Heartbreak doesn’t mean you’re broken: 7 ways to not let a breakup break you

Some suggestions for overcoming heartbreak and reclaiming your life after a breakup
By Esther D. Kustanowitz  Published on 09/14/2017 at 9:26 AM EDT

Heartbreak: we’ve all been there. For whatever reason, whoever is to blame, it didn’t work out. And you need time to recover. It might not happen quickly, but most people recover eventually. Until you reach “eventually,” here are some tips to help you get through tougher moments and generate some lighter ones. [Image source]

  1. Work your sense of humor. Whether it’s watching preposterous comedies or going to a karaoke bar with your bestie, humor is your friend. Especially in the bitter beginning of recovery, feel free to try sarcasm and hyperbole:  “This breakup is the worst thing to happen in the world since _______[horrible tragedy here that is in NO way worse than a breakup].” This mode isn’t for everyone, but as an exercise with yourself or a trusted friend, a version of “it could always be worse!” can be quite healing.
  2. Use reverse optimism. “I may be single, but at least I’m not_______.” “One of an infinite number of monkeys sitting at an infinite number of typewriters expected to type out Shakespeare.” “The President.” “In ISIS.” The more outrageous the better. Call a friend and play with them. Misery loves company, but in that company you can also find some lighter moments.
  3. Find a mantra. “I am smart.” “I am important.” “I have a voice in the world that is unique and needed.” “I will ignore the pettiness of other people.” “I cannot control how other people see me, but I can control how I see myself.” Find something that works for you, write it down and keep it somewhere visible (on your mirror, perhaps?) or close to you (in your pocket!): positive self-affirmation is ready whenever you need it.
  4. Feeling hopeless? Provide hope and support to others. You may not be able to do anything about how sad you feel, but you can lift the spirits of others by providing emotional support to friends, political support to causes you care about, or financial support to nonprofit organizations communities who need it.
  5. Nourish your spirit and your body. A glass of wine lifts the spirits temporarily, but alcohol is a depressant; chocolate is delicious, but has a lot of sugar. So exercise moderation to ensure it doesn’t descend into a pattern of emotional eating or excess drinking. Splurge on some exotic fruit like figs, mango, or fresh coconut, or zap some kale, apple and ginger in a Nutribullet. Sure, it ain’t chocolate chip cookies, but it’s closer to guilt-free.
  6. Use your phone ONLY AS A PHONE. Your smartphone isn’t always smart about knowing what you need. For instance, it might remind you that this day last year, you and your ex were walking in Central Park for hours and time stopped and you were in love and now you’re here and it didn’t and you hate everyone. Or you might see that your ex has changed status to “Single” and deleted every picture of the two of you.  You felt better before you knew all that, right? So set your phone to vibrate, deactivate notifications, delete apps if you need to, and use your phone ONLY AS A PHONE. (Yes, we double capped it. That’s how important we think it is.) Pro tip: Facebook has a mostly-unknown tool for helping you deal with your breakup in your Face-Space. Check it out here
  7. Seek out your people. Your tribe. Your girlfriends or your bros. Whether it’s one bestie or a whole posse, these are the folks who will move mountains or kidnap you for fro-yo. They – like all of us – have been there before and have come out the other side stronger. And they’ll get you there too.

We at GrokNation wish you a full and complete heart-recovery. And until then, we’re there if you need us. 🙂 Because our mantra (see #3 above!) is about YOU: You are smart. You are important, and you have a unique voice that’s needed in the world.

Grok With Us: Heartbreak

  • What are your tips for dealing with heartbreak?
  • What self-care rituals have – or which people – helped you heal?
  • What actions, activities or words of wisdom have helped you move forward through the pain or given you hope?
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