It’s over. The relationship you thought was solid has crumbled.
You feel confused, hurt, lost.
You are telling yourself you failed and wonder if you will ever find someone else. Your attempts to “get over it” are not working, nor is trying to power through the pain. Inside, you know to heal completely, you’ll have to recover another way.
Here are 10 ways to get started:
- Feel. Open to the presence of your loss. It’s okay to grieve.
What’s happening inside you? Give yourself a safe space to experience your feelings. You hurt because your relationship mattered. The future you expected to have mattered. Healing happens best when you are honest and compassionate with yourself, instead of denying or pushing down the emotions that are arising. Giving yourself permission to fully mourn what happened opens you up to love again.
- Regroup. Give yourself a break.
Play sad songs, do things that nurture you, cry. You need time and space before you can be functional again. It’s okay to take a step back from your usual obligations. Allow your mind time to switch gears.
- Share. Seek support.
Depression, anxiety, and breakup-related stress are less likely to take root if you share your feelings. Find someone nonjudgmental, and prone to lovingkindness, who will let you pour out your grief. Being heard and understood often makes all the difference.
- Let go of false hopes. Be intentional about not trying to reconnect.
It can be easy to fixate on old dreams, and hopes for “one more try,” when you know momentary relief is just a text message or Facebook post away. Gently, but honestly, tell yourself the truth about your breakup. There are reasons you separated. What were the deal breakers that made continuing on unrealistic?
- Focus. Practice remaining present.
Mindful meditation may help you observe your feelings from a less intense place. Practice being still and quiet. Stay present. Direct your attention to your present uncomfortable sensations, without dwelling on past memories or future desire. If you can just be present to them, you will be aware that they change. Stay focused on breathing through your current feelings and viewing them clearly.
- Embrace. Love yourself unreservedly. Refrain from self-criticism.
Self-compassion is a gift you need most right now. You don’t have to explain yourself, berate yourself, or punish yourself because your relationship ended. Check the harsh dialogue in your mind. Set your intention to be loving with yourself no matter what. The end of your relationship does not make you unworthy of forgiveness, love, happiness, or encouragement.
- Connect. Remember the other meaningful relationships in your life.
Combat isolation and loneliness by reaching out to loved ones and friends. Get involved in activities you may have set aside in the interest of your relationship. Try to remain open to the love, care, and interest of others as you adjust to your single status.
- Restore. Your mind, body and soul deserve exceptional care.
Use alone time to relax and reenergize. Self-care is not optional or expendable, though it may feel like you’re too hurt to eat, or sleep, or even breathe. Eat well, try yoga or take long walks in nature. Walking or listening meditation (You can download these meditations for free on the following website: www.mindfulness-solution.com) and deep-breathing exercises are also excellent ways to calm anxiety, and stave off unproductive thinking.
- Reflect. Take time to understand yourself better. Use this time to clarify what you most value in a committed relationship. What qualities did you long to experience in your relationship that weren’t there? Honesty, authenticity, caring, mutual understanding? You can learn a lot about yourself as you heal. Appreciate yourself for being willing to learn and grow even in the midst of loss and grief. Journal the journey. Relationship or divorce counseling can help you reach new points of clarity and release. As you reflect, you may begin a process of self-discovery and self-appreciation.
- Grow. Meaning and purpose are often the gifts of the grief process.
It may be difficult to believe, but one day you may be grateful for the relationship you’re grieving now. You have to go through the grief to grow new understanding, strength, and confidence.
To get through the grief of your broken relationship, you may need to go through a challenging process of self-awareness. It’s okay. Hold on. It’s all growth and preparation for whatever, or whoever, comes next.