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Going through a breakup can wreck a person so we’ve made a first aid kit to mend lonely hearts -- ten Dr. Doe tested and approved strategies to get through the physical, emotional, and mental pain of ending a relationship.

To watch previous videos on deciding to whether or not to breakup with someone and how best to do it check out these episodes Lindsey made for How To Adult:

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In the past I've done videos on deciding whether or not to break up and how to do it in healthy ways. Today I'm going to explain how to survive a breakup.


Whether you're the one being dumped or dumping, or it's something mutual, breaking up can wreck you. It can leave you feeling confused, depressed, infuriated, lonely, the list goes on. Let's focus on what you can do to manage the mess.

First, acquire a vicarious experience. According to psychologist Albert Bandura, one of the most effective ways to accomplish something like surviving a breakup is having it modeled for you by someone who is like you and who has been in a situation like yours. Think of someone you know who has gone through a breakup. Did they make it? What was it like for them? How is their life now? Beyoncé and Dwayne Johnson are stretch comparisons, but they've both gone through breakups and survived. You can too!

The next tool in the breakup first aid kit is environmental trickery. Find a setting that looks how you want to feel, not how you do feel. For me, that's sunshine, moving water, and happy dogs. It could also be a cozy blanket, candlelight, and my favorite sitcom. The point is to give your mood a boost. Not to stuff or hide what you're feeling, but to feel more complexly. So it's not all confusion and misery, it's confusion, misery, and ease and freedom.

Time to make some calls and/or texts. Identify ten or more people in your social circles you can reach out to. Bonus points for people in other time zones you can contact when you're restless at odd hours. The calls aren't to say, "I just got dumped, wah." They're to open up and be of service to others. Try something like, "Hey, I'm having a hard time right now. My relationship is confusing and I'd love to get out of myself for a while. How are you doing?" Listen to the other person's feelings and challenges. Hear what they need and think about ways you can be there for them. If you really can't give anything, it's ok to ask for something you need, such as, "I need some company right now. Would you like to go for a walk?"

Next, look up Elisabeth Kübler Ross's stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The cycle isn't the rule for every experience of loss, but it's a guideline that can help track the progress you're making. Remember, getting into a relationship is a gradual process: you get to know one another, date some, and then make things official. The other end of a relationship can be just as gradual. Give yourself some time to unravel what was.

Then there's repeating the mantra "the pain is in the resistance to change, not the change itself." Which means feeling awful like your skin is on fire and your heart is in a vice is not really because the relationship is over and you're not going to be romantic or physical with someone you're grown attached to. The pain is a result of resisting what is happening. Scrambling around in the past, trying to figure out what went wrong, then scrambling around in the unknown future to get a different outcome. If you can be right here in your present, you'll find that you're ok, and you'll start to feel ok.

Next in the first aid kit: start writing. There's incredible research on the therapeutic effects of writing. Some suggest that unpacking trauma in a journal, also known as abreaction, helps to clear the trauma from the mind and reduce health problems. Another theory is that the eye movement from the left to the right side of the page as the person writes or types mimics Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or EMDR treatment. What I like most about writing is that it forces me to focus on one word at a time and doing so calms the spinning of multiple thoughts. Here's a starting prompt: what did I eat today?

And make sure you're eating and sleeping. You need both to function. I, for one, lose my appetite when I'm stressed, and I stay up really late and sleep in really late. So the trick for me is to go in search of food that I won't reject, like pad thai and sushi. For you it might me kale chips or a double cheeseburger. Eat ice cream if it's all you can choke down, just try to aim for something more than sugar. You're in crisis and your body needs to be treated with extra special care.

To help with sleep and horniness, I highly recommend masturbation. Rub one out, or ten, until you're so sexually satiated the thought of booty calling your ex is unwanted. And you get all the benefits of physical pleasure, like mood elevation, lower blood pressure, postponed worry, heightened self esteem, tension release, and better sleep.

Finally, I'll leave you with a story. A woman answered a knock at her front door, and two men in uniform stood there to tell her her son had died at war. She invited them in for tea. The men were puzzled. Why wasn't she losing her shit? So they asked, "How can you just invite us in for tea when you must be feeling so inconsolable?" She told them that she was taught that when in crisis, to proceed like you would if there wasn't a crisis. If they had just shown up at her door without tragic news, she would have invited them in for tea, and so now she'd do the same. What would you be doing right now if you weren't devastated? Write a thank you card, wash the dishes, get a ticket for a concert you're looking forward to, take a road trip you've been putting off. You have no idea what the future holds. None. You could get back together with your partner. You could meet someone more compatible. You could be really happy single. Let your future self take care of all of that and be here now. And stay curious.

A special thanks to all of our Patreon sponsors at and now We're so grateful to have your support. If you're not already, please subscribe to our channel, hit "like" if this video helped you at all, and share it with someone who could use our first aid kit.