Falling in love is easy; we do it all the time. But when it all goes pear-shaped and those who love you reject you or fall out of love with you, it is a devastating time of grief and loss. And if you were the one who didn’t want the relationship to end and fought for its survival then it is a mix of feelings, rejection, and panic on top of all the heartache as well. But there is a silver lining on this cloud – the pain doesn’t last forever and it does get better, you do feel better, and you will come out on the other side. You will come out stronger and wiser, but it’s a promise that you will get through it. Here is how to heal a broken heart.
1. Moving through the Grief
Losing someone you love when a relationship comes to an end is an emotional trauma and the stages of grief must be dealt with – as painful as they may be – in order to move on and get past the turmoil you feel is going to swallow you whole at the beginning.
You have to grieve and one of the best pieces of advice anyone ever gave me was to ‘’Go through it, not around it.’’ It is a hardcore piece of advice to follow, but if you ignore some of the issues that feel like they are literally tearing you up inside, it doesn’t mean they have somewhere to go and you will be forever trapped in a time warp of hurt and pain.
You will surface victorious, but you have to tackle the painful situation head-on and sooner rather than later, you will find that the pain no longer has a vice grip on you anymore, and you start to move away and move forward.
2. Don’t Fill the Void
One of the worst things you can do as you enter the grieving and healing process is to rush out and fill that void of losing someone with another person. You are just delaying the inevitable and you are going to further compound the pain by dragging another person into the whole situation.
Some good advice is not to date anyone for at least a year after your breakup or divorce. This will give you a chance to work through some of your anger, connect with yourself again, take stock of your new identity and embrace your independence again. If you are not happy within yourself, by yourself, with only yourself, and you carry feelings of guilt and blame, nobody else can fix that or can make you happy.
3. Embrace Your Strengths
Now is a time to focus on yourself and be a little selfish, embrace your strengths, be kind to yourself and acknowledge your achievements. Just because a love was lost means doesn’t mean that you can now become your own worst enemy, beating yourself up emotionally, assigning blame, guilt and extra pain on top of everything else you are going through. This is the time to be your own best friend, kinder, more patient, caring and loving than anyone else. Because if you don’t have your own back then who else do you expect to?
4. Spend Time with Your Friends
The urge to get under the covers and stay there all day is overwhelming and chances are you have had a few days under there already. The worst thing you can do for yourself now is to refuse your friends invitations and stay at home and wallow in your track pants, dirty t-shirt and socks clutching the TV remote and a pizza box.
Get out there, make connections with your friends, drink coffee, walk the dog, get all of your friends round for a wine and laughs evening. You will feel much better than if you were just left to your own thoughts inside your head. It will do you the world of good to see what other things everybody else is dealing with and will allow you a brief reprieve from the focus on your situation alone.
There is no bigger anti-depressant pill on this earth than heading out into Mother Nature’s gym. Pack the dog up and drag the kids off the couch, head out into the fresh air and go for a brisk walk around the block, up the hill, into the forest – just get out into nature and the fresh air. Take your bike, take your running shoes and head into the country for a weekend, cycle through leafy vineyards and watch the sun come up. Exercise will get the blood pumping through your veins and it will release some wonderful feel-good endorphins which will have you feeling fantastic and looking great immediately.
6. Start Again
So if you are just emerging out of a relationship, it’s definitely time for a new start, an independent group of friends and some new activities and maybe even some exciting hobbies to go with your new found independence. It will give you the chance to build your social circle again, allow you the opportunity to meet some new people and to get some much-needed confidence again. Join a hiking club, beading class, join the local gym or tennis club, find a yoga class near you – you will be able to meet people from all walks of life.
7. Activity is the Enemy of the Mind
Now is an excellent chance to get busy, to do the things you have always wanted to do, maybe it’s that writing course you have always wanted to go on but never had the time? Maybe it’s that art class you have always longed for but never taken the leap? It could even be your inner chef knocking on your heart, begging you for a chance to explore your life, your talents, and your dreams. Take a salsa class with a few friends, join a social running club, but do resist the temptation to become a regular member of your local bar.
Above all else, give yourself time!