If you think you can’t survive your breakup, you’re wrong. It will take time, but you will be happy again – because survival brings acceptance.
“From the first moment that you have the wind knocked out of you by hearing in one way or another that the relationship is over, you must ruthlessly prioritize doing as little as possible,” writes Delphine Hirsh in The Girls’ Guide to Surviving a Break-Up. “By that I mean you must accept that you are in shock and that you should expect nothing from yourself other than to keep breathing.”
If you’re still in shock over the breakup, give yourself time to heal. If you can’t seem to break free from the past, read Letting Go of Someone You Love — it offers 75 tips from psychologists, life coaches, and counselors.
And, use one or all ten of these ten tips for healing your broken heart…
10 Tips for Surviving When Your Relationship Ends
Sniff your way to happiness
Michelle Schoffro Cook, author of The Brain Wash, says, “Natural scents have a direct pathway to the brain and research shows that some chemical constituents of aromatherapy oils, particularly…sesquiterpenes can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase oxygen flow to the brain.” Extra oxygen in your brain increases energy, immune function, learning, attitude and positive emotions…all of which you need if your relationship ends!
Soak in classical, easy listening or rock ‘n roll music
Faster, major keys cool your brain, which lifts your mood and helps you stay happy after heartbreak. You know what songs work for you: find music from a different, happier era of your life. Don’t know what to listen to? Read The Best Songs for Broken Hearts.
If you don’t think listening to music will help you survive a breakup, try learning a new instrument.
Paint, arrange photographs, sculpt, or draw
Making art strengthens your sense of self and contributes to feelings of normalcy. Plus, it’s relaxing to focus on being creative — and it’ll help you survive a breakup by distracting you from your emotions. Creativity increases serotonin levels and reduces stress; it also improves blood pressure and heart rate. Anything artistic can help create you create a new identity and even let go of someone you love.
Skip the evening news – your relationship breakup is depressing enough
Ongoing exposure to depressing, negative information can make you paranoid, anxious and physically unhealthy – and the news will not keep you happy after heartbreak. Skipping the evening news will help you produce fewer stress-related hormones that contribute to high blood pressure, depression, digestive disorders, and a weaker immune system. The healthier you are, the faster you’ll survive the breakup and start over after your relationship ends.
Get a massage – it does more than alleviate sore muscles
To survive a breakup, make sure you get lots of healthy touch! Emotional struggles, such as depression and eating disorders, are positively affected by massage because it reduces the amount of cortisol in your system and promotes an overall sense of well-being. According to the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba, “massage promotes elimination of waste products, improves flow of nutrients to body tissues, and increases circulation to all parts of the body.” The healthier and happier you feel, sooner you’ll break free from the past.
Imagine a bright, loving, hopeful future
Guided imagery involves three steps: 1) relaxing; 2) focusing on pain; 3) replacing painful feelings with healthy images. Visualizing what you want your future to look like can help you achieve your goals – and it floods your body with positive chemicals and feelings. Most physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms are affected by your thoughts and attitude; positive images can help when he says he doesn’t love you anymore.
Eat broccoli (a surprising way to survive a breakup!)
Eating nutritiously and taking care of your body is difficult when you’re in pain or grieving – but it’s when you’re down and out that your body needs nutrition the most. Avoid refined sugar, heavy meats, processed foods, and caffeine because they make you feel sluggish and tired, which will not help you survive a broken relationship – especially if you’ve split up with your partner. Eat fish, whole grains, raw nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, wild rice and of course plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Explore museums and solve crossword puzzles
Using your brain to get into the flow of an activity – whether it’s exploring an art gallery or solving a Sudoku puzzle – will help you escape the painful feelings and let go of someone you love (even if it’s just for a short time). When you’re focused on a puzzle or intellectual pursuit you’re not thinking about your pain or ex-partner. This tip for surviving a break up may even help you meet new people.
Dig into your spirituality – it increases optimism and positive feelings
Pursuing spirituality within a group (a church or synagogue, for instance) increases your social support system, coping skills, and self-image. Recently, researchers found that even people who pray online have fewer negative emotions and higher levels of well-being. If you’re surviving a breakup, try connecting to God or the universe. You’ll feel less fearful and anxious, which will improve your health and immune system.
Strive for balance (it’s the key to emotional and physical health)
If you’re frantically juggling personal, professional, volunteer and social activities, there’s no doubt that your emotional health will suffer and you’ll have a hard time surviving a breakup. Overdoing it can also include spending too much time alone watching tv, lying in bed, or snoozing. Balance means leaving work or volunteer duties to spend time with family and friends – or pulling away from family and friends to read, walk, or pursue a new hobby. When your relationship ends, you need to take care of yourself by adding balance to your life.
Sometimes writing about how you’re surviving your breakup can make you feel better, because writing is great therapy! Feel free to share your experience below.
How to Get Your Ex Back
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.