steam, but don’t lean on alcohol to get you through it. In the days following the break-up, is it okay to unwind with a glass or two of wine? Completely. We’ve both been there. Grab your best friend and a pint of ice cream while you’re at it. Just be careful not to make this a habit that sticks, because that can be a slippery slope. As we saw with Rachel, downing a few bottles of wine only leads to sending messages you regret and making a mess of your apartment — not a good look for anyone.
Stay focused on other great parts of your life. While it’s totally reasonable to be a bit distracted at first, try not to let the post-break up blues affect your ability to deliver at work. In fact, putting a little more effort and energy into something else, whether it be work or a new hobby, can serve as a good distraction, and help you bounce back more quickly.
Branch out and make some new friends. Chances are, many of your friends are also friends with your now-ex, so face time with them might not be the easiest thing to bear. Use this as an opportunity to expand your circle of friends, reaching out to a coworker you don’t know so well, or the girl you always run into at yoga class. A few fresh faces in your social circle will help you move forward, and hopefully open up new ways to meet even more people. A final lesson-learned from Rachel: don’t step into your ex-husband’s nanny’s business.
Have you read The Girl on the Train? We’d love to hear any thoughts!