Practicing Self-Care After Heartbreak


We are seeking stability. When we feel we can’t internally create it, it is quite possible to engage in unhealthy new relationships that cover up healthy relationship grieving. — 

When we think about heartbreak, we often imagine the messy, depressed, chocolate-eating people that we see in films and TV. We expect ourselves to be emotionally fragile and unkempt when we have our hearts broken. However, these expectations can lead us to develop deeper emotional issues. Creating a self-care routine is important for individuals who have recently gone through a divorce or a breakup that has left them emotionally damaged. While it is still okay to have a rainy day once in a while, here are some ways that you can practice self-care after heartbreak. 

  1. Get Out of the House

It’s easy to convince yourself that it’ll be okay to lay around for the next couple of weeks as you fall deeper into your rut. It’s more beneficial for your well-being, however, to force yourself to go outside and to get some much-needed exercise and sunlight. You could do something as easy as taking a 15-minute walk down the block or you could take a 4-mile hike each day. These two things will give you a noticeable mood improvement that will be detrimental to how you recover from having your heart broken.  

  1. Eat Healthy Foods

Think about the adage, “You are what you eat”. Eating junk foods will make you feel like junk. Alternatively, eating healthy foods will make you feel healthy. You may be tempted to binge on chocolate and hamburgers after a difficult breakup with your partner but that will only make you feel worse both inside and out. Make a conscious effort to stick to a healthy diet and you’ll be surprised by how much better you will feel.  

  1. Find Something That You Enjoy Doing and Do It

Close the door on invading memories of times and places that remind you of the breakup. These will consume your good energy which you need for daily activities and to keep you happy and healthy. — Joseph Cardillo Ph.D.

Finding something that you love doing can bring back the excitement that you had for life prior to your heartbreak. If you feel as though nothing is exciting and you can’t find anything that you enjoy doing currently, consider trying out something that you used to like doing. Over time, even if you don’t enjoy doing the activity at the moment, you will rediscover that energy and that passion. Here are some ideas of activities that you may want to pursue:  

– Singing 

– Drawing 

– Dancing 

– Writing 

– Filmmaking 

  1. Incorporate Relaxation Exercises Into Your Day

Things such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and tai chi help to improve both the body and the mind. Incorporating these types of relaxation exercises into your day will allow you to step back from your emotions and to see your life in a new light. If you normally have a busy schedule and you can’t seem to find time to practice the more elaborate relaxation techniques, you may want to consider learning how to practice exercises such as deep breathing and meditation in short bursts throughout the day.  

  1. Take Breaks When Things Become Too Hard

Understand that you don’t always have to be pushing yourself to be doing something after you’ve experienced heartbreak. You are allowed to have moments where you can rest and take a break from all of the overwhelming feelings that you are experiencing. It’s better to take a break when things become too hard for you to deal with than to push yourself to your breaking point.  

Last but not least, let yourself know that you are loved by you. No amount of heartbreaks could ever take away the love that you have for yourself and you need to constantly show affection towards yourself to develop and maintain the healthiest, happiest version of you.  

 Most people start to feel better 11 weeks following rejection and report a sense of personal growth; similarly after divorce, partners start to feel better after months, not years. — Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT



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