Breaking up sucks. There isn’t any point in sugarcoating it – the end of something that once felt so right is utterly devastating. Heart, Mind, Soul; it hurts everywhere.
If you’ve been there, you know the pain. I don’t need to try and put into words something that is so hard to describe adequately. And in all truth, there isn’t much utility in dwelling there. Ultimately, you have to pick yourself up, keep functioning, and start somehow, moving forward.
Here are 5 things that can help pull you up out of the heartache and start focusing you on the future. They are tips that can help lighten your mood, and get you starting to believe in the magic of life again.
• Search for the Joy
One of the first thing to do when recovering from heartache is anything that sparks a sense of joy in you. Nurture and tend to your broken heart by crowding out the pain with as much joy as you can.
Life can feel pretty bleak when what we had pictured as our future changes drastically and suddenly. But just because your expectations, hopes or dreams have been forever altered, doesn’t mean you can’t still seek and find joy in the tiniest moments.
Start with the journal prompt: What brings me Joy?
It might be friends, comedy shows, hot baths, reading your favorite magazine, music, cheesecake, cheesy movies. We’re all different, and our hearts will all crave different things. Tune into yourself, and listen to what will help your heart.
Make it your mission to do as many of these things as you possibly can over the coming weeks. Prioritize joy and consciously fill your days and weeks up with things that make you smile.
If you need more direction, head over here where I give more detailed advice on creating joy and self-care lists.
• Let it Go [Don’t Fight What Is]
This sounds almost offensively impossible and far too simple. I hear ya.
Start by listening to India Arie’s beautiful heartbreak song: Just Let it Go from her album Songversation Medicine. It’s a beautiful anthem that will help you honor your pain, while simultaneously helping you remember you have the power to heal yourself and just letting it go, inch by inch. It gives me tingles every.single.time I hear it.
Letting go is characterized by no longer fighting what is. It’s a practice of acceptance.
We deepen our pain when we fight reality, and want things to be different. If we can move towards a space of accepting that what is, it lightens the load we carry. Acceptance gives us room to breathe and frees up the space to start moving forward.
To help you stay focused on letting go, I encourage you to use a mantra. One of my favorites for working through heartbreak: Nothing that is truly meant for me will ever miss me.
Others that might work for you:
- All is in right order. I am right where I am supposed to be.
- Everything is happening for me, not to me.
- Even if I can’t see it now, this is for my highest good.
Keep your chosen mantras close. Read them frequently. You may put notes on your computer, on your bathroom mirror, write them at the top of your journal, or make a screensaver. Read them often to reinforce the positive thoughts. They will support you in gently letting go, and stopping the internal fight against what is.
• Journal Your Heart Out
Even if you’re not one to usually journal out your thoughts, when your mind is jumbled, confused, and reeling in the pain of heartache, journaling can be one of the best ways to let it all out.
There is no judgment in your private journal, only pages ready to have your pain poured out onto. Writing is one of the best ways to clarify what you’re thinking, recognize what hurts, and also tap into your higher self or the wisdom that lies within you.
If you feel stuck on where to start, here are some journal prompts that you can use every.single.day if you need a nudge to get the words flowing. It’s important not to judge your feelings and emotions, just simply let the words flow.
- Why am I hurting today?
- What felt good today?
- What didn’t I realize at the time that now seems clear?’
- What advice would my future-self give me right now?
• What do you need from a Partner?
One of the most powerful exercises I have ever done was writing out my vision for what I wanted in a future partner. This exercise will help you avoid falling into the trap of not getting what you want and need out of your next relationship.
As someone who hasn’t always had the best boundaries in relationships, this helped me be accountable to myself and become very clear on what was, and what was not ok in a romantic partnership. A total cliche I know, but I did go on to find the partner I hoped for when I created this vision. It works!
Don’t be afraid to be REALLY honest with yourself, even if some of your things feel a little ridiculous. It’s your private list. There are no rules. Write your needs and expectations for a future partner using the following headings:
- Absolute Must Haves
- Like to Haves
- Not Keen On
- Absolute Knockouts (red flags – back away! Do not move past Go.)
I found this exercise in the book – If Love is a Game, These are the Rules – by Cherie Carter Scott. It is an excellent read if you’re looking to dive deeper.
• Create a Sleep Routine
You cannot underestimate the how emotional energy can physically exhaust us. When you’re heartbroken, fragile and feeling emotionally wrecked, you’re probably also going to feel physically shattered. That is ok, and rather than fight it, do what you can to gently nurture your human body and soul.
The reason I think this point is even more important is that when we’re feeling heartbroken many of us struggle to sleep. The one thing we need more than anything eludes us. Typically it’s because of loud thoughts that we can’t shut off at will.
To set yourself up for success, try your best to stick to a healthy sleep routine. It starts with trying to go to bed at around the same time each evening. Your sleep routine cloud also include:
- Having a warm shower or bath before bed
- Enjoying a cup of herbal tea an hour before bed (maybe chamomile?)
- Reading an uplifting book while you relax off to sleep (something to keep your mind busy, but not thinking too hard)
- or, using a sleep meditation from apps such as Calm or Headspace.
What you should avoid in your sleep routine, is journaling. Trying to sleep immediately after pouring your heart out into your journal can encourage even more of the loud thoughts, especially if you haven’t fully worked them through yet. Do your best to put some separation between your mental “thinking” time and your “physical” need for your body to relax and shut off.
It’s ok to hurt. It’s ok not to be ready to immediately move on. And it’s ok to feel lost. Heartbreak sucks. These 5 action points will give you something practical to focus on, however, as you start moving through the pain.
And above all else, trust that what is truly yours will never ever miss you.
If you’re craving inspiration and want to hear me talk through these points to reinforce them even more, listen to the Here to Thrive Podcast. Episode #49 walks you through these points.
Want more tips on how to be happy? Click here to sign up and receive a free mini guide with 8 Tips on How to Thrive in Life.
Hi. I’m Kate Snowise. I’m a Life Coach and host of the Here to Thrive Podcast. I help people get clear on what they want, need and crave, and then helps them take the steps to move towards that.
I believe life is about more than surviving and being good enough. Each of us truly has the ability to thrive and live a beautiful, aligned life where we remember and connect with our authentic selves. I have an MSc in Psychology (the positive kind that concentrates on what is right with you). To read more about my signature coaching program The Thriving Life Project click here.