Published on March 1, 2023

How to Move Forward After a Breakdown

Getting back to normal can be tricky when you have been through a challenging time in your life. You may find it difficult to slot back into your regular routine, and everyday tasks may make you anxious. This is entirely normal, and many people feel raw when they head back into the world following a difficult time. However, knowing that it is normal to feel this way does not make it any easier to deal with, and you may be wondering how you can move forward from this point onward. 

As time passes, you should start to feel better, but there is no need to sit and wait for this to happen. There are many ways you can try to take control of your recovery and help to get yourself back on track. If you feel ready to make some changes to help you move forward but feel unsure where to start, the following tips should help you to get started:

Take Things One Day at a Time

Trying to achieve a sense of normalcy when your life has been chaotic can feel impossible. You may be frustrated about the situation and keen to charge headfirst back into your regular life. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that you were unwell and your recovery will not take place overnight. Ironically, giving yourself the time you need to recover at your own pace can make a vast difference and may even speed up your recovery time. In contrast, forcing yourself to return to normal and putting lots of pressure on yourself to do so can slow down the time it takes for you to feel better. Allowing yourself the time you need to move forward without piling on the pressure will give you the breathing space to recover naturally. 

Just as you need the time and space to feel better at your own pace, you also need to acknowledge that your recovery will not necessarily be a linear process. Some days will be easier than others, but a more challenging day does not need to mean that you are taking a step backward. Your recovery will come with its own ups and downs, and these are all part of the process as you continue your journey. Recognizing that a recovery does not follow a set pattern and that there will be bumps in the road along the way will make it easier for you to take things one step at a time.

Get the Help You Need

There is no shame in asking for help and support as you navigate your way back into everyday life. If you feel that aspects of your recovery are incomplete and there are still areas you need to work on, now may be the ideal time to do this. Speaking openly to trusted friends and family can provide an excellent source of support. Knowing that you have people that you can depend on and that are willing to lend a listening ear when you need it can make a big difference to how you feel. Experiencing a breakdown can be isolating, and you may feel like no one understands how you truly feel. So as well as having support from your family and friends, you may also need some professional support from people that are experienced and skilled in helping others in situations just like yours.

Receiving professional support from a treatment center such as can take place as an outpatient. Following a treatment program that equips you with tools that you can use in the long term to aid your recovery can be really valuable. When you are equipped with the knowledge needed to support your own healing and learn the coping skills required, you will be better able to deal with challenges that come your way following the breakdown.

Protect Your Physical Health

As well as receiving support from both loved ones and professionals, there are also some steps that you can take to support yourself. Taking action to support your physical health can make a surprisingly big difference to your recovery. Physical health and mental wellbeing are closely linked, and taking care of one of these can help to improve the other. You may find it reassuring to know that there are things that you can do every day to help yourself feel better, and this can provide a sense of accomplishment and reinforce a positive attitude toward self-care. 

Starting with the most basic aspects of protecting your physical health can be helpful and will enable you to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. Preparing healthy meals and staying hydrated are two useful places to begin. Trying to get the recommended amount of sleep each night is also helpful. If you have trouble sleeping, you could try to use the sleep hygiene method and stick to a regular bedtime and waking-up time to help you get into a natural sleep rhythm. There is a strong relationship between sleep and mental health, so when you start sleeping better, you may notice a positive impact on your mood.

Reconnect With Yourself

When you have experienced a breakdown, your life can feel like you have simply been existing in survival mode. Due to the impact of your breakdown, you may find that you lost interest in many of the things that you previously enjoyed. As part of your recovery, you may want to start the process of reconnecting with yourself. Thinking about the activities that you used to enjoy doing and the places that you liked to visit and gradually reintroducing these into your life can be really beneficial. Maybe you have a hobby that you used to enjoy or a sport that you liked to play. Thinking about restarting these activities that brought you joy in the past may help you to regain your confidence. When you start to reconnect with the things that you like and enjoy, you should find you start moving confidently forward towards better times ahead. 

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