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How to Heal From a Heartbreak

Published:
December 14, 2023
July 3, 2023
Trying to mend from a heartbreak? Here's how to heal a broken heart in eight different ways.|Trying to mend from a heartbreak? Here's how to heal a broken heart in eight different ways.

It happened. They just broke up with you. It feels like there’s this big hole in your chest, as if they ripped your heart out and took a piece of you with them. You feel both emotionally and physically numb because at one time you saw a future with them. But this person who was your everything has now become a stranger. The calls and texts will stop. You’ll forget what their voice sounds like and what their touch feels like. The pictures will get deleted from your phone so you can begin to move on. And slowly it settles in — the two of you are going your separate ways.

After being with someone for quite some time, it can be difficult to heal a broken heart. Everything is different now. And your world may feel like it’s ending.

I’ve had a few heartbreaks in my life, and I know there will be more down the road — it’s a part of the life we endure as human beings. Here is what I suggest if you’re beginning, or are currently in, the healing process.

Let yourself feel everything

There are no limitations — be free. Allow yourself to have deep emotions and let it all out. Cry until you physically can’t anymore. Scream if you have to (into a pillow works!), because what you’re feeling right now is an intense feeling that sometimes needs to be vocalized. Feel that strange numbness or emptiness so that later on you’ll know what it’s like to feel alive again. 

Breathe deeply and recite affirmations everyday (preferably looking in a mirror and talking to yourself). Here are a few that have worked for me: 

“I made it through today. And I’m going to do it again tomorrow.”
"I may not be okay right now, but I will be.” 
“This too shall pass.” 
“I am worthy.”
“I am proud of myself.”
“I am ready for all the good things the universe has to offer me.”

And don’t apologize or feel sorry for having any of these feelings — they’re all valid.

Take care of your mental health

I didn’t realize how much pain I was holding in until I talked it out with my therapist. She let me cry whenever I needed to and she let me ramble on for the entire session if I had to. But not once did I feel judged. I felt sympathy and empathy, even through a computer screen since my therapist lives three hours away from me. And after every session, it felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest and shoulders. 

An hour of therapy can get years of secrets off your chest and it’ll feel like you can breathe easy again. Even anxiety can be released after overthinking some things in your past relationship. 

Think you can’t afford therapy? Don’t worry, I did some research for you. Because in my eyes (and from personal experience), therapy is for everyone.

Put down the phone and be present

Keeping your mind busy is especially important in this situation. Spending quality time with family and friends will help you focus on other things, such as what’s happening in their lives, upcoming social events, etc. They will also be there to intentionally listen to you if you need to pour out what’s on your heart. And if you have any furry loved ones, spend more time with them by cuddling or taking naps with them.

I wanted the present moment to have my full attention — not my phone screen. So I let family and friends know I would be away from my phone in case they were worried if I didn’t reply to their messages. I didn’t want the urge to click on my social media apps. And at first, it felt weird to not scroll through Instagram, Twitter, or my text messages. But it also felt…liberating. 

Yes, social media can have its perks to keep your mind busy, but it can also negatively affect your mental health. Not to mention being on your phone may tempt you to text your now-ex, or check in on their social media to see what they’ve been up to. And that’s the last thing you need during the healing process. 

Pick up a book

Reading made me feel like I could escape from reality hours upon end. I would lose track of time and read hundreds of pages once I got into it. 

Not the biggest fan of reading? I wasn’t either once upon a time. But I set a goal to read at least 10 pages every day or night before my head hit the pillow. Now I can’t stop turning the pages and purchasing or renting new novels. 

If you’re not in the mood to read or would rather listen than have your eyes move down the pages, Audible has millions of books available at your fingertips that you can listen to. You can also rent audio or digital books from your local library via apps like Overdrive or Libby.

Break a sweat

You’re not only working out for your physical health, but also your mental well-being. Research shows that exercising — whether it’s doing yard work, going for a leisurely walk, or pumping some iron in the gym — releases endorphins and serotonin. If you have gym anxiety, try to remember that people are far more focused on their personal fitness goals — no one’s counting your reps or watching you sweat on the stair climber.

Or maybe you can’t physically can’t get out of bed because of depression and decide to watch Netflix all day. Here are some exercises where you don’t have to leave your safe space. 

Being active has been my saving grace because for once in my life, I began focusing on myself instead of those around me. Now you’ll catch me in the gym six times a week. 

Get outside

My parents have five acres on their property, so there wasn’t an excuse for me not to be outside during my healing process. Doing yard work for 12 hours on the weekends made me realize how much I love fresh air, being outdoors, and creating a beautiful, relaxing space in the backyard for spring and summer days. 

Give your lungs some fresh air and your skin some Vitamin D (don’t forget sunscreen!). Go for a walk around your neighborhood. Don’t live in a walkable neighborhood? Drive to the nearest park to move your feet. There could be people around so you won’t feel alone or you can choose to listen to music so you won’t be bothered. And if you want to take a break, sit under a tree for some shade and do some breathing exercises

Focus on self-care

My therapist asked me during one of our sessions when I last put myself first, and I couldn’t answer her question — because I couldn’t remember! So she told me I had to make taking care of myself my number one priority, whatever that may look like: journaling, face masks, hot baths, a glass of wine, reading a book, taking a day off work, meditating, setting boundaries, and much more. 

You are your first priority. Look out for yourself and focus on your needs during this time. You could even consider making it a challenge

Most importantly, take it day by day (or minute by minute)

How long does it take to get over a heartbreak? That all depends on the individual — you’ll have your good and bad days. There is no timeline for when you’ll fully heal from this, but you will heal and it will take time. Days, weeks, months, or even years. So don’t compare your heartbreak to someone else’s. We’re all trying to get through life, and you can’t go through it without pain. 

It may feel like you’re going through hell. But remember that we all have a fire inside of us, and that fire burns brighter than the one you’re currently walking through.

Creators:
Makaela Douglas
Published:
December 14, 2023
July 3, 2023
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