Ways to mend a broken heart

At some stage in our life, we are going to experience a broken heart from a break-up with a partner. How do you move on from a broken heart?  Healing from a break-up takes time, as you deal with the grief around a life you once shared with your partner and possibly the grief of who you were as a partner. 

There is no quick easy fix around getting over a broken heart, but there are things you can do to support yourself through the healing process and protect your emotional wellbeing, here are some ways:

Give yourself permission to grieve
Everyone experiences grief differently, there is no right nor wrong way. By honouring your grief over your break-up with your partner, allows you time to reflect on what was and come to accept a ‘new type of normal’ without a partner. Along with a break-up from an ex, comes the loss of other relationships like mutual friends and your ex’s family. It could also mean the loss of your current lifestyle and possibly future aspirations. Give yourself that time to adapt to the changes.

Take care of yourself
Good self-care involves taking care of your emotional, physical and mental health. Be kind and patient with yourself through every-day life tasks, eat nutritious food, do regular exercise, use strategies to cope with stress and maintain a supportive group of friends and family around you. There is such a condition called ‘broken heart syndrome’ where the heart temporarily enlarges due to stress and overwhelming emotions. Ensure you look after yourself and have plenty of rest.

Surround yourself with supportive positive people
Whilst it might be an easier option to withdraw, the best thing you can do is reach out to those whom you know will support and encourage you. Feeling that sense of belonging is crucial after the break-up, that’s why staying connected with your friends and loved ones is so important. Be mindful of the people you choose to confide in and seek out those who will have your back. If you need further support of a counsellor, reach out and find a therapist who you feel comfortable with to help you process your journey.

Give yourself time before dating again
Before putting yourself in the dating scene, make sure you feel emotionally strong and have some healthy boundaries. Going into another relationship quickly after a break-up could lead you to a rebound relationship and replacing your ex with someone else can bring you more heart-ache. Make sure you are well and truly past the break-up stage before getting involved with someone again.

Take a break from social media
The temptation to tap into social media and check out what your ex is doing can be hard to resist, but don’t do it. This could add more pain to your broken heart if you obsess about what your ex is up to. Have a break from social media, take time out and spend more time with your support group of friends, family and loved ones.  

Embrace change
Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to embrace and accept the changes in your life. As time moves on, you may find yourself only remembering the great times with your ex, but even if it wasn’t your choice to break-up, remember the relationship ended because it wasn’t working.

Linda Kelly offers counselling for those who seek support to help work through the complexities of their relationship break-up.  

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