Everybody Hurts Sometimes: 6 Tips for Dealing with Heartbreak
Getting your heart broken is horrible, and unfortunately medicine has still not produced an overnight cure. Methods for getting over heartbreak can vary, but most can agree that embarking on a bender and then sending very regrettable text messages that alternate between trying to hurt and trying to reconcile with the heartbreaker is not the best way to go about it. So while there’s no cure, there are some things you can do to take the edge off, and we’ve listed our favorite six below.
Whether your long term relationship has come to a close or you just got ghosted by your crush, we have tips for getting through heartbreaks of any size with as little mess as possible.
1. Make some space
While some people recommend setting fire to everything that reminds you of your ex and sowing the ground with the ashes and salt, we generally believe that boxing all those mementos up will probably be fine. Out of sight, out of mind. If there are things to return or get back, do it as soon as possible and make sure everything is together so you don’t need to awkwardly ask for it back.
Of course, in this digital age, a lot of what is going to remind you of your ex is online. Whether you’ve left things amicably or not, it is a good idea to block them on social media for a while. Don’t check their twitter feed or facebook either; it’s only going to make you feel like you’re still connected. Instagram has a great feature for breakups where you can archive all your pics together so that they’re not on your profile anymore, but you still have them until you’re ready to delete them. Sometimes it’s nice to save those memories, and other times it’s not. If you were in a cyclical and unhealthy pattern with this partner, it’s probably best to delete them altogether. Go ahead and delete their number from your phone too (you can make a friend save it for you if you actually need to communicate with them later on).
2. Let it out…
The key to dealing with heartache is this: don’t act like there’s nothing wrong. Admit your feelings and recognize their worth. It’s natural to be upset about losing part of your life. If you need to binge-watch your favorite movies (may we suggest Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?) with your best friend over a box of wine, fire up Netflix! If you want to cry and write out your feelings to sad music, absolutely do it. There are also a ton of sad song playlists, or horny playlists, on Spotify that you’ll be able to relate to.
3. …and then suck it up
While we won’t arbitrarily assign a length of time that you should let yourself wallow, we can guarantee that your friends will stop wanting to hear about it after a few short weeks because they know how capable you are of moving on and finding a better suited partner for you, if that’s what you want of course.
Look at this way. Even when you stop crying, you still feel sad, right? Well, you can leave the crying and wallowing phase without having progressed to feeling ‘fine.’ The healing process has a few steps and while expression of grief is normal and healthy, continuing to act out your sadness might actually start making you feel worse than you actually are, like a negative feedback loop. It’s good to break that cycle as soon as you recognize it.
4. Be Zen
Acceptance is a powerful tool, and one of the most important steps towards mending a broken heart. Sometimes it has to happen naturally: one day you just wake up and everything has sunk in and you feel… peaceful. But other times you can force it, you can make yourself enter that acceptance phase by realizing that, ultimately, the situation is now out of your control. A terrible thing has happened but that can’t be helped now. What matters now is how you pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
5. Get Moving
Work out. Be outdoors using your body. We aren’t going to make any assumptions about how often you were skipping the gym in favor of watching House of Cards with your significant other, but chances are now is a good time to start wearing yoga pants for actual exercise.
Not only will you be flooding your body with happy brain chemicals during your workout, looking good is going to make you feel confident and happy as well. Physical activity is also a fantastic way to regulate your sleep patterns when you might be anxious or stressed.
6. Get out there
Someone once said that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. While jumping feet first into a rebound relationship might not be the best idea, getting out of the house to do new things and meet new people will take your mind off things, and remind you what an awesome and capable person you are. You can try a new hobby, or even just start going to film clubs or trivia nights to get to know some new people. Get a glimpse of all the other fish in the sea, but don’t dive in head first! It’s tempting to rush into something new to distract you from your heartbreak, but in order to fully heal, you need to allow yourself time to get over things.
Whether you feel like some no strings sex is what the doctor ordered, then by all means! We will stress two important points though. Don’t jump into bed because it’s what your friends tell you should do or if you’re not sure you’re ready, and definitely be clear with your temporary friend what the deal is. You don’t need to tell them you’re going through a breakup, but this is not the time to take advantage of someone’s long time crush on you for an ego boost, or string along someone who is looking for something more.
We hope these six little pointers are hopeful to those reading this, and if any of our readers have any other valuable pieces of heartbreak advice, please do share them in the comments below!
Donna is a Volonté contributor and freelancer who lives in San Francisco with her understanding husband and not-so-understanding teenage sons. Her work has been published in The Journal of Sexology and she is currently writing a book on love languages.