1. If you crave chocolate.
In your distress, resist the urge to reach for a Snickers or Hershey Bar. These are packaged in plastic, filled with nasty ingredients and you know you deserve better. Don’t settle. Go to a candy store or hit the bulk aisles where you can buy some quality zero-waste chocolate, or treat yourself to a chocolate ice-cream cone at an ice cream parlor. In the wake of your breakup, if you need to expend lots of nervous energy, try baking this flourless chocolate coconut and black bean cake.
2. If you crave something stronger.
Chances are you will see your breakup coming so this gives you a little time to plan. I have never measured the alcohol content of my homemade mead, but judging from its effects, I would guess the percentage hovers around the low double digits. However, it will take up to two weeks to ferment. If your breakup takes you by surprise, go to a pub with friends and get a glass of something on tap for zero-waste alcohol consumption.
3. If you need a good cry.
First of all, think of this as a new beginning rather than an ending. You’re free! Although the future may terrify you, imagine the possibilities. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a good cry. Use cloth handkerchiefs to dry your tears and blow your nose. At the very least, you can feel good about conserving trees and reducing landfill. He should have appreciated someone so conscientious!
4. Declutter but don’t throw out.
You may feel temped to tear up photos, burn old cards (really old cards because he probably hasn’t given you one in I don’t know, let’s say a year…) and throw out any object that reminds you of your former partner/spouse/lover. Fight that temptation. Don’t contribute to landfill in your distress. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purge. Divide things into a few piles:
- A paper pile for recycling. Take this out today.
- A pile of his junk that has accumulated at your place over time. Drop this off at his door when you feel up to it. Don’t leave a note as this wastes paper.
- A pile of useful things for Goodwill. If he gave you good quality, nice stuff, like a le Creuset Dutch oven or a copper chef’s pan, don’t be silly. Keep it! If you do accumulate enough stuff to donate, while you’re at the second-hand shop, look for something nice for yourself.
5. Find an outlet.
If you’re very angry, go for a bike ride or a run. I cancelled my gym membership last year and started biking more. I decided I would try to weave my exercise into my daily life and chores as people have always done throughout the ages. If the ride or run doesn’t alleviate your rage, make some sauerkraut. Crushing shredded vegetables with your bare hands helps relieve stress. Personally, I find writing very cathartic and will shamelessly milk anything for a blog post. (I’m in good company. James Joyce drew upon his entire life for writing inspiration and actually asked his wife Nora Barnacle to seek out an affair so he would have more material.) If you do write a blog and worry you will write something to offend the other half of your freshly severed relationship, don’t fret. He never reads your posts anyway.