How to Heal a Broken Heart

Last year I went through a painful breakup that I was certain would destroy me. I spent years with this person and an in instant, it was all gone. I was left with what felt like nothing but a broken heart and memories. I couldn’t sleep without seeing my significant other’s face. I couldn’t go to work without having a breakdown. I was drowning in depression and the only way I knew to cope was through sex and alcohol.

Over time I started to get serious about healing and I began putting the pieces of my heart back together. I stopped using sex and alcohol to cope and I started actually dealing with what was going on in my head and heart.

Getting your heart broken can make you feel like you never want to love again but most people eventually move on. At the time, it’s one of the worst things to experience. Mending a broken heart takes time and it won’t be easy. Once you start doing the work to heal, you will be able to see things from a different perspective.

11 Tips For Healing A Broken Heart

1. Grieve

Grieve, feel the pain, and let it go. When you’re struggling with heartbreak, you must give yourself permission to grieve. There’s no specific way to grieve so it’ll look different for everyone.

Remember you have to feel in order to heal. Experiencing heartbreak can still be a loss and with that loss, you need to work through it so that you can move on.

I experienced a lot of loss between my breakup last year and losing two of my closest friends. My therapist often reminds me to sit with my feelings and reassures me that the feelings I have surrounding the ending of these relationships is normal.

2. Delete them from social media

I can’t stress how important this is especially in the beginning. It may be tempting to want to keep up with them, but this can do more harm than good.

Imagine remaining friends with your ex on social media and logging on only to see them posting about someone new. That’s like adding salt to an open wound.

After my breakup, I blocked my ex on everything for a while. This helped me because before blocking him I was constantly checking his page. You don’t need to keep up with what they’re doing. Removing them from your social media can still be helpful even if you don’t block them.

3. Practice self-care

After a breakup, it’s important to do things that nurture you. Of course, at first, you may do nothing more than stay in bed bawling your eyes out. There was one time a few years ago I got my heart broken by my ex-girlfriend and I couldn’t eat or sleep for days. All I could do was wallow in my sorrow.

Yes, you need to give yourself time to sit with your pain but eventually, you have to get back up and put the pieces of your heart back together. It’s also important to keep in mind that self-care isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it’s doing the things we’ve been neglecting like cleaning up or bathing.

Some ways you can practice self-care include:

  • Cooking a healthy meal
  • Taking a shower or washing up in the sink if showering feels too big a burden
  • Going outdoors
  • Doing something that brings you joy
  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Journaling

4. Do things you enjoy

One of the best ways to move on is by making time for the things you love. You’ll likely have more time on your hands now so why not spend it doing things that make you happy?

5. Meditate

Meditating is a great form of self-care and can be very healing. I owe some of my healing after my breakup to meditation. It gave me a chance to be still with my painful feelings and eventually release them.

I recommend trying guided meditations if you’re a beginner. You can find meditations for healing on YouTube or apps like Insight Timer. 

Check out this post I wrote for other meditation tips.

6. Journal

Making time to journal about your breakup and express yourself can help you heal. Writing in a journal can help you cope with any depression you’re feeling as well as give you clarity about what occurred. Writing can be extremely healing if you allow it to. Dig deep and don’t hold back.

7. Date yourself

This is something I wish I would’ve done sooner. Dating yourself is a great way to build your relationship with yourself. Experiencing heartbreak can leave you feeling unlovable and dating yourself allows you to fall in love with who you are.

You can start by creating a list of date ideas and taking yourself to try new things. Buy yourself gifts or your favorite flowers and write yourself love letters. Treat yourself how you’d treat a partner and make sure you’re prioritizing yourself. Find happiness in being single.

8. Read books and listen to podcasts

Reading self-help books and listening to encouraging podcasts can be helpful during this time. Self-help books provide you with the chance to do some inner work. Listening to podcasts is not only entertaining but the right podcast can support you in processing your emotions.

9. Find a support system

Let the people close to you know about your breakup and tell them how they can support you. You don’t have to go through this heartache alone. Your support system will be there to uplift you when you need it.

10. Seek therapy

It’s ok if you need professional help. Working with a therapist can help you get through your grief and painful emotions. They’ll also be able to help you find positive ways to cope.

11. Don’t date until you’re genuinely ready

You may want to go on the rebound right away but this will stall your healing process. You need to give yourself time to move on from your last relationship before starting something new. I can’t tell you how much I regret going on the rebound after my breakup. What I thought was helping me was only hurting me. I wasn’t dealing with the pain, I was numbing it. Don’t do that to yourself. Give yourself a chance to heal.

Heartbreak is inevitable. Remember to extend compassion towards yourself during this time. Don’t spend too much time beating yourself up. It’s ok to be down but you can’t stay there forever. You will get through this and mend your broken heart.

Don’t rush your healing journey because it’s not something you can put a time frame on. Remember that recovering from heartbreak allows you to love yourself back to whole.

Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash

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