If your heart is broken, all you probably want to do is stay in – hidden under a blanket, playing Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing compares 2 u’ over and over again. There are things that will help you more, though.
Heartbreak is one of the worst things in the world, and unfortunately there’s no magical pill that can solve it. There are no quick fixes, no standard protocols you can follow to make the nagging feeling disappear. If you could, you would stay under a blanket for the next couple of years. It seems impossible that you will ever be happy again (on your own or with another partner).
The most painful thing about this is missing someone who used to play such an important part in your life. It seems like there’s a hole where they once were. A hole that can’t be filled easily, a hole that makes you feel cold. What to do now, how to handle the feeling? Here’s a few options.
Welcome the feeling
One of the most important, yet most difficult things in times of heartbreak is simply acknowledging and accepting your feelings. Don’t push loneliness or sadness away, but feel them (and express yourself). Call someone you trust to talk about it, yell or scream. Everything beats running away from it and drinking, eating or smoking too much.
Pick up your life, but don’t overdo it
No matter how much you want to stay in, don’t. It’s unlikely to make you feel better. Just go to work and meet friends, but don’t push yourself into biting off more than you can chew. Distraction is fine, but too much of it means walking away from your feelings.
Do things that require a mental or physical effort
Scrolling through Instagram endlessly or hanging on the couch isn’t the best thing you can do right now. Pick activities that require a mental or physical effort. It doesn’t matter what – from reading books to making a puzzle to exercising to taking a yoga class or going for a walk. Whatever you pick, make sure it’s an activity you actually enjoy. It makes it easier to turn off the ‘I miss them’ thoughts, because your brain needs the focus for other things. At the same time, it’s a reminder that you can enjoy things without them.
Challenge yourself by learning to do new things
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do for months, but didn’t have the guts to do? This is the time to take action. Don’t have a plan? It’s still a good idea to take up something new. Buy new clothes or paint a wall in your home. Introducing new things in your life will bring renewed energy. It will make you see that life is still worthwhile.
Text: Joanne Wienen - Photo: Brooke Cagle