Figuring out how to let go of someone after the end of a relationship can feel downright impossible. Whether you’ve known this person for only a few months or more than twenty years, releasing your emotional attachment to a relationship is a task that you don’t have to figure out on your own.
In this blog post, we’ve compiled some practical advice on how to let go of someone so that you can start healing in a way that feels natural and compassionate.
Keep reading to see which tips might help you the most. And if you need some more guidance, check out our online course 30 Days of Simple Self-Care at the end of this article. It teaches you how to move on and let go of what no longer serves you without diminishing the past.
Why Letting Go Of Someone You Love Is So Difficult
It can be tough to let go of someone you love, and sometimes it feels like you’ll never be able to move on. You might have been close to this person for a long time, and it feels like you will never stop loving them. Even though your mind might tell you that it’s time to let go and focus on the present, it takes time and space away from the person for the pain to go away.
This process can feel particularly challenging if this person was a significant part of your life. Maybe you even got married, had children with them, or made a serious investment into the relationship as a whole. You might have been together for years or decades, and now suddenly, everything seems to be over.
Letting go of someone you love is about grieving the loss of what you hoped this relationship would be. You might fear that you’ll never again find someone who loves you as much as this person did or that the intensity of your love has disappeared. You might have committed yourself to the other person early on, and now suddenly, it feels like your whole world has shifted.
These are complicated feelings to cope with, but don’t worry – it will get easier with time.
Why Letting Go Can Be An Act Of Self-Care
When you decide to let go of someone you love, you are making a conscious yet challenging choice that will require a lot of practice . Letting go requires you to shift your perspective and take responsibility for a new way of thinking and perceiving the events and experiences that brought you to where you are today. You may think that letting go is a one-time decision, but training yourself to turn that choice into reality requires you to continually re-shift your focus every time you find yourself dwelling on the past.
One of the greatest acts of self-compassion is being able to release your past respectfully and lovingly. In letting go of someone who no longer serves your happiness or highest potential, you show yourself the love and respect you truly deserve.
25 Ways To Let Go Of Someone You Love With Self-Care
While there is no magic pill that will help you emotionally detach from a former partner, family member, or friend, these 25 tips will teach you how to let go so you can create a more mindful and better life for yourself.
#1 – Be kind to yourself
It can be tricky, but it’s so important to be gentle with yourself during this challenging phase in your life. If you are feeling sad, angry, or upset during the process of letting go of another person, remind yourself that these feelings are normal and that they don’t mean you should beat yourself up.
If you need to take some time away from a person who hurt you, don’t pressure yourself to heal faster than is comfortable. Give yourself the time and space you need to work through your feelings and be patient with yourself.
It can be hard to let go of a loved one, but it is important not to punish yourself for mistakes you think you have made in the relationship. You can’t change the past, and every relationship teaches you where you can grow as an individual. Be kind to yourself, and remember that the process of letting go is also a form of self-compassion.
#2 – Focus on yourself
Break-ups are difficult because you no longer have a built-in companion in your life anymore. When you suddenly find yourself alone, it may be tempting to distract yourself with other relationships but remember the importance of balance. Learning how to appreciate doing things on your own time in your own way is an essential aspect of coming into your personal power and building a healthy relationship with yourself.
Take yourself on a date to the movies or out to eat. Become your own best friend and recognize you don’t need a partner to have a great life.
#3 – Cut off contact with your ex-partner
Part of the process of letting go is learning how to stop focusing on the past so you can start to move on. One way to do this is to stop talking to or seeing your ex-partner. This will help you concentrate on yourself and your happiness, independent of the other person.
When you are ready to cut off contact, make sure it is for your own sake and not because of how another person acts or responds to the situation. Some people might try to guilt you into staying in contact with them after a break-up but keep your recovery and self-healing priority.
If you find it difficult to end communication, try starting off the conversation by telling the other person honestly that you are trying to focus on yourself right now and ask if they could respect your need for space. Hopefully, they will be understanding and supportive in a healthy way that allows you to cut off contact when you need to.
#4 – Socialize with other people
While spending time on your own is essential, you also want to make sure you’re not isolating yourself from the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should quickly jump into your next relationship (more on this later).
Instead, focus on re-establishing a previous relationship with a dear friend, having regular dinners with a family member, or inviting a coworker out to lunch.
#5 – Set a morning and night routine
It is difficult to let go, but setting up a regular morning and night routine for yourself can help you to structure your day so that you don’t feel lost all the time. When you wake up in the morning or come home from work in the evening, you’ll have something to do to distract you from the memories of the person that’s no longer in your life.
You could try to learn a new skincare routine or cook healthier meals at dinnertime. What exactly you choose is not important. It’s much more about giving yourself the motivation and confidence you require to get up each morning and get through the day.
#6 – Take stock
Before doing something new, you must let the facts of what has happened sink in. Many people rush into new relationships or try to distract themselves with new interests after a break-up, but that can make things worse.
When you break up with someone, it is vital to take some time for yourself to take stock of your thoughts and feelings and where you are in your life right now. This will make it easier for you in the future to figure out what you want and don’t want in a new relationship.
#7 – Learn something new
Learn a new instrument, start a new hobby, or watch a documentary about a subject you don’t know much about. Focusing your mind on something other than lost love, past mistakes, or old memories can drastically improve your mental health and make you a happier person.
Allowing yourself time to grieve is important, but you can’t start moving forward if you’re only using your mind for dwelling on past events or old relationship issues.
#8 – Recognize your self-worth
Romantic relationships are great, but the most important relationship you will ever experience is the one you have with yourself. That’s why it’s so important to dig deep and do everything you can to encourage self-compassion and remember the many positive things about you that make you such a wonderful person who is worthy of love.
Remember that your past or present love life does not define you. You are the only person in the world who has to be with yourself for the rest of your life, which means it’s essential to prioritize your own mental health and happiness.
#9 – Set boundaries and stick to them
It can feel challenging to figure out how to let go of someone if you cannot set healthy boundaries. This is especially true if you were involved in a toxic relationship or had an abusive partner.
Only you can decide what a healthy boundary feels like for you, but don’t be afraid of cutting off contact if your intuition is nudging you to do so. When you do set your limitations, make sure you stick to them . Don’t answer texts or calls if you promised yourself you wouldn’t, and resist the urge to snoop on your ex through social media.
#10 – Allow yourself to feel all your feelings
When an important relationship ends, it is necessary to let yourself feel any emotions that you’re experiencing. While it’s not realistic for everyone to cry every moment or feel angry 24/7, permitting yourself to go through the normal grieving process can make a big difference in your ability to move on.
Keep in mind that anger isn’t always problematic. It is crucial for your physical health as an emotion because it enables you to express negative feelings clearly, which can help you find closure. Anger can be healthy if released in safe scenarios like with friends who will hear you out or at the gym when punching the bag. So, don’t judge yourself if you feel angry at times and embrace it as part of the healing process.
#11 – Sit with your feelings for as long as you need
We naturally resist anything that doesn’t feel good, which is why we often choose to distract ourselves from our negative feelings – especially when they seem to last for a long time. But allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling, for however long you are feeling it, will help you acknowledge and honor your pain, which will ultimately help you to let go.
If you have moments where you feel anxious about your new life or sad about your unrequited love, allow those feelings to come and stay with you for a while, knowing that in doing so, you are better able to let go.
#12 – Accept your grief as part of the rich pattern of life
It’s completely normal to feel pain after the end of a relationship, especially when it was with someone you were attached to. The length of time it takes for you to recover from losing love can vary according to your individual experience and how much effort you put into getting through complicated emotions in a self-expressive manner. If you are experiencing profound grief, then this can even last longer than a year.
Practicing mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises when the grief feels too overwhelming can help minimize the rush of total despair that sometimes accompanies such an experience.
#13 – Let go by avoiding social media
It can also be helpful to avoid social media or take breaks from it after a break-up. This is because it is hard to move on if you keep seeing pictures or posts of the person you lost (and may still miss in your life). It’s also a good idea to take breaks from social media if you find yourself getting really upset when you see their activity.
You might even want to consider muting the correspondence or unfollowing them for a while to find the strength to move on.
#14 – Change the story in your mind about what happened
Remember that your story about how the relationship ended is constantly evolving. Sometimes new discoveries or insights can help us see new ways to think about our experiences which can contribute to letting go of someone in our life.
For example, if you were left by someone you know was never suitable for you, embracing the possibility that they did you a favor in ending the relationship can help to shift your perspective in a way that allows you to see the termination of the relationship in a different light.
Pay attention to the story you tell yourself and how it may be hampering your ability to move on. Is the narrative you’ve created holding you back or preventing you from feeling new hope and joy? If so, try to start telling yourself a different story. You are the author of your life!
#15 – Reframe your definition of forgiveness
This may feel like counter-intuitive advice, especially if you’re feeling emotionally raw, but practicing forgiveness is like a soothing salve that will provide you comfort and encourage your healing.
In other words, move from a place of anger to a space of understanding and empathy, which will help you find peace. In allowing yourself to take the high road, you release yourself from feeling imprisoned by resentment and begin to lay down your arms in this inner battle you’ve been waging with someone close to your heart.
#16 – Stick to a regular daily or weekly schedule
Figuring out how to let go of someone can come with a roller coaster of emotions. A massive component of caring for yourself is making sure you cultivate a routine full of rituals that will boost your mental health and help you move forward.
It’s imperative to have a regular daily or weekly routine when trying to heal from a break-up. You can do things like spend time with your family or friends, exercise regularly, eat healthy food, and spend time on your favorite hobbies. This will help you feel more in control of your life and make it easier for you to move on.
#17 – Watch where your thoughts go
While you don’t have to keep track of every single thought, do your best to monitor the general direction of where your mind is taking you. When learning how to let go of someone, it can be very easy to get swept up in memories, resentments, or regrets.
Honor your pain but set a time limit for grieving. Notice when you’re chewing on negativity, and don’t allow yourself to linger on those narratives for too long.
#18 – Be with your friends and family
It may not always feel that way, but you definitely need some quality time with your family and friends in this difficult time. Perhaps, they can help you take your mind off the person you lost. You could go somewhere together, have a change of scenery. You might be surprised how much fun it will be!
When you are trying to let go of someone you love, it is vital to enjoy time with other people. This will help you feel better and make it easier for you to move on.
#19 – Create a solid support system for yourself
Whether you choose to get professional help from a therapist or decide to lean on family and friends, creating a support system will help you give you a reality check when you need it while reminding you that you are not alone.
This can help you when you’re feeling very sad and also if it’s hard for you to stop thinking about someone who broke up with you. You should try to be with people close to you or maybe even talk to a therapist if letting go is tough for you. If you have the support of other people, you are much more likely to manage this challenging task.
#20 – Allow yourself to fantasize about your future
When you’re struggling to let go of someone, it’s easy to develop tunnel vision and fail to recognize the good in your life. Try visualizing your life a year from now and imagine you are aligned with your highest potential. Daydream about future vacations and new career opportunities. You could even envision yourself moving on to a new relationship with the right person.
#21 – Practice mindfulness to develop present-moment awareness
Develop a mindfulness practice to prevent your mind from veering off and dwelling on the past. Writing your thoughts down, engaging in breathing exercises, or practicing meditation can bring more clarity to your situation. Mindfulness can also help you come back to a state of peace when your thinking mind steers itself into old limiting beliefs and negative self-talk.
This can help you develop present-moment awareness, which means that you are totally focusing on what’s happening right now. It might be hard to stop thinking about someone who broke your heart, but you can also try writing down your thoughts or doing breathing exercises when it’s really hard for you to stay in the present.
#22 – Reconnect with your values
Another way to help yourself heal and move on with your life is to reconnect with your values. This means that you think about what’s important to you and what makes you happy. For example, if you enjoy helping others, then you might want to join a community service group or volunteer with an organization that means something to you.
Assessing and reconnecting with your values helps you to concentrate on what’s really important to you. Rather than thinking about the person you’ve lost or seeing yourself through their eyes, you will start to feel more centered and confident to walk your own path.
#23 – Meet new people and make some new friends
It’s also important to meet new people from time to time when you’re in the process of letting go of a past love. This doesn’t mean that you should start dating again right away, but making new connections and finding new friends can help to energize you, provide you with a fresh perspective, and give you something else to look forward to.
Meeting new people can also help you to get out of your comfort zone and not feel like you’re locked in the past.
#24 – Rebound with caution
Having a rebound relationship shortly after the separation might not be a good idea. If you decide to date again without being open to this new chapter in your life, you might just end up repeating the pattern.
Let some time pass before you start seeing someone else, and even then, make sure to rebound with caution! Identify the reasons why you may want to jump into a new relationship. Are you trying to get back at someone who cheated on you? Do you think you will “win” the break-up if you’re the first person to move on with someone else? Take care of yourself, and don’t let such negative motivators harm your mental well-being.
Remember that natural healing doesn’t happen overnight. When you rebound, you carry your emotional baggage to the new relationship, which will only cause conflicts.
#25 – Give yourself enough time to heal
Whatever you do, keep reminding yourself that there is no right way to heal. You may have days where you feel like you’ve jumped five steps ahead. You may also have days where you feel as if you’ve fallen back to square one.
Remember that the healing process is not linear; rather, it ebbs and flows. Be patient with yourself and trust that you are moving forward, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
Learn To Let Go Without Diminishing The Past – With 30 Days Of Simple Self-Care
While it’s essential to let go of someone who is no longer a part of your life, it’s of equal importance to recognize that you can do so without diminishing or washing away the past. We all evolve thanks in part to the relationships we have. Just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean that the lessons you’ve learned or the growth you’ve experienced was in vain. In fact, those aspects are precisely what you should continue to hang onto, even when the person who brought you those lessons is no longer around.
It can be challenging to decipher exactly how to do this, however, which is why a program like our self-paced online course 30 Days Of Simple Self-Care: Living Through Heartbreak is a great resource to help you release the past while holding on to the valuable experiences it provided.
This course is a self-guided program comprised of professionally-cultivated meditations, simple self-care activities, and self-discovery tools that will gently guide you towards healing by way of utilizing practices that will assist you in fully accepting where you are in this present moment. The acknowledgment and acceptance of where you are and where you have been will ultimately help to release your pain and, in turn, maximize your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Your power lies in the present moment – this course will help you understand and embrace that. You’ll learn that letting go of the past isn’t necessarily about the death of a relationship but rather the growth and expansion that it has delivered to you. The act of letting go while still holding on to the love and enlightenment that your relationship has provided is something you will learn to practice and honor through daily exercises, reflections, and meditations. By the end of this course, you will have planted the seeds to understand and appreciate the profound experience that you have been through as well as the forward momentum that your healing provides.
Are you having a difficult time navigating through the deep pain, confusion, and overwhelm of heartbreak?
The Bottom Line
Letting go of someone you love is not an easy task. But through practices that focus on caring for your mental and emotional health, you can begin to evolve and shift your focus from what was lost to a happier and more empowered version of yourself.
Give yourself the time, space, support, and love necessary to heal after a harrowing experience like the end of a significant relationship. By practicing these simple strategies, you’ll be able to move forward with your life happier, healthier, and stronger than before!
Are you looking for a bit more guidance and practical support? Check out our ONLINE COURSE FOR HEALING HEARTBREAK with compassion and self-care!