The pain of a broken heart is acute and can be long-lasting. No matter how many times your friends try to persuade you that, it’s time to move on or how often your mom or sister starts digging to find out if you’re dating again, getting over a failed romance can be profoundly difficult. But it can be done.
The hints and tips below can be used to help if you’re struggling to come to terms with a difficult break-up or a lost love. Above all, though, be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate this process, and know that, in time, you will come through the other side stronger than ever before.
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If you’ve been struggling for some time with trying to move on after a heartbreak, then it may be wise to consider counseling. A course of in-person sessions or online therapy can help you to come to terms with what has happened and develop strategies to cope with your emotions. Simply talking through your feelings can have immense positive benefits for your mind and body and can help to get you back on track again.
Online therapy offers a convenient and often cost-effective way to access the support you need and begin the process of healing.
Get Your Emotions Out
To let go of all the feelings swirling around that are connected to the breakup, you first need to fully experience and process them. So, give yourself some time to connect – totally – with how you feel. Let yourself cry, be angry, and grieve. If it would help, write a letter: this isn’t to send but to expunge your emotions and to get everything out physically on paper.
Call on friends, if it would help, and speak openly about how you’re feeling with them; you may be reluctant to ‘lean’ on them, but, believe me, they want to help you.
Be Mindful When it Comes To Your Thoughts
Getting and staying in control of your mind is one of the most powerful things you can do to move on from a difficult break-up. Notice your thoughts and their patterns. If your emotions spike, for example, at certain times of the day when you would usually be in touch with your ex, then recognize this and label it for what it is – and then take steps to distract yourself.
To help with this mental ‘decluttering,’ physically remove items that trigger memories: take down pictures of the two of you together, put gifts that he/she gave you out of sight, and resist scrolling back through reams of past messages.
Resist Internet Stalking
It’s entirely normal and natural to feel the temptation to track your ex’s movements and doings by checking his or her social media accounts. However, this can quickly lead to compulsively looking at their feeds and create a spiral of negative feelings.
It’s vital to understand that nothing good can come from internet stalking your ex. There’s a high chance that you could see a post or photo that will cause you distress or confusion. The best thing to do – however hard it is – is to unfriend or unfollow them across all their social media accounts. Block them if you have to.
Have a plan in place for whenever you feel the urge to check up on them: whether that’s to phone a friend who’s on stand-by, jog around the block, or treat yourself to a bit of online retail therapy, the main thing is to resist the temptation to look at their profile.
Find Yourself Again
This one may be a bit of a cliche, but you know what they say: cliches are cliches for a reason. Often, when we’re in a long-term or serious relationship, we can gradually let slide the things and hobbies we used to enjoy that gave meaning to our lives and made us….us.
If you’re struggling with a difficult break-up, one of the best ways to start getting back on your feet is to revisit some of these lost passions. Perhaps you used to enjoy painting, attending a weekly aerobics class with your best friend, or were a festival fiend. Whatever you used to love doing, take it up again. As well as giving you a healthy dose of the feel-goods, this will also give you a new, healthy focus.
And When You’re Ready to Move On…Move On
There is no right or wrong time when it comes to moving on. It’s important to resist any pressure that may be put on you to get out there on the dating scene before you’re ready. But, similarly, if you feel like dating again could be right for you, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a go: you’ll know in your heart if it’s the right time.
When you are ready to date again, take the pressure off yourself: go into each date with an open mind but without an expectation that this person could be ‘the one.’ And you never know, after all the heartache, and when you least expect it, love could well come calling for you again.