Grief. Confusion. Sadness. Anger. Loneliness. Depression. Sometimes, even relief.
Heartbreak is one of the most complicated and consuming experiences of all of the heavy emotions, all at once. And heartbreak shows up in its highest form when a relationship ends.
Breaking-up brings about an ending and a beginning, which makes it such a unique experience in our relationships. Whether we are being broken up with or our now-former intimate partner has chosen to end our relationship, self-care is an essential component for healing from this loss.
Here are 5 suggestions to help heal from those feelings of heartbreak:
Remove physical reminders of the relationship.
If you are having some trouble accepting the ending of a relationship, it could be helpful to mindfully remove the things, objects, trinkets and pictures that remind you of your former relationship.
Think about putting space in-between you and the gifts, pictures on social media, or symbols of what you both had together. Choosing to remove, donate or discard these representations of your past relationship is a way to have control over your grief. Think of it has you choosing to accept the end of the relationship and that you are intentionally, physically and mentally creating space for something new and different.
Limit contact with your former partner.
Depending on your stage of healing, you may (or may not) be ready to completely disconnect from your former partner. You may be negotiating whether or not you want to be ‘just friends’ with your now ex, or ‘friends with benefits’. (Benefits meaning continuing an intimate, physical and sexual relationship and ending the romantic relationship.)
Yet, if you are no longer interested in continuing any type of relationship with your former partner or it is no longer safe or healthy to continue any type of relationship with your ex, limiting and eventually ending contact may be a key component to healing.
If this decision is right for you, hold yourself accountable by noticing what leads you to initiate contact or receive their messages or phone calls. When you find yourself wanting to talk to your ex, call, text or meet-up with a safe loved one instead.
Lean on your support system.
Speaking of loved ones, this is a crucial time to lean on the support of the people who love you the most. Let your loved ones know that you will need their support, care and patience during this time. Our support system can help us by:
- Being active listeners
- Providing healthy distractions
- Offering truth and supportive advice
- Finding opportunities for fun
This is a time where treating yourself with kindness is oh, so important. Healing from a break-up is a vulnerable and sometimes lonely time. Feelings like self-doubt and negative self-talk may come in waves as you cope with this loss. Find opportunities to engage in self-care to feel some extra loving and caring.
The videos in our ‘Just for You: Resources’ page have some encouraging and insightful messages regarding healing, self-love and self-acceptance that may be just the right thing to hear during this time.
Create a new routine.
There were special parts of your former relationship that you will miss and honestly, grieve. It could be helpful to fill those times with a new routine, activity or adventure!
Take this time to try something new or start a new project. Beginning a new or different routine can help re-wire our minds to not feel alone or upset, but rather focused, determined and engaged. It takes new energy to try something new, so try to build a new skill, accomplish a goal or create something special for yourself.
Healing from a break-up is (usually, depending upon the relationship!) not an easy thing to do. Remember that these heavy feelings will eventually pass and that sometimes things end for new things to begin. Treat yourself kindly as you move through this chapter of your life.
What helps you heal from a break-up?