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Healing the Heart – Tips for How to Get Over a Breakup

Breakups can be extremely difficult for both the heart and the mind. Grieving the loss of a relationship is taxing both mentally and emotionally. Whether you initiated the breakup or are the individual being broken up with, the pain and heartache can feel debilitating. It is important to remember that healing the heart is a process. The journey is not always linear, and it may take time to go through the multiple steps of grief during a breakup. I have many clients who seek individual counseling for help with this process. With that in mind, I have compiled a brief overview of strategies to help you get over a breakup and begin your journey to healing.

Allow yourself to grieve the loss.

Similar to the AA ideology of “first step is admitting you have a problem”,  the concept that the initial stage in grieving after a breakup  is allowing yourself to feel/acknowledge the loss. It’s natural to feel an array of emotions such as sadness, despair, anger, jealousy, confusion, or even relief. Always remember, that your emotions are valid, and you do not need an explanation for them. You need to acknowledge that they are there, and you need to let them in. Try not to rush the process; instead, let’s find ways for you to feel and express these emotions in a healthy way.

Find your support system and utilize their comfort.

During these taxing emotions and experiences, lean on your friends and family. They can be a true source of comfort when the person you were so familiar with daily is no longer there for you. Surrounding yourself with people who know and understand you can help alleviate loneliness and provide a sense of connection. Your close social support systems will be happy to be there for you and support you through grief, so use them.

Self-care is important.

Take care of yourself and celebrate the wins throughout the day, even if they feel minute to you. It is easy to down a pint of ice cream and sleep in bed all day. And while that might be acceptable for a day or two during the initial shock, it isn’t sustainable in your daily life. Engage in healthier options that can help you boost your endorphins, such as exercise, meditation, reading, or another activity. Prioritizing yourself can revamp your self-esteem. Check out these 5 tips for self-care during times of loss to help you get over a breakup.

Take time for reflection.

Allow yourself some time to think about events in the relationship. What were the “green” flags you appreciated and wanted in your next relationship? What were the “red” flags, or negative traits you ignored or accepted despite your gut instinct? What did you learn about yourself, your partner, and relationships during your time together? These are important questions to ask yourself after a breakup, as even though the relationship ended, try not to view it as a “waste of time”. There is always something to learn and take away from an experience to help better our life and prepare for the next relationship.

Try to set and maintain communication boundaries.

I know it seems so tempting to write that huge paragraph on iMessage, block your significant other on all social media, or call their mom up to seek her comfort, but, as cliché as it sounds, sleep on it. Try not to act impulsively on the emotions you are allowing yourself to feel. You are likely to overwhelm yourself as well as your ex without a game plan as to how to exit the conversation. It’s ok to ask for space and time to heal the heart. This is often referred to today as “no-contact.” 

Distract yourself!

Idle minds allow anxiety and depression to run rampant. Distract yourself with activities that can be both productive and fun. Sometimes we can lose ourselves in our relationship and we forget a sense of purpose (a tendency called codependency) Set personal or professional goals to regain a sense of purpose and pride.

You have the option to reach out to a professional.

There are many others like me in the mental health field that can help you process your journey to healing the heart. You never have to feel like you’re boring us, being judged, or repeating yourself too much. Let us hold the space for you. Together, we can identify emotions, feelings, experiences, and other ways to process in addition to those listed above.

Healing the Heart Is A Challenge Worth Embracing

Now, by no means am I insinuating that navigating grief is simple and easy. It is an uncomfortable challenge, but it allows room for personal growth over time. Again, allow yourself to practice the previously mentioned coping skills while navigating this difficult time as it will result with a sense of resilience, self-worth, and self-compassion. As a reminder, the path to healing the heart is not linear and as much as we would like to speed up healing, it is a process that takes time, patience, and grace. But you can do this.

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