Empowering Young Hearts: Prioritizing Mental Health During Breakups

Shirlene Omondi

The phrases “let it go” and “get over it” are the most hurtful words a human being would want to hear especially if it involves people or things we love or wish we had but never did.

It’s time we address the elephant in the room. How do breakups affect our mental health and how do we or should we handle it? We are in the 21st century, the world is evolving and with the new generation, you would not believe how young some people get into the dating world. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids start dating at an average age of 12 and a half for girls and 13 and a half for boys. That might seem crazy but in this era, nothing is new under the sun.

Breakups come in so many forms, it can be mutual, one-sided, and some even just ghost their partners and walk out of their lives without saying a thing. As much as some people might seem to be taking breakups lightly or rather fail to react to them, they are hurting inside. This might be because they are used to getting hurt that they no longer care whether their partners leave or not, some might get into depression and even lose hope in love or getting into romantic relationships, while others don`t actually mind, bearing the notion “there are plenty of fish in the sea.”

We are all aware that letting go or getting over someone you invested your feelings on is not as easy as people make it sound. Even though letting go might take a while, the healing process really matters. Study shows that breakups affect a lot of young people especially university students and might lead to health issues like anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, self-harm and even suicide as observed in the several reported cases in Kenya in the previous months.

Adjusting to changes after a break-up can be tough as one is transitioning from a companionship to a state of single hood . It’s time we agree that romance and consummate are both special kind of love. So, how do we go about it when we feel like our mental health is at stake during or after a break-up? Here are some few tips from onelove website.

1. Allow yourself to fully feel everything you`re feeling
Before you decide to move on with your life, learn to accept that it has happened and there`s nothing that can be done. Cry, rant and allow yourself to experience this.

2. Establish physical and emotional boundaries with your ex
Avoid every place or anything that might lead you to meet your ex.Don`t try this cliché of wanting to go back and taking your stuff that you forgot while leaving. It might be dangerous especially if the relationship was toxic.

3. Gather your support system
Have a list of people you trust and are close to you. It might be your friends or family. Open up to them and don’t be scared to be vulnerable around them. This will give you comfort as you will not feel as lonely.

4. Re-establish your self-confidence and independence
This is the time to do what you never had time to do while in the relationship. Learn new skills, put more effort in what you love doing.

6. Seek professional help for additional support
A lot of people don’t like talking about their feelings with strangers hence avoid seeking professional help. This would be so important if nothing is working out and you are at the verge of losing hope in life and your mental health is deteriorating by day with no change.

As a young person, you should keep in mind that break-ups are a part of life and as long as you start involving yourself in romantic relationships, you are bound to experience this at least until you meet the love of your life. Sorry to break it to you but your mental health is much more important than that lady or man who treats you less than you deserve. Also, sometimes love fades and it’s healthy to part ways.

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