Whether the relationship you were in lasted four weeks or four years, break ups can leave us feeling lost, heartbroken and even physically ill. Sadly there is no magic cure for a broken heart, but there are healthy coping mechanisms you can put in place to help you move on with strength and grace.
The first thing you’ll need to do is accept that there is going to be a grieving period and a process of adjustment going from ‘we’ to ‘me’. Treating yourself well during this period can help to speed up the process and help you take control of your own well-being.
1. Talk it out
While it may be tempting to suppress the unpleasant feelings that come with a relationship break up, avoiding your emotions will only prevent you from moving past them. Instead, confront your feelings head-on either by talking it out with someone, or writing your thoughts in a journal. Just getting the thoughts and emotions out of your head in this way can help you feel better.
2. Eat well
It can be all too easy to use food (or the restriction of food) as a coping mechanism during a break up, but this can do harm to both your physical and mental health. Focus on eating nutritious, whole foods that are high in protein, fibre and vitamins to boost mood and energy.
3. Get active
Getting physically active may seem like the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling so emotionally drained – but exercise can lower stress, improve your mood and help you get out of your own head. Pick something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
4. Practice gratitude
It can be hard to be thankful when you’re feeling low, but practicing gratitude and thinking about all the good things you have in your life can offer a sense of perspective. Try writing down all the things you have to be grateful for and have a read when things get tough.
5. Do things you love
Give yourself some quality me-time and do everything possible to make you feel better – whether that’s getting a massage, meeting friends for coffee or just watching a much-loved boxset (bonus points for any activities that get you laughing too).
6. Give back
Performing acts of kindness towards others can help to improve well-being and has been shown to relieve depression. Do something that gives you a sense of empowerment and opens your heart.
With any transition comes the opportunity to reinvent yourself. If you think you could benefit from a little guidance, you may want to consider hiring a life coach. Find out how they could help on our relationships and personal development pages.
View and comment on the original Huffington Post article.