Breakups can feel like total decimation — I know that just as well as anyone. It’s absolutely admissible to take your time to heal. If you’re feeling a bit lost and hopeless, try to remember to do the following:
It’s as simple as that. Grief and heartbreak are suffocating on a primal level. Sometimes — or even all the time — you may experience pain like a weight sitting on your chest that you simply can’t shake. It is incredibly exhausting, and yet it never leaves. But it will. You have to trust in the healing process and know that one day, without you realizing, the heaviness will finally be gone. So for now, take it one breath at a time.
Don’t let anyone fucking tell you how to go through your own healing process. Everyone comes out of the woodwork with an opinion when you are in pain. You are allowed to do whatever you need to do, as long as you are completely honest with yourself about what that is. That means what you truly need — it doesn’t mean completely wallowing, self-medicating, or letting your life run off the rails. By all means, do a bit of that when you need it, but don’t lose yourself in the process. You are stronger than you think.
This is a perfect opportunity to let go of all the crap that’s holding you down or back in life. Yes, you’ve lost a major piece of the puzzle, but this can be a time of renewal and rebirth. There is great joy in releasing your control, trusting your own journey, and keeping your heart and eyes open as you traverse.
It’s okay to scream, or cry, or laugh, or feel relieved. You may need to run the gamut of emotions before you find your version of closure. Don’t keep it all locked inside — let it out in whatever form suits you. That may vary from day to day, and that’s okay too. Be your best self in the moment that you’re in.
Our society is so against taking the rest that we all need, but do it anyway. Your mind and body are most likely exhausted. This is a critical time in which you must pamper yourself in order not to fall apart. Be very gentle with your heart, your soul, and your physical being. Take all the time and space that you require.
You have a window in which you can go really deep into your psyche and delve into what makes you tick. It’s uncomfortable work, but you are already feeling great discomfort. Take the opportunity to find utter honesty and reconnect with the person you are deep inside. It’ll help you because you’ll see that person is still there, no matter what happens externally. You will derive support and strength from your own inner being.
Know that you are whole entirely by yourself and that you will get through this, regardless of the intensity of the pain you feel. This is not meant to minimize your sadness but instead to give you permission to take back your own power. You are so much more fully formed than you realize. There is a universe inside you. You don’t need anyone else.
You read that correctly. Sometimes you will absolutely need to scream at the top of your lungs, or punch something, or make a chaotic mess. You are allowed to lose control — so long as you don’t do anything to harm yourself or anyone else. Find a way to safely release steam when you just cannot take it any longer.
Try to take a positive perspective and see the situation not as a crisis but as an opportunity. Yes, it hurts like hell, but you’ve been hurt before and you will be again. That is the human condition. This is a transition time that gives you the chance to reinvent yourself and what you see for yourself in life. It can be painful to look at a future without a loved one, but you have a responsibility to yourself to try.
The way in which you handle any difficult period in life is a blueprint for your overall happiness. As you deal with the pain and heartbreak one moment at a time, find some hope in the small joys. Perhaps you are numb, unable to feel anything at all. Embody that — take care of yourself so that you are ready when it’s time to work through all your complicated emotions. Be the person you would admire in hard times.
It may feel like the last thing in the world that you want to do, but nothing brings more unanticipated positivity than finding the energy to get playful. You need a distraction, and you are so weighed down that it will feel liberating to let go and release some of the tension and darkness. Find a way to play that speaks to who you are.
Give yourself those special treats that you often go without. After all, you’re not spending money or time on anyone else now. You can be a little selfish in the name of self-care. You deserve to be kind to yourself, and you know exactly what you need — which a significant other often doesn’t. It’s satisfying to be in control of how you want to pamper yourself.
This goes for your body, your mind, and your soul. You might not have an appetite, or you might only want to eat junk, or maybe you want to make alcohol your primary food group. In these times more than ever, you need to take care of your nutrition. As far as nourishing those things which are not physical, you are going to have to find every method possible to make yourself whole from the inside out.
If your first instinct is to lie in bed all day, cut yourself some slack, but don’t stay there forever. Exercise and time spent outdoors are some of the most effective ways to boost your despondent mood. Even if it doesn’t feel like something you can stand to do, try your best. Once you’ve begun, it’s easier to continue, and you will absolutely feel better.
Remember that life goes on. Life is short, and you don’t want to waste precious time. Allow yourself to feel the grief and pain. Allow yourself time to heal. At the same time, allow yourself space to recognize that you are still able to feel joy and happiness. It’s not either one or the other — we humans are much more complicated than that. You can honor your heartbreak and still find reasons to smile. Do it. Keep your hope alive.