The Real Art of Getting Closure - Women's Health

The Real Art of Getting Closure

From job loss to an MIA date, the days of waiting for someone else to give you answers are done. You’ve got this.

by | Sep 30, 2021

Image: Danielle Daly

You hear it all the time: “If only I had closure!” But what does that even mean? “It’s about crafting a narrative so you can move forward productively after something traumatic,” says Joanne Davila, a professor of psychology. You crave it after a variety of crappy experiences; when you can’t make sense of something, your brain demands answers so you aren’t doomed to repeat whatever got you there. “Learning from your mistakes keeps you safe,” explains Davila – this survival tactic drives that intense need to know what went wrong. The good (and bad) news is that no one can give you closure but you…

Your Partner Ended Things

Is reaching out to an ex ever a good idea? Well, defo don’t do it when emotions are raw. You may just be in pain and want to soothe the burn, says psychology professor Leora Trub. Set a date a month in the future and promise you won’t text them until then. “Often, people say, ‘Of course I’m going to want to be in contact with my ex, who was my best friend.’ But once they take some time, they realise they don’t want that person in their life.” Resolution can come as you heal. Quick word to the wise: “You need to put the fantasy of the other person to rest,” urges Trub. “You can’t move on if you’re social media-stalking.” Unfollowing your ex or taking a break from Insta (so many mutual friends!) is ideal, but also mute anyone who posts pics with your former partner.

Your Group Grew Apart

Your crew will evolve as circumstances – and people – change, but it sure can hurt. Problem is, you’re less likely to mourn a friendship the way you would a romantic relationship, because there aren’t the same cultural norms around
a buddy breakup. So, do something to mark the end of this chapter, like writing a letter expressing what your mate meant to you and how you feel, tips Davila. No need to send it; simply recording a negative event can help to reduce stress, studies show. Researchers say doing so adds structure to anxious feelings so you understand them better.

You Lost Your Job

We spend a third of our lives at work, so it’s no surprise that losing your job – as many people have over the past year – can feel like a huge blow. You may not get straight answers about why you were on the chopping block (tbh, it probably wasn’t your fault) and, without info,
it can be easy to spiral:
‘I suck; no wonder they got rid of me.’ “Give yourself time to be upset,” Davila says. Then imagine someone you adore – a friend, a cousin – in your scenario, and think of the advice you’d give them. “Picturing someone specific makes it easier than just thinking ‘What would I say to a loved one?’” Trub adds.

You’ve Been Ghosted

Social rejection activates some of the same areas of the brain as physical pain, according to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences research, so it’s normal to feel hurt if someone vanishes after four dates. Let yourself grieve, but message wisely. “The more you lash out, the less likely you are to get anything you want in return,” Trub says.

If you have to say something, send a declarative statement rather than a request, so you aren’t waiting for a reply. (Note: if they were capable of ending things respectfully, they wouldn’t have ghosted.) Trub suggests: “I was excited about connecting, so it’s disappointing that this happened. I’d love an explanation, but I’m not expecting one.” This way, you’re not waiting by the phone. Onward!

Been there, done that

Team WH share their stories of getting closure

1. Jess, digital writer

“Post-breakup, I found the Mend app to be truly life-changing. It’s like a PT for heartbreak, delivering daily audio messages and encouraging self-reflection. 

2. Alex, commissioning ed

“Being made redundant felt personal, and only with time did I realise it wasn’t. When it happened again (media = tough!) I knew selfcare and support from loved ones were crucial.”    

3. Lizza, editor-in-chief

“Losing my last boxing fight in a controversial split decision was devastating. But focusing on all the lasting things the sport gave me helped: like confidence, friends and my husband!”

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 


Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 


Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 


Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 


Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?