How to Pick Yourself Up After a Breakup

A few years ago, I went through one of the most trying experiences of my life. I went through a breakup that devastated me to my core, and left me feeling broken and shattered. It was as if my entire reality and beautiful, magical world I tried so hard to create came crashing down. Since I had never experienced such a crippling pain, I was very afraid that the depression and negative thoughts would not end. I felt hopeless and helpless. And of course, when you’re in the thick of it, seeing the holistic picture is not where your mind and ego tend to go. But it took experiencing such an extreme low for me to decide that I was going to use the pain to make me stronger, wiser and healthier.

And I did just that. Fast forward to today, I am exercising, feeding my body with healthy, nutritious foods, surrounding myself with like-minded people, thinking positive thoughts and feeling gratitude and love every single day. I did not get here because I am lucky, or because I am built any stronger or more resilient than others going through the same experience. I got here because I made conscious decisions that steered me on the path of healing and forgiveness.

I think we can all relate on this subject because we have all been there. You would think that as you get older and have more relationships, that the heartaches would get easier to handle. But the reality is, the pain doesn’t lessen with each breakup, it’s just different. And while we cannot avoid the pain, we can choose a healthier recovery. The road to healing is very important so that the emotions are dealt with in a positive way and do not come back to haunt you in your future. Here are a few things that I found that helped me:

Eat Healthy
Some people deal with depression by over-eating, some deal with it by not eating. I fall into the latter category. I had no apetite and basically starved my body of the nutrients it needed. When your body is not getting fed properly with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to survive, your mood, energy and hormones are severely impacted. I found that once I started to eat well, not only did my body feel better, but my emotional state and mind felt better too. Our physical health is directly connected to our emotional and spiritual well-being. When one part is out of sorts, the others will be too.

Surround Yourself with People who Love You
Your natural instinct may be to isolate yourself and sulk in private, but this is probably the worst thing you can do. Community increases your feel-good hormones and studies show that talking can have healing effects. A UCLA study reveals that spending time with close friends causes the brain to release natural opioids, which are like the painkillers found in opium. When you lose the familiarity, daily routine and stability of a relationship, it is important that you surround yourself with people who make you feel safe, loved and cared for.

Allow Yourself to Mourn
Studies show that people who go through a breakup can experience cravings for their ex similarly to the way addicts crave a drug they are withdrawing from. This can lead to intense distress and physiological as well as psychological discomfort. The pain can be consuming, and this can feel shameful. I take pride in the fact that I am a strong, solutions-oriented person, and not being able to just “get over” the pain was very uncomfortable for me. But I realized that everything I was feeling was normal and a part of being human, and learned to embrace the emotions. The emotions have to go somewhere and not releasing them results in it all just coming back in some toxic shape or form later on down the road. Allow yourself to mourn. Allow yourself to cry. After all, tears is just pain leaving the body.

Be the Right One
Many people use a rebound, a quick tryst or another relationship as a distraction. If that works for you, then all the more power to you. However, I think that this method is similar to the effects of putting on a band-aid. You do not heal anything, you just cover it up. Take the time to mourn, to heal, to deal with the issues that have been brought forward from the relationship. A breakup is a great way for you to reflect on yourself, your habits and what you want in life and in your next partner. If you yourself are not the right one, how can you expect to attract the right one? Work on loving yourself and finding yourself again, and the rest of the pieces will fall in place when it is supposed to.

Forgive
Your world can feel like it has turned upside down when suddenly the star of your dreams turns into the villain of your nightmares. I thought my biggest challenge would be to learn how to forgive the man who hurt me. Through time, therapy, writing, and doing things to nurture myself, I learned to have compassion for my ex. With this compassion, I was able to forgive. But forgiving him was surprisingly not the hardest part. Forgiving myself was. I realized that I was very hard on myself and lacked compassion towards my own self.

A slow, long process of getting myself back to a healthy state finally gave me the clarity I needed.  I saw that everything happened the way it was supposed to. I stopped blaming myself and forgave myself, realizing that my life was going according to plan. Forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself. When you finally let the blame and anger go, and see that everything is perfect just the way it is, you’ll feel a big weight lift off your shoulders.

Appreciate
Gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings that can transform the way in which you view reality. Even when you feel like you’ve lost someone in your life, if you look around you – you’ll notice how much wealth you have. When your mind keeps repeating negative thoughts, you have to put effort into changing that habit of thinking. Try writing down what you’re grateful for every day and you’ll find that suddenly, you start noticing things to be appreciative of that you’d normally take for granted. There is so much beauty and love that surrounds us, we just have to be open to noticing it. Be grateful for your experiences, the lessons learned and the people that come in and out of your life that help you grow stronger. They’re just preparing you for the person you are meant to be with, and the person you are meant to become.

And, if none of these tips work, try to remember one thing: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Photo credit: Carolyn Emily

58 Comments

  • Reply May 31, 2015

    waliya

    So I forgive him n forgive myself..but from the starting till end I didnt feel bad will not also about him n not feeling of taking revenge but at break up time I irritate a lot wanting n confusing to cm back but its not working out..if he dont want that his choice becoz he cant keep trust on me when I plead instead he hurt me n left me..but I always pray for him to be gud n stay happiness in his future life n to protect from evil enemy etc..but I m moving on from everything from him to erase bad n past memories …everything trying to came in right position..

    • Reply June 5, 2015

      chris

      Help me please. I met her 45 years ago and she was seeing smeone else for 3 years. I stoood by herside in love with her but hiding it until she broke uo with this guy oainfully when he left her after saying he wanted to marry her.

      She has been caring for her dying son all this time and i have been her emotional support and we got very close. About a year ago we became intimate and it was perfetc for us both we have serious chemistry.

      Now i feel dead.

      Suzi had been trying to break my bairriers down for a year and we both push against eacj other due to prvevious pain.. She felt rejected and said you would date i was hurt but did not stop her. She felt i did not love her anymore.

      When she found a guy 3 months ago.. i just fell apart and it all came out. She has been hot for 6 as to how much i feel for her.

      Los of upset no anger just pain for us both. She has told me i am her soul mate, and that she adores me but cant have a proper relationship with me as it would ruin our freindship if it ended.

      We have whilst she has been dating this guy cried and just sat there stroking each others faces… her best mate asked her if she could say for sure that she did not want a realtionship with me at the point and she could not say she didnt.

      She has said its time with me she preferes even to her boyfriend and she is desperate not to lose me as her `best friend`. I realy do belive she loves me but with her dyig son and a daughter with aspergers, and an addicted ex ex … its too much for her and this other guy is more casual though i know wshe likes hm…

      I can explain but we have a serious connection.. her best mate says her feelings for me are complicated and confused but genuine and they run very deep….its all messed up and its killing me

      I dont want to lose her as a friend, i love her jyust as that but my heart is broken, and she needs my support i promised i would always be there for her when things with her poorly son got really hard and they are now…

      I dont know what to do and i feel like i am close to the edge now, i have been surviving for 4 weeks but i dont know for how much longer.. can anyone please help me

    • Reply November 10, 2016

      Maggie

      Please I need your help , I had a boy friend we loved each other but all over sudden he went away and got another girl but I still love him . What should I do to let him go and forget all the beautiful memories

      • Reply November 22, 2016

        manny

        Maggie… If He left u for another girl, its clear that he ain’t the perfect guy for you, fine yourself a man who appreciates you for who you are, and doesn’t leave you for another girl. Loyalty is the most important thing, don’t try to get him back, one day he’ll realize how foolish he was to miss a girl like you…..

  • Reply June 5, 2015

    chris

    should say 5 years ago… i am crying and not ina good place.

  • Reply November 11, 2015

    ghie

    its not easy to start new life revising all the plans you made with him, what else to do if you feel like you’ve been teared but no one is there to understand you even your family and friends just because they are not going through this… say its a small thing you can handle it your own, try to find your self,how?if u have been a part of someone else’s life and that someone has took the part of your life that cant be regain anymore, how?

  • Reply November 11, 2015

    Vicky

    I’m going through a break up and it’s been 6weeks. I seem to be having more bad days than good, I’m struggling to come to terms with everything that’s happened and why it’s happened and I feel I’m to blame when I know I’m not, I’m an emotional wreck I was once a very strong person and career focused, that person I was is a mere shadow of the person I am now, I don’t know where to begins to accept things and start to move on with my life, can you please give me some advice
    Thank you

  • Reply January 6, 2016

    Melissa

    2015 was the year of love and heatbreak for me and I must say it has really tore me apart and into pieces. I feel like I could write a book with everything I went through in just one year. My problem is I dont know how to let go of the pain and hurt that someone caused me. That led me to push the good guys away and that hurt me even more knowing that I let the past ruin my future. My problem is letting go and moving on. Trying to be happy again seems impossible. My heart aches so bad I feel like I am going to fall apart. I let the most amazing man slip by me bc of the distance between us, I let my trust issues from my past relationship ruin what I had that was good. I loved 3 men in one year. One that was true but he couldnt let go of his past, One that was everything I could ask for but was still growing himself whom was also in a motorcycle club that was too much to handle. Then the last is the one I let slip away. I have never in my life let so many men in life/heart and been torn apart so much. I have always been so guarded over my heart and 2015 was a test of myself and here I am alone and heartbroken in 2016. I just dont know what to do or where to turn. I have amazing friends in my life but they just dont seem to understand how i feel bc they have never felt a heartache like mine. I feel things way too deeply, when I am hurt I feel like my whole world is falling apart. I go to work and go home, I lay in my bed watching tv with my cat dwelling on the things that I DID to feel this way. I need help and I dont know what to do.

    • Reply March 10, 2016

      Kate

      Hi.
      I understand how you feel Melissa as I’m going through all that right now… The pain is unbearable, it’s a struggle to carry on with life! How are you doing and feeling now?

      • Reply September 13, 2016

        Melissa

        Hi Kate, I am just now seeing your reply as I totally forgot I had wrote this. I had a seizure in June that totally turned my whole life upside down.

        The months following my post on here was tough as he used me. He knew I was having a hard time getting over him and yet he calls me over one night and the rest is history. Once that night happened I knew then once and for all I had to let him go. It has been a huge struggle for sure as I found out just recently he is expecting his 2nd child with somoene whom he cheated on with me and all along I had no idea he was with her. I have pretty much shut myself off from life as I try to deal with effects of the seizure. 2016 has not been a good year for me thats for sure. I truly do hope you are feeling better and things are looking up for you. Heartache is one of the worst feelings ever.

  • Reply July 10, 2016

    Girly

    I understand how it feels but put yourself first. You say you love the guy but do you love yourself really? Because if you did you’d know that you want nothing that makes you feel like you have to suffer to keep it. Secondly, always remember that a lesson will repeat itself over and over again until it’s learnt. Thirdly, your future is always brighter than your past so brighten yourself in readiness to meet your future. All the best darls.

    • Reply September 13, 2016

      Melissa

      Thank You So Much for your reply to my post. Ever since Feb/March I have done my best to put myself first. In June I had my very first seizure and ever since then my whole world has turned upside and I have cut so many ppl out of my life including him. I found out a few weeks ago he is expecting his 2nd child and that hit me hard but then I thought to myself, I am so glad that is not me. I would never want to be tied to a man like him for the rest of my life. He is a toxic man and I am lucky I got out when I did. Life has thrown me so many curve balls this year that I can not let one man stay in my heart or mind. He does not deserve to have such a hold on me. I am hoping and praying that by the end of this year I can welcome 2017 with open arms, an open mind and an open heart. I am ready.

  • Reply July 19, 2016

    Janae

    Ive been feeling very similar… We are all going to be ok ladies! And gentleman!! I can promise u this. I am very religious , so I look to my faith to help guide me through hard times! Its been working. If youre spiritual, try praying!

    • Reply September 13, 2016

      Melissa

      Janae!!! Yes Ma’am we are all going to be ok. I have prayed every day/night that things would get better and things have happened to make me see I am better off. I need to focus on Me, Myself and I. Thank You for your commment. I do hope you are feeling better.

  • Reply July 23, 2016

    DIJO

    im broken hearted for 7 weeks now.at first many questions on my mind how it happens.as i accepted the situation the hatred for him begin to surface.i want to let go already.for 2 months i didnt sleep.i have to go to a doctor and give me pills.im still coping up. im working hard to move on i make myself busy, i run, meditate but the pain always struck me and when i feel the pain i begin again to hate him.sometimes i don’t know what else i should do.sometimes i feel weak if i hear some news about him.really its so hard

    • Reply September 13, 2016

      Melissa

      I understand 100% how you are feeling. Here I am a year later of meeting this man and there is not a day go by that he doesnt cross my mind but I realize now how toxic he was in my life. The sad thing is I still hear things about him as we have tons of the same friends. I found out about a week or 2 ago he is expecting his 2nd child and that tore me up at first but then I thought to myself, I am so glad that is not me. He did not have his life together (not that mine is, but it is more than him) I wanted a relationship, he wanted a wild girl. I am set in my ways and know what I want and dont want. I had to let him go for me to see the bigger picture. There is someone out there for everyone. There is someone that will be there for you, care for you, love you, be true to you, support you, and the list goes on. I truly hope you have found yourself and see that you deserve better just like all the rest of us. I truly hope you are feeling better. I am here if you want to talk. I will check back in a week or so.

  • Reply August 15, 2016

    nooshin

    i a in a very bad mood , but pretending i am still fine.i broke up last night , it was my suggestion due to his bad behavior he accept , i do not know what should i do. i am under pressure.

    • Reply September 13, 2016

      Melissa

      Move on, That is all you can do. If he has bad behavior that is not going to change unless he wants to change. You cannot change him. Take care of yourself first and foremost. I learned the hard way but you can get over him and you will find someone that is meant for you.

  • Reply October 4, 2017

    Renee

    Help feel emotional and pain.13 years of marriage gone because he desides it’s over. Dealing with 12 year of infertility has not helped with the stress of money and just hard times. I feel like Im fighting for him and are love alone. At the end of the day i think he is running from are problems. He can not face me to talk he and feel like after 13 almost 14 year he owes my at least a face to face. I feel super lost. I have been 100% dependent on him financially sense i was 16. I still leave with him cause i have no famliy willing to help and that hurts even more. Being a stay at home mom for 9 years never had to work leaves me penniless and alone. Im trying my best to my a game plan but i just cant get passed my emotions. Poeple keep telling me get over it…like how all my memories and ever time i think or see somthing it reminds me of what im losing. Looking at my son is hard. My hearts already hurting from him leaving me and running from are problems. Knowing my son has to feel pain and go through this kills me. I feel like pain all day. Nights are the worst i just cant turn my mind off. It been a week I’ve lost 10 pounds. There’s alot more but its just to painful.

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