People around us come and go, that’s just a part of life. Whether it is the end of your kindergarten years and your partner in crime is moving to a new town or when you are graduating from university, you no longer get to share a room with your roommate/best friend.
Over the years, six of my very close friends decided to move to California – oh wait, make that seven, because another friend of mine had just taken a job overseas. Yes, I am happy for them for being courageous and changing their lives for the better but I can’t help but miss them.
Missing someone isn’t the best feeling in the world, right? Sometimes it is so intense that it makes you feel helpless and completely out of control because there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it.
Have you ever felt this way about someone at some point in your life? If you have, then you’re not alone! Because we have all lost someone before and I want you to know that whatever you feel is justified. Ignoring that deep longing feeling will only make it worse. We should learn to face our feelings and embrace them.
You must be thinking, why should I do that when I can just eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and binge watch a Netflix series?
Well, if you don’t, these feelings that you box away will come back and haunt you – trust me, because I have tried it. And when they do come back, it is no longer a wave of feelings, it is going to be a hurricane!
So let’s talk about how we can deal with the longing that comes from missing someone.
What to do when you miss someone
1. Let yourself be upset – but only for a little while
Rather than denying it, accept the truth and express those unpleasant feelings! Cry out loud, smash things (but be careful), or simply confide in someone you trust. Don’t run away from your feelings and bottle them up. Allow yourself to grieve their absence. But try not to turn towards destructive distractions like using alcohol or drugs because they are dangerous and they do not solve any of your problems.
2. Embrace your feelings through music
When you feel like you are unable to express yourself, try music. What worked for me was listening to Adele on repeat. Try creating a playlist of all the songs that remind you of the other person or songs that represent how you feel. If it isn’t music, maybe try watching your favorite movie – that would definitely be The Notebook for me. But be prepared to cry your eyes out. Do not be afraid of breaking down or feeling weak, you will get through it for it is all part of the process.
3. Write about how you feel
One way of doing this is to create an email account solely for your thoughts. Dump your feelings into an email and send it to yourself. You don’t even need to read those emails because the point of this is to let yourself pour your heart out, completely unfiltered. When you hit the “send” button, imagine all your thoughts and worries go with it. A journal works too. But personally, I was just on my laptop more often, and I could type much faster than I can write. This might feel weird the first few times and you could start with writing about what happened and how you are feeling now as a result. Once you get the hang of it, you begin to let your emotions flow through your writing and it is just so freeing!
4. Write them a thank you letter
You have written to yourself and you have had time to process your inner feelings, so you are probably feeling better and seeing things in a more positive light now. Try to remember and reflect on the good times you had with them. To truly let go and move on, you will need to find the strength to accept life’s changes, be grateful for the past and for the experiences that made you laugh and cry. Everyone in our lives play a role and so did this person – so what is it that they have taught you? Did they make you happy? Were they there for you when you needed a shoulder to cry on? Write all these things down in a thank you letter, express your gratitude for what they have shown or given you. If it is a past love, you might want to thank them for the great times together. If it is a friendship, simply tell them how much it meant to you that they were always there when you needed it the most. There is always something to be thankful for, you just have to dig deep.
5. Avoid hibernating at home
So how long has it been since you left the house? I know the bed is really comfortable and there are people who deliver food to your doorstep but enough is enough! It is time to head out and face the world – this means getting out of your sweat pants. It is unhealthy to lock yourself in and separate yourself from the outside world because there are so many possibilities waiting for you out there! You will likely miss that person less if you are out having fun rather than wallowing in your sorrow alone at home.
Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, we humans crave connection and a sense of belonging. So why not give your parents a call, get a drink with your best friend or go on a coffee date with someone? Start with deepening your existing relationships and build your social life back up. If you are feeling brave, maybe even chat up a stranger and start new friendships. Do it with people who are positive and those who bring out the best in you.
7. Find a hobby
Remember what used to bring you joy – was it reading, swimming or cooking? Is there something that you really like to do but never had the time for it? If so, make time for it. Rediscover the things you used to love. It’s important to occupy yourself with meaningful activities, hobbies are great for broadening your skills and using your time productively. Now is probably a great time to revisit that new year’s resolution of yours to get fit. Exercise is a great form of distraction so try going for a run outdoors or sign up for a gym membership with a friend. Working out also produces endorphins to reduce stress and make you happy too!
8. Stimulate your mind and soul
Now that you are out of your slump, hanging out with friends and working out, why not take a step further and do something to stimulate your mind and soul? Remember that art gallery around the corner you have always wanted to visit? Or that book you read halfway? Or that trip you have been meaning to go on? Do all of those things and more! Expand your mind and soul, and you might come back with a new perspective.
9. Quit all your bad habits
Drinking alcohol and smoking can be a way to distract yourself from missing someone, but now that you are in a better state of mind, how about we quit those bad habits, huh? Instead, turn to a friend for support or find a constructive project to throw yourself into. Quitting drinking or smoking also requires a lot of focus and mental strength, so this may also take your mind off the person that you miss while also living healthier – killing two birds with one stone.
10. Reinvent yourself and redesign your life
It is the beginning of a new chapter so you are free to start a new routine and fill it with whatever you want because that is all that matters – your happiness. Become the person you have always wanted to be. You are done dwelling in negative thoughts and it is time to put the past behind you. You should look ahead, get things back on track, and live life to the fullest. Bring back structure in your daily life but also some excitement as well as something to look forward to. Make a list of all the things you want to do and achieve then just go and do it – it is really as simple as it sounds.
11. Try something new
Get a new haircut, buy new clothes, re-decorate your apartment – introducing new things into your life can be really refreshing and it shows you how life is full of wonder and surprises. Do things for yourself for a change. There must be something you have always been curious about, so why not research on it – occupy your time by boosting your knowledge base! Or, try learning a new language or a new skill like cooking, perhaps? The world is your oyster!
12. See someone new
Take your time and whenever you are ready, you should get back out there into the dating world. This does not necessarily mean that you need to jump straight into another serious relationship, it just means giving yourself and others a second chance because you deserve it. And who knows, you might actually meet someone interesting! The world should not stop revolving when you miss someone. Chances are, that person was not even right for you and your perfect match is out there waiting for you.
Well, that concludes the twelve ways to cope with missing someone. I know at times it feels like you may never stop thinking about them, but you will. Time really does heal all wounds.
Surround yourself with positivity, with people who love and care about you. Under whatever circumstances that you might have lost that person that you miss dearly, there is, unfortunately, nothing you can do to change what happened. So focus on what you can change which is the present and future. Do not regret the past and dwell on the things that could have been done or words that should have been said – but rather, learn from it. Do things better from here on out.
When you spend so much time thinking about someone else, it is easy to forget the good things about yourself or even who you are without that person. So rediscover yourself! What makes you, you? Learn to love yourself, and you will get through the tough times. I can make a long list of thing you can do, but at the end of the day, you know yourself best – do what you have to. And promise me, you won’t let someone else ruin your life. You go out there and live your best life!