If you’ve ever had your heart broken, you know how painful it can be. There are times when the pain is so bad it becomes physical. Memories of happy times pop up uninvited anytime during the day, making you feel really sad and alone. One day you may feel ok, but then you wake up in the middle of the night badly missing your ex. The yearning can be intense.

It may be hard to believe now, but in time, the pain will go away. Eventually, thoughts of your partner won’t bring on fresh tears, and seeing pictures of them in a new relationship will no longer make you feel depressed. But, this will take time and we can’t say for sure when you will reach this point. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to help you heal your broken heart.

Feel the pain fully and completely

It’s hard to accept such pain without needing to escape from it. You may be tempted to jump into a new relationship, drink yourself senseless, or bury yourself in work so as to forget the pain, but its only a temporary distraction, which ultimately won’t work. If you try to bury it, it will only come back later to haunt you. A better way is to welcome it and feel it fully and completely. Let it consume you for a while; cry if you need to, do whatever you want to express your pain. But feel it and acknowledge it. Don’t ignore it; accept that it is there.

Follow a routine

You may not feel like getting on with your life; even the thought of going outside the house may feel like too much effort. However, following a routine will be the best thing you can do. Go to work or school, clean the house, have dinner with family or friends. These actions may not mean much to you now, but even just going through the motions will help. Someday, you will find meaning again in the things you do.

Change something around you

If you lived with your partner and you’re the one left behind, you may find it helpful to make some layout or decorative changes in your home. Try to reduce the memory triggers of your ex, remove photos, move the furniture around, or paint the walls a different color.

Change your habits as well

As we mentioned, it’s important to avoid triggers, like doing the same things that you and your partner used to do. Develop new habits and routines; if you used to watch a movie after work every Wednesday, for example, find something else to do on that day. Go to a salon or have a massage instead, join a book club, go to cooking class, volunteer, or join a local social or sports club. You may also need to block them on your social media pages, as seeing your ex smiling, enjoying themselves, and out with friends may feel to you that you are the only one who is suffering from the breakup. It can be very tempting to check an ex’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages, but try to stop your impulse to check, because it will only make you feel sadder. These changes need not be permanent; it’s just to help you break up the old associations.

Exercise

Find a sport you can do regularly and stick to it. If you’d always wanted to learn tennis, go for it. You can go to the gym, run, swim, walk, ride a bike, or dance. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, the important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy, gets you active and engaged with others. Chemicals released in the brain during hard physical activity have been shown in numerous studies to improve the mood. Besides, it can also help you meet other people, people who don’t know your partner. Making friends with them will help you establish new routines.

Seek the support of family and friends

You don’t have to deal with your pain alone. Find people you can trust and share your pain with them. When it gets too bad, you will find it helps when there are people whom you can call and be with. You may think they won’t understand, but remember, everyone has had their heart broken at some point in their lives. The details around the heartbreak might be different, but the painful feelings are the same.

Take care of yourself

One thing you will realize after your break-up is that no matter how many relationships you have that will end, there’s one that will be for life: your relationship with yourself. So take care of yourself. Eat healthy, spend time with friends, engage in self-care. Avoid self-destructive habits like smoking, spending too much, and excessive alcohol or drug use. Most of all, allow yourself time to heal. Don’t rush into a new relationship, and don’t force yourself to “move on.” Just live one day at a time. One day you’ll find that you’re ready to love again. Until then, just love yourself. That will be enough.

Each relationship is a learning experience, and the more you love, the more you’ll know yourself better. In the meantime, if you need to talk to someone about your pain, contact us. We can help.