When You Go To School With Your Ex

My advice about seeing your ex in class is simple: keep it cordial because saying “hi” might be less awkward than ignoring them, and sit in the front so they don’t distract you. Easy enough! But if you don’t have a class together, you still might see them around.

Today, we’re going to look inward and talk about ways to get over your ex even when they’re on campus.  College is a hyper-bubble that can have anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 students. You most likely live, study, and socialize in the same five miles as the people at your school. While proximity doesn’t help, there are meditation apps, books, and coping mechanisms to help you get over your ex.

1. Download a meditation or self care app.

When dealing with a breakup, it’s important to take care of yourself. At Mend, we love meditation apps, such as Calm and The Mindfulness App. Taking time out of the day to work on yourself is the best thing to do. In college, our lives are hectic with classes here and social activities there, but these apps will help you focus on yourself and not on your ex. If you’re not big on meditating, just take a few deep breaths before walking around a space where your ex might be.

2. Start journaling.

The breakup recovery process involves introspection, and journaling is a common self care ritual for a reason. By taking 15 minutes out of your day to jot down your thoughts and feelings, you can look back at the semester and see the progress you’ve made. Write about how seeing your ex or hearing about your ex makes you feel. If you find yourself flooded with thoughts of your ex, write them down and let them go. Letting them bounce around in your head will prove ineffective and time-consuming.

3. Throw yourself into a new club or activity.

Even if you’re a senior in college, it’s never too late to make friends and pursue new passions. Whether it’s trying out for an improv group or joining a club sport, putting yourself out there will be really helpful and rejuvenating in moving forward. Making new friends and meeting new personalities will also open up your eyes to another side of campus life.

4. Explore and discover new places – alone.

Loneliness is a valid and common fear among millennials today. After a breakup, you are especially vulnerable to this fear but we want to encourage you to embrace how free being alone can feel. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, and you never have to keep in mind anyone else’s schedule or opinions. Is there a coffee shop or bookstore across town you’ve been dying to check out? Now is the perfect time to go! Mark it in your calendar as “time to explore” and be proud of embracing your individual power.

It might be hard to see your ex in class or on campus this semester, but our advice is to put yourself first. Ask what’s best for you and what can be done to make this easier on yourself. To get you started, here are our tips for getting over a bad breakup and movies to watch about breakup mistakes to avoid. This school year, make sure you’re focusing on yourself and living YOUR best life.

How to Deal with Unexpectedly Seeing Your Ex in Class

Whether you attend a Big 10 school or a liberal arts college, you are bound to run into people you’d prefer not to. A dreaded scenario for those returning to campus is seeing your ex in class. There’s no right way to go about this. Seeing your ex on campus or around town is inevitable, but we have some advice from college students who’ve dealt with their exes in public.

If the relationship ended cordially, it’s best to stay civil. When you realize your ex is in class, don’t panic. Rather than make it awkward and play the “did they see me?” game, if your ex makes eye contact with you, smile. If you feel good at the moment, you are more than welcome to walk over, say hi, and move on.

My friend, who had a few classes with her ex, advised to walk in and keep it chill. You don’t have to sit next to each other and even if you feel awkward about making any contact, it will pass. For her, she minded her own business and kept any conversations with her ex casual. From her experience, it’s only weird if you make it weird.

If the relationship ended badly, you do not have to acknowledge your ex at all. Walking into class on that first day and seeing your ex in the front row might be triggering or alarming at first, but take a breath. Before spiraling, take a seat somewhere you feel comfortable and acknowledge the situation: your ex is going to be in your class, probably for the semester, and you will not let this get in the way of your learning. Anchor yourself in the situation and focus on your education by taking out your laptop, notebook, or other materials needed for the class.

It’s important to not let exes or people you dislike get in the way of your education. You have every right to be in the classroom and while your ex might be distracting, it may be helpful to make a friend in that class. That way, you’ll have a companion to talk to and distract you from your ex. And if making friends is a little hard for you, that’s fine! We recommend not staring at your ex and, instead, try focusing on anything but them. And if getting through that first class was hard, a reward system might be helpful in making sure you attend class. For example, make it a self care routine to grab a coffee after class to reward yourself for getting through lecture.

College is a time of high stress and social anxiety, many of us have been in your shoes before. Don’t be afraid to talk about this with a friend or classmate who might have stories and advice of their own to share. Know that you are not alone.

Emily Kinney Talks Breakups And Heartbreak

We’re always working to help you find new ways of mending. We started Mend as a newsletter, which evolved into our website and later our app.

Now, we’re excited to launch our new podcast  “On The Mend,” where we explore how people get on the mend and stay on the mend during difficult times. “On The Mend’ is hosted by our founder and CEO Elle Huerta. In each episode, Elle interviews guests about their mending story, extracting intimate stories and practical advice that you can weave into your own life. If you’re a fan of Elle’s other podcast, Love Is Like A Plant, you are going to love OTM. 

We’re so lucky to start off this season of “On The Mend” with Emily Kinney in Episode 1. You may know her as Beth from “The Walking Dead” or from her music (when she sang “Oh, Jonathan” to us we seriously got the goosebumps), but did you know she was also an OG Mender? Emily has been mending with us since we were a newsletter!

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We sat down with Emily (on her birthday!) to discuss her past relationships, her breakups, the lessons she learned in her twenties, how she takes care of herself and what inspired the songs on her new album “Oh, Jonathan.” In this episode, she takes us through her early heartbreaks and into her dating days in New York. She provides valuable insight on how to channel your energy post-breakup and how to maintain some balance when you’re an artist. We’re sure you’re going to love every bit of it.

Her new album “Oh Jonathan,” a beautiful record of love and heartbreak, is out now and you can find it on iTunes and Spotify. You can also get tickets to see her live. To see behind-the-scenes footage from the episode, be sure to follow @letsmend and @ellenhuerta on Instagram.

You can listen to “On The Mend” on SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts. We’re so excited to bring you an entire season of great episodes full of life-affirming advice and stories to help you mend.

Wellness Retreats That Will Reinvigorate Your Life

Summertime has come and some of you desperately need a vacation. If you’re a traveler that wants more structure and purpose to your trip, a retreat might be right up your alley. We’ve collected six retreats that focus on wellness, from daily yoga meditation sessions in New York to surf coaching in Costa Rica. Take a pick at your next rejuvenation retreat!

1. Sacred Wisdom Retreat in Cusco, Peru

Marissa Gandelman, the owner of Elm City Wellness in Connecticut, is more than familiar with Cusco. She moved there when her first marriage hit the rocks. But from her transformative time there, she helped to create an organization that plans women-only retreats that focus on healing with workshops in sound healing, dance, and yoga. With the majority of meals included, this eight-day retreat will empower and reinvigorate your spirit.

2. Purple Valley Yoga Retreat in Goa, India

If India is calling your name, look no further than the Purple Valley Yoga Retreat. With sandy white beaches and three vegetarian meals a day, your stay will include morning walks through tropical gardens, birds singing in trees, and a laundry service to take the load off your shoulders. The retreat specializes in Ashtanga Yoga with 1-week and 2-week retreat options, both of which are perfect for solo travelers.

3. The Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, New York

If you’re a New Yorker who needs some time off, this yoga ranch is the quiet recluse you’ve been looking for. With buses going to and from NYC, you can spend a day or even a month taking yoga classes only two hours away from the city. The ranch specializes in “yoga vacations” and provides organic vegetarian meals for each visitor. Accommodations range from single dorm-style rooms to shared apartments for families, so whether you’re a small company or a hard-working parent looking to get away, this yoga ranch has a space for you.

4. Museflower Retreat & Spa in Chiang Rai, Thailand

We’ve been talking about a lot of yoga retreats here, but if you would rather soak in a hot bath with aromatherapy candles, a spa retreat is just what you need. At the Museflower Retreat & Spa, green hills, flowers, and a Himalayan natural salt pool will welcome you to Thailand. With options for a 3, 5, or 7-night retreat, your daily routine will consist of two group wellness classes, a spa treatment, and vegetarian meals.

5. Surf and Ballet Fitness Adventure in Nosara, Costa Rica

For fans of barre, this retreat will put you in a beautiful tropical oasis while working out in your ballet shoes. Each day starts with a light breakfast, then a ballet fitness class, a one-hour therapeutic massage, and surf lessons. The resort provides suites with private terraces and nearby access to beaches and jungles, depending on what you prefer that day.

6. Mii Amo Retreats in Sedona, Arizona

If the heat and rocky plateaus of Arizona are calling your name, Sedona is the place to be. Mii Amo provides 3 to 7-day all-inclusive retreats that use expert-led sessions to explore holistic wellness. These curated retreats touch on everything from careers, relationships, and spirituality. Visitors first select a retreat they would like to attend, depending on scheduling and topical focus, then they pair it with a journey to personalize their experience. Mii Amo is a good option for those looking to stay in the States and close to home.

The Best Self Care Podcasts To Listen To

“Self-care” can mean many things, from relaxation to self-improvement. In a world of unending podcasts, we’ve gathered a few that have helped Team Mend through tough times and given us that breath of fresh air we needed. If you’re ready to take your self-care up a notch, get your headphones ready for these episodes.

1. “Thirst Aid Kit”

For some, self-care can come in the form of laughter. Nichole Perkins and Bim Adewunmi are writers in New York City who share one thing in common: a thirst for males. While their podcast is not directly about self-care, listening to this podcast is an act of self-service. Each week, they go in-depth and explore the complexities of one male heartthrob in Hollywood. And it’s more than just hot guys. It’s a deep dive into the personalities, characteristics, and inner reasons why we thirst after these particular men, who range in ethnicity, age, accents, and more.

The best episode for new listeners is “Chris Evans (feat. Chris Evans).” Most of the time, the two talk about a guy, but this time, they talk to the actual Chris Evans on the phone. Let’s just say that it will make you giggle on a public bus (which indeed happened to me).

2. “Anna Faris is Unqualified”

Anna Faris, from “Scary Movie” and “Mom,” is your new best friend. Her bright humor translates perfectly in “Anna Faris is Unqualified,” which has seen so much success that it transitioned from podcast to radio. Each week, Faris and co-host Sim Sarna interview a celebrity about the ups and downs of their career and personal lives. At the end of their conversations, they get real callers on the phone and give advice. Usually, it’s about relationships, but it can sometimes be about friendships, a new job, etc. This podcast is more than just a celebrity talking to another celebrity. Faris isn’t afraid to dive into the tough parts about being an actor and the mental health consequences she’s faced in a toxic industry. But you don’t have to be an actor to identify with these episodes. A personal favorite is when Nick Jonas came on and dished all the dirt on his life post-Jonas Brothers.

3. “The Hilarious World of Depression”

Another way to talk about depression is through comedy. Host John Moe brings funny people onto his podcast every week to talk about their journeys with mental health and what brings them out of their dark places. A favorite episode of mine features Rachel Bloom, a comedian who has been open and honest about her mental health struggles. Her openness led to her show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and she doesn’t hold back in this engaging conversation with Moe.

4. “Therapy for Black Girls”

Dr. Joy Harden Bradford is a psychologist in Georgia who wants you to live your best life. She brings her best therapy tips to each episode and acknowledges the complex intersection of struggling with mental health and being a woman of color. One of her most popular episodes is “Managing Social Anxiety,” something many people can identify with in 2018.

5. “Sad Boyz”

Self-care isn’t just for the girls. “Sad Boyz” is a comedy podcast about feelings. Each week, Jordan and Jarvis, two guys in tech in San Francisco, discuss everything from mental health to toxic masculinity to Post Malone. With little bits of pop culture sliced into each episode and one host with a smooth British accent, “Sad Boyz” takes important topics, dissects them, and ends each session on a happy note. If you’re looking for a laugh, your two new best friends are right here.

6. “On Being with Krista Tippett”

A personal favorite of Mend CEO Elle Huerta, “On Being” is hosted by Krista Tippett, a journalist and former diplomat who interviews people from all different walks of life. She asks questions about the secrets to living a good life and what it means to be alive. With a focus on spirituality (in a not-necessarily religious sense), she has interviewed philosophers, physicists, and everyone in between to find out how to live well.

7. “Self-Service with Jerico Mandybur”

The Girlboss Radio network is strong with self-care. The brand’s second podcast is from Girlboss editorial director Jerico Mandybur, who is more than familiar with the stress of millennial workaholics (to prove it, when the Australian writer moved to America, she was diagnosed with blood poisoning almost immediately). In this episode, she sat down with our founder Elle to talk a little bit about building Mend.

8. “Love is Like A Plant”

And how can we forget our own podcast! “Love is Like A Plant” is a one-on-one session with Elle about her personal experiences dealing with a breakup and the different ways she dug herself out of it. If you love the app, you’ll love the podcast. And if you love the podcast, you’ll definitely love Mend. If you’re a first-time listener, a good place to start is “How To Get Your Ex Back,” a popular episode among our Menders.

Mari Andrew And Mend Event At The Lev Bookstore

Last month, Mend took over The Lev, a community bookstore in Venice, Calif. that caters to female authors and women of color. We met and celebrated Mari Andrew, an Instagram illustrator whose new book “Am I There Yet?” nails the struggles of adulting. On a beautiful Friday night, our founder Elle Huerta sat down with Mari in front of 300 people and discussed everything from her new book, traveling solo, and the true meaning of self care.

Elle and Mari first met over email when we featured her in a #howimend interview. When Mari announced she was heading off on a book tour, the gears started turning to bring her to Los Angeles. After deciding to partner with Mari, we had to find a place to host this event and The Lev called our name. Miriam Chan, the owner of The Lev, thought Mari would be the perfect author to bring into the community pop-up space. Once details of the event were announced, the RSVP list got hefty. With over 400 people signed up, it was clear that both Mari and Mend count on huge support in Los Angeles.

“Every time I think I’m really pushing the limits of specificity, that’s when people really relate. They can feel what I’m feeling when I tap into that.” – Mari Andrew on creating relatable art.

Mari and Elle had a fun and insightful conversation about heartbreak, getting out of rough patches, and finding your curiosity again. Mari’s tips for self care included calling it “self-kindness” instead and exploring different ways to be kind to yourself. For her, that meant drawing illustrations and pushing herself creatively to share them daily.

“I only say self-kindness because I feel like self care is nebulous at this point. We all think about taking a bath — sometimes you don’t need a bath if you’ve taken five baths that day. Being kind to yourself means so many things.” – Mari Andrew on finding your definition of self care.

For our Menders, it was important to talk about heartbreak. Mari shared her own anecdotes of past relationships and tips for getting out of those dark spaces. She found happiness in exploring her curiosity and finding sparks of hope through great friends.

Mari was kind enough to sign every book and personally meet every single person at the event!

After her Los Angeles stop, Mari headed off to Australia to finish her book tour before returning home to get started on a second book.

We’re so glad everyone enjoyed the event and got to meet Mari! Elle also met some amazing Menders who shared their stories of using the app and how Mend came into their lives. We had a great time meeting all of you and would love to see you again! It’s always great to hear your stories and these events are a great way to bring Menders together.

If you want to check out The Lev, stop by their Venice pop-up and if you want to see more amazing events and authors, support the great work they’re doing!

These Movies Highlight A Few Classic Breakup Mistakes To Avoid

Post-breakup life is hard. You bounce between wanting to text your ex, jumping on a new relationship, and scrolling through old photos. Thankfully, you’re not alone. The trials and tribulations of heartache are well-documented in the eyes of cinema. To reassure but also realign your post-breakup game plan, here are a few mistakes to avoid—as seen in your favorite movies.

1. “(500) Days of Summer” – Constantly picturing what could have been.

Set against the backdrop of dreamy Los Angeles, this movie is a good look at falling out of love. A particularly heartbreaking scene is when Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Tom thinks he’s about to get back together with his ex when she announces her engagement to another man. On top of that, Tom lets his breakup ruin every part of his life, from his friendships to his career.

Tom’s main vice was his constant flashbacks to the past. He played their relationship over and over again in his head, even extrapolating what it could’ve been. It’s hard to navigate life without constantly thinking about your ex, but the only person who can get you out of your rut is yourself. That means hanging out with friends you enjoy to distract you from thoughts of your ex. It means picking up new hobbies to find what sparks your inner curiosity again. It also means cleaning up your living space and removing anything that reminds you of your relationship. And for some, moving out of that space completely is what helps them cope.

2. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” – Getting revenge on your ex with new conquests.

Steve Carell’s Cal is a lovable guy, but there’s a point in this movie where his smooth-talking prowess becomes a tool of destruction. While coping from his wife’s decision to separate, Cal takes the advice of Ryan Gosling’s Jacob to sleep the pain away. Soon, Cal’s clothes, behaviors, and priorities change, which makes him forget who he is. It’s comical to watch Cal’s transformation in this film, but you can also see his behavior as a cry for help. Divorce is painful, especially with kids, a house, and an entire life to dismantle. But when you’re embarking on new hobbies or relationships, it’s important to evaluate how your priorities are changing with this new life. More importantly, evaluate the reasons for your behavior. If it’s about pursuing your passions and finding happiness again, go for it! But if the main reason is to get revenge on your ex, emotional consequences are inevitable.

3. “Ingrid Goes West” – Relying on social media to cure your sadness.

We meet Aubrey Plaza’s character Ingrid as she tries to repair her life after the death of her mother. Through social media stalking and manipulation, she becomes close friends with an Instagram influencer, but things turn south when her real intentions are unveiled. While this film is a commentary on the age of Instagram, it also dives into how toxic social media can be when we’re at our worst. For Ingrid, she lost a friend, a mother, and herself, which encouraged a reliance on likes and comments for inner acceptance. Long story short, don’t do this. Deleting Instagram off your phone is good during any stage of life because it allows you to see the reality of your situation a bit clearer. It gives you time to pursue IRL friendships, read insightful books, and repair yourself organically. More importantly, it allows you to see your wins without comparing them to other people’s lives on social media.

4. “Bridesmaids” – A good example of how to get out of your funk.

Annie’s life completely falls apart within five minutes of this film. She goes on to get kicked out of her best friend’s bridal party, her relationship with a genuinely sweet man doesn’t work out, and she gets evicted and moves back home. With not much to lean on, Annie submits to a life of watching television on her couch. After a breakup, there’s an acceptable amount of time to let yourself slip into reclusiveness. However, it might be smart to set up a deadline for getting your life back in shape. For Annie, it was the wise words of Melissa McCarthy’s Megan that kicked her in the butt and got her off that couch. She started baking again, a skill she repressed but was very talented at. And when her friend Lillian started having cold feet before her wedding, Annie pushed their tension aside and sprang to action. “Bridesmaids” is really a breakup game plan to follow. Whether it’s going back to your happy place or helping out a friend in need, actions speak louder than words.