5 Steps in Healing a Broken Heart
Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Amongst the emotions of being heartbroken, this process might feel impossible depending on where you are with your steps of grief (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, acceptance). The past couple of months, I have been healing from a broken heart in more ways than one. I am not only working through a break up, but I also lost my job a month ago. It's been a struggle of loss, and naturally, this all started the day after my birthday in November and throughout the holidays. So, while many are traveling, enjoying time away, and with loved ones, I've been simultaneously crying myself to sleep while trying to pick up the pieces and do something about it. I knew what I needed to do to start achieving my career goals, having some fun, and shaking it off to start a new chapter. Easier said than done of course.
I dislike all of the down time, but it's allowed me to work through all of the emotions and not judge myself when I suddenly start crying while doing dishes. And now I am finally putting more time and effort into what I love most, which is impacting others, writing and creation, social and emotional intelligence, and self-improvement. The fact that my blog is up and running, and I'm able to share with you all is making my heart the happiest.
Every heartbreak is different and for me personally, this break up was especially difficult for me to process because it wasn't due to a fading of feelings, not feeling the same way, or determining we didn't have a future together for whatever reason. Our break up is due to timing. At the end of the day, I have to choose not judge myself for the pain I feel from losing my best friend and take every small step forward possible so that each day feels even just a sliver closer to healing. The negative self-talk gotsta go.
1) Feel how you feel when you feel it.
This is definitely the INFJ in me, but the healing won't begin if you just suppress what you're feeling. Everyone has to work through this on their own terms, but the longer you suppress, the more you're just a sitting duck to the inevitable and you're probably going to explode (or implode) in some way down the road. This isn't healthy. It's hard to collapse into our feelings. It's not the easy thing, but it is the thing that's best for your next relationship, for all of your loved ones around you, and for your healing process. If you don't release the pain it will come back in another form, potentially more painful.
2) Do all the things you love most and take care of yourself.
Put yourself first and do things that make you happy - like how my blog and sharing with you all makes me happy. Workout. Read that dusty book on your shelf you seem to keep not making time for. Cook. Clean out your closet (get rid of all of things that remind you of them!). Write or journal. Do that thing on your to-do list you've been procrastinating. Grab a drink with your best friend. Take a bath. Put on a face mask.
You got this.
3) Train your thoughts.
There will be darker moments than others. Some days it will be harder to wake up and get out of bed than others. If you train your thoughts in these moments so you KEEP GOING, you'll remember the power of your thoughts. Do you miss them desperately? Do just want to hear their voice? Do you just want to go see them? Do you want to text them? And then does your mind wonder and hope they aren't moving on and meeting someone else before you? In these moments when you go down a rabbit hole, you have to be able to shift your focus, train these thoughts, and shift them positively. If you call them, they GET to hear your voice. If you text them, they get to see your name come up on their phone. If you go see them, they get to see how WELL you're doing. Remember how spectacular and beautiful you are inside and out. If they broke up with you, no matter the circumstances, when they did that, they eliminated every right to deserve any of the above. If they can't prioritize you, pick up the phone, put in the effort, be what you need, express their love, whatever the matter then why should you be putting any effort? In these moments, as harsh as it sounds, I have to slap my wrist, snap out of it, and ask politely for my self-respect back please.
I know not all of us like to write as much as me, but it's therapeutic for everyone. Write down what you learned from this relationship, even if it's just quick bullet points. Write down your deal-breakers, like-to-haves, and must-haves for your next relationship. Write down casual questions you'd love to ask the next person you date. I think it helps to get all of your thoughts outside of your head and then use that as personal power to move forward and think about how your next relationship is going to be stronger because you learned all of this valuable insight on yourself and what you want.
5) Don't forget to slowly but surely still put yourself out there in some way.
Heartbreak can feel lonely. I haven't wanted anyone to feel burdened by my temporary sadness, so I tend to keep to myself. I don't want anyone to have to deal with my tears and sadness. The people you consider your true loved ones want to listen, they want to help however they can. So say yes to that happy hour, say yes to trying that free month of Class Pass and going with a friend, stay active, get out of your apartment/house, and say yes to trying that new bar/restaurant/coffee shop, and keep going. You. Are. Not. Alone. Most have experienced a difficult period in their life of some kind, but this too shall pass.
If you'd like to share your love loss story with me to help with #4, I'd love to hear it. Maybe none of these resonate because of the phase of grief you're in, but you will get there. You don't have to do it alone. Reach out to someone who knows you best. This past month would have been impossible without new and old friends.