It’s no secret that breakups can turn your life upside down and leave you wondering what to do to heal your heart. In truth, it doesn’t matter who you are or how emotionally strong you may be, parting ways with a romantic partner can be devastating. But just because it isn’t easy doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Here are some ways that do help you effectively heal after a breakup. They promote gentle healing and growth along the way. And, yes, I have done them all.
Give Yourself Time to Grieve
It’s important to give yourself ample, focused time to grieve after a breakup. I’m not saying that wallowing in your sorrows for weeks on end will serve you. Perhaps it might, but it could also make things much worse. It can be a trial and error process that is different for everyone. But, I do know that allowing yourself to feel the pain and hurt that comes with the loss of a relationship is a positive way to work through even the most devastating situations. Even if you were the one who initiated the split, you’ll still need time to adjust to the loss. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not feeling 100% right away. Grief is tricky and can pop up months and even years later. Let it happen.
One thing that helps to process grief is to write letters to yourself and the other person that will only be seen by you. It’s an opportunity to say what you need to say without the actual interaction. The letters help you to better understand yourself and what you felt during the breakup and presently. I recommend that you read the letters out loud to yourself. Once you’ve done that, allow your feelings to come up freely, and then burn the letters to represent letting go.
Talk about Your Feelings
Talking about your feelings is helpful to more fully connect to yourself and your response to the ending of a relationship. Try to keep these sessions feelings-based and not use them to verbally criticize your ex. I know this might be challenging, especially if the breakup is fresh and your heart is raw. However, this delicate state deserves gentleness and peace. Choose a trusted and stable friend, family member, or counselor that will listen without interfering or trying to fix things. If you need advice and support, express what you need specifically.
Take Care of Your Body
It’s important to take care of your physical health when you are emotionally compromised. Though it might be challenging, work on eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t perfect with this. An occasional Netflix binge, bowl of ice cream, or slice of pizza isn’t going to kill you or mess up a healthful lifestyle. Focus on gentleness and listen to your body. If you don’t have the energy for your regular exercise routine, it’s perfectly OK. Your body is diverting energy as you process grief. That said, exercise can also be beneficial, as it helps release endorphins that can improve your mood.
Take Care of Your Mind
Be gentle with your mind and emotions by allowing thoughts and feelings to come. However, let them pass through like a passing breeze. If you notice the same negative thoughts taking root and creating mind movies, try to interrupt them by doing something you enjoy. A walk, writing, singing, dancing, etc. can shift the energy quickly. One of my favorites is taking a long hot bath, lighting some candles, and treating myself with aromatherapy, loofah soap, and soft music. It may not end the pain completely, but it helps you to energetically know that you are valuable and worth your time and attention.
Do also remember that if you find yourself struggling with deeper pain that leads to anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. These are common reactions to breakups, and there’s no shame in seeking help. Your mental health is a priority to consider whenever you go through though events.
I’ve been through many breakups in my life. The pain passed fairly quickly in some cases, but not so much in others. The main thing I learned from them all is to love myself no matter what I was feeling. After all, whenever we choose to love another person, we risk being hurt. I encourage you to go deeper into your thoughts and beliefs about yourself when a relationship ends. This truly is the only way to learn and grow. Remember, we can only control ourselves not other people. That fact puts 100% of the responsibility to heal on us.
Be well, my friends.