It always breaks my heart when I hear that a couple has decided to call it quits. Blame it on my compassionate nature or on the fact that I truly believe that there are few obstacles in a relationship that can’t be overcome if both partners are committed to each other.
But,not every relationship will make it to the finish line.
We have all been there. You dated someone you loved or thought you loved and now it’s over due to what you think is no fault of your own. You feel rejected, alone and abandoned. And, just as deeply as you loved him or her when things were great, you are now hurting to that same degree. Time does heal your heart and soul; however, there’s much you can do — both on your own and with the help of others — to navigate through the emotion that now consumes you.
Here are some tips to help you through your break up:
#1 Accept the situation.
Don’t look at it from the sidelines or pretend it’s not really happening to you. Accept it for what it is no matter how much it hurts. Allow for the reality of the breakup to come to the surface. Only then can you deal with it head on and begin to heal.
#2 Feel the feelings.
Don’t avoid your feelings, don’t stuff them inside yourself and don’t pretend they don’t exist. Feel them full on. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like yelling and screaming, do that, but do that in the privacy of your own home. If you feel like hitting a pillow, go ahead and do that, too. You need to work out your feelings by expressing them. Bottling up your feelings just makes them more damaging and painful. That being said, always make sure you’re in a safe place and that you are not harming or inconveniencing others when doing so.
#3 Avoid blame.
Avoid blaming yourself or the other person. A break up does not mean that you or your former partner was bad. It doesn’t mean that God or some other supernatural power hates you. This is part of life; things happen in life and bad things happen to good people – and all the time! Don’t go down the path of blame. It’s a waste of time and energy. It will never accomplish anything and will leave you bitter and angry – possibly escalating into more unhappiness as toxic energy can take on a life of its own.
#4 Restructure your daily life.
After a breakup, you’ll find you have a lot of extra time in your day. Once you’ve passed through the initial shock of the situation and have regained some semblance of stability in your life, it’s time to consciously reschedule your life.
The best way to start is to make a list of things you enjoy doing. Include a list with at least two columns – one for things you like to do with others and another for things you like to do by yourself. This list will serve you well when you find yourself sitting alone, possibly bored, out of ideas and wondering what to do next. You won’t need to wonder anymore because you’ll have your handy list to consult.
Another possibility is that you can use this significant time of change to completely restructure how you run your life. Maybe you’ll incorporate some permanent new habits — like daily workouts. Perhaps you’ll start a company on the side or add volunteering to your regularly scheduled activities. Or, maybe you’ll dive into a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. By engaging in new experiences, not only will you enrich your life, you’ll be opening yourself up to opportunities to meet new people.
#5 Schedule your downtime.
Don’t spend every minute of your day pining over your loss. Life’s too short. Instead, set a scheduled time each day when you can focus on just feeling bad, crying or journaling about what happened to you. There’s nothing wrong with spending time feeling sad and dejected about your breakup – just set some limits around it so it doesn’t consume your life. Remember, the more you repeat something in your life, the more deeply it gets programmed into your way of being – thus underscoring the importance of positive thinking over its undesirable alternative!
Once you’ve completed your “downtime” for the day, it’s time to turn to more productive activities – like focusing on your family, your job and other important responsibilities and interests in your life. This is a time when you need to exercise great self-discipline.
Don’t allow your mind to wander back to thoughts about your breakup when you’re supposed to be doing other things. Be present to the moment and contain your “downtime” to specific times of the day or week. Before you know it, you won’t even be looking forward to that time as you will have replaced it with more productive things that bring you happiness and joy.
Whatever you do, do not schedule your “downtime” any time during the last 4 or 5 hours of your day as you don’t want any negativity seeping into your subconscious during your sleep. Always end your day with positive, happy and upbeat thoughts as you close your eyes for the night.
#6 Reconnect with friends and family.
More often than not, your primary relationship can actually divert your attention from other core relationships you have with your family and friends. It’s completely understandable as you only have so much time in a day. Often, it’s only when a significant relationship ends that you discover how you’ve been neglecting all the other important people in your life!
Now is a great time to think about reconnecting with others. Friends and family can provide great healing and comfort as you can focus your attention on their lives rather than your own. A change of pace and environment is good for you!
Call up your girl or guy friends. Plan some monthly gatherings or find activities you can share. Explore activities in your local community or search online for other casual meeting groups. Not only can this be a great time to connect with people you know, it’s an opportunity to meet new people as well. Staying involved with others keeps your thoughts externalized and grounded in reality.
#7 Understand and internalize three key principles about relationships:
Principle #1: There is someone in the world just for you. In fact, there are probably many “someone’s”! Do the math. With over 7 billion people in the world, there are many individuals with whom you can co-create a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship. Don’t think that you’re going to spend the rest of your life alone. Being alone or single or married is a decision. You, and only you, decide what you want for your life.
Principle #2: It takes time to heal. Give yourself time and space. There is no running time clock when it comes to healing just as there is no deadline for meeting, dating and creating committed relationships. Go at the speed that’s right for you. Avoid jumping into another relationship until you’re clear, both mentally and emotionally, of the one that just ended. It’s best for you and is thoughtful and respectful of the next person with whom you get involved.
Principle #3: Life rewards actions. You create and script the life you desire by the feelings you feel, the thoughts you think and the actions you take. You can design it any way you wish. You are a powerful being! Take action! Stagnation will only keep you stuck where you are.
Healing is a Journey
The fastest and easiest way to work through your breakup is by dealing with it in a grounded and conscious way. Try out some of these tips to help your heart to begin to heal. Enjoy the journey – all of it. Whether traversing a valley or scaling a mountain, all of your experiences come together to make you a unique and precious individual. Move forward, step-by-step and at a pace that works just for you. Before you know it, this troubled time will have passed and you’ll be on to life’s next great adventure.