How to Deal with Heartbreak in 5 Easy Steps

Having your heart broken can make you feel hopelessly isolated and alone. After all, the person you always trusted to support you no matter what is now gone, and you have no idea where to turn. The pain can feel unbearable at times, but taking proactive steps can help you cope. While nothing will help as much as simply giving yourself time to heal, follow these 5 steps to find a sense of balance and a renewed purpose to your life.1. Go No Contact

No Contact is a technique for completely removing your former partner from your life. It is a harsh, drastic, but necessary step in the healing process. To go No Contact, block the person’s phone number, delete her from your social media, and make the necessary changes to avoid running into your former partner in person. Resist the urge to swing by his house, to drunk dial her after a night out, or to ask mutual friends how he is doing.

No Contact allows you to focus on yourself and your own healing process. Many breakups are followed by lengthy periods of messy conversations, feelings of guilt, and bouts of jealousy. With No Contact, you get to work through your feelings and thoughts without involving the person who just broke your heart.

For many people, their partner is also their best friend. Even if the relationship doesn’t work out, it is only natural to want the friendship to continue. In the long run, this is certainly possible, but it requires both of you to let go of the lingering romantic feelings and the pain of the breakup, and build a brand-new type of relationship. This is most easily accomplished through the No Contact process.

How long to remain No Contact is a highly personal decision. If you have a long history as friends punctuated by a short, doomed relationship, a few weeks might be plenty. If your relationship was long and serious, it might take months or even years before you are ready to make contact. Some people never make contact again. If you decide to move out of No Contact, reach out slowly, and respect the fact that your former partner might not be ready to talk to you.

2. Find a Support Network

The isolation that follows a messy breakup can be wrenching. Yet heartbreak is arguably one of the most common experiences among the human race. Find someone you trust who is willing to let you confide in him or her. Some people choose a relative or close friend, while others prefer a professional counselor.

In addition to your primary support person, line up a few others as backup. You might not choose to confide everything in your secondary support lineup, but they should be reliable people who you can always call on when you are feeling overwhelmed. This gives your primary support person a break and helps you realize your own worth by showing you that you are valuable to others.

3. Maintain Your Routine

In the days and weeks following your heartbreak, you will probably feel like shutting down. Grief tends to make people sad, overwhelmed, anxious, and wary of putting themselves out there. However, hiding in your home with a gallon of ice cream can actually make you feel worse, especially if you put your finances or future in jeopardy by skipping work or school.

Make a list of the things you normally do each week, from your job to your workout routine. Your list might include some things that overwhelmingly remind you of your ex. Cross off those items, along with any optional activities that are mentally exhausting. Then make a pledge to yourself to continue doing everything else on your list.

Maintaining your routine will help you return a sense of normalcy to your life. You will realize how much support you have, and staying busy will help time pass more quickly. Over the weeks and months that follow, you might find that you have a full and even happy life without your ex.

4. Try New Activities

We all make compromises when we are in a relationship. Are you a foodie, but your ex hated dining out? Perhaps you love dancing the night away, but your former partner was in bed by 9 p.m. Take advantage of your newfound freedom to try the things you had been putting off in deference to your partner.

If the two of you did everything together, this is the perfect time to learn to do things on your own. Book a solo trip to your favorite destination, take yourself out to dinner, or see a new movie. These activities remind you that you are a competent, capable person who does not need a partner to complete your life.

5. Be Kind to Yourself

No matter how strong or stoic you generally are, heartbreak is devastating. If you don’t give yourself time to work through it, you will end up suppressing feelings that could surface months or even years in the future. Be gentle with yourself rather than trying to soldier on like it doesn’t matter. Allow your feelings to come, and work through them rather than trying to stop them.

Cry in the shower, write angry letters to your ex (but don’t send them!), and get some extra sleep. Give yourself permission to listen to whatever music and watch whatever movies you choose, and make peace with the fact that the laundry or housekeeping might slide for awhile. Treat yourself as the valuable, important, worthwhile person you are, and soon you will start to realize that you deserve someone who will treat you equally well.

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