How do I get over a broken heart?
So your worst nightmare has become reality. The love of your life has left you behind in the dust, holding pieces of your broken heart. You may be experiencing the following symptoms of heartbreak: numbness, loss of appetite or emotionally overeating by indulging in comfort food, increased chances of crying over small frustrations, crying randomly because something reminded you of your ex, withdrawal from society, and general irritability. These side effects of getting your heart broken could last quite a while – it could be from several weeks to a span of months. To stop it from messing with your life, you need to start working to get over your broken heart, and you need to do it fast. Your head may be a total mess, and you may be wondering what to do with yourself now. The obvious and in fact only choice you have is to just pick yourself back up and move on. The sooner you're able to get over him and heal yourself, the sooner you'll be ready to love someone else.
1. Take as much time as you need to get over your broken heart
The first thing you need to remember when getting over a broken heart is that it's not going to happen overnight. Much like falling in love, getting over love will also take a good amount of time. There's no hard and fast rule as to exactly how long it will take. Don't believe those myths that say you should be ready to date again within 1, 3, or even 6 months. Since everybody is unique, we all process heartbreak differently. This is a very sensitive chapter of your life, so take it easy on yourself. Tone down the self-criticism; it's not going to help heal your heart any faster. Focus more on self-love and encouraging yourself to bloom again. Let's use the caterpillar's metamorphosis as a guide. This initial post-heartbreak stage is when you make a cocoon for yourself. Wrap yourself up carefully and prepare to emerge as a stronger, more beautiful version of yourself when you've finished healing your wounds.
2. Reflect on the relationship and why your heart is broken
When your emotions have stabilized somewhat, it's good to look back at what happened in your relationship (or almost relationship; it's okay – we've been there too) to figure out how you got your heart broken. Admittedly, it's an extremely painful and difficult task. Revisiting memories that used to make you so happy will be almost like pouring alcohol over a fresh cut. However, the pain is just part of the process of washing your mind clean of everything that is causing you to suffer. Think carefully about how you got your heart broken. Why and how exactly did it happen? Did you disagree with your lover about something important? Did he cheat? Was it a slow process towards getting your heart broken or did it happen all at once? Ask yourself these sorts of questions to help you look at your situation objectively. If you want, you can even write down detailed answers if you want to better organize your thoughts. Through reflecting on your broken heart, you may discover some hidden truths about your former love. For example, you could have made a decision to stay with him even if you knew it was a bad idea, thus leading to eventual heartbreak, or the guy simply could have been a jerk. Which brings us to the next point...
3. Get over your memories of him
You'll never be able to fully get over him if you keep on rereading your sweet messages with your former love, if you drunk text him at 3 am, or if you still open that hidden folder in your phone full of his photos. It's time to move on, girl! To help your heart heal, you need to get rid of things that make the heartbreak feel fresh again. Delete all your old messages with him. Delete his pics from your phone, computer, wherever. Unfollow him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, wherever. Don't open his Snapchat or IG stories. If he really, seriously hurt you, you can even block his number from your phone and unfriend him on all social media. This is also a symbolic action of healing. Removing the guy who broke your heart from all aspects of your life, both real and virtual, signifies that you are ready to leave him in the past and move forward to better things.
4. Focus on other relationships, not your broken heart
While you were nursing your hurt feelings and wallowing in misery, you may have completely ignored the outside world. On one hand, it's okay to take some time to focus on yourself and your journey of healing. On the other hand, your friends and family are sure to be concerned about you if you hide from society for too long. You can turn to your friends and loved ones in this time of need. They will stand steadfast and strong, letting you lean on them as you slowly get back to your feet. Remember, there's more to life than just romantic love. There's the bond of love shared by good friends. There's the love that a mother and father have for their child. There's love between siblings, cousins, etc. Why spend all your time crying over a failed romance when there's so many more different kinds of love waiting for you?
5. Getting over it means getting angry
As you work through the process of getting over a broken heart, there may be times when you feel angry out of nowhere. You might be going about your daily activities, thinking everything is fine when BAM! A thought comes out of nowhere and you're suddenly getting all worked up over something that happened in the past. This is totally okay. It's natural to retain feelings of anger and resentment towards the person who broke your heart. The important thing is that you need to channel these strong negative energies into something more positive. Do NOT call up your ex and start yelling at him, or show up at his house with a bat, or do anything else that's based more on emotion than reason. You should never deal with someone who broke your heart when your head isn't clear. Instead, work off your feelings by working up a good sweat. Go for a run, and go as fast and hard as you can. Do any exercise that'll push you to your limits and make you forget about your anger temporarily. Alternatively, you may want to meditate in silence or listen to music. You can try any method that will get you calm down. Just make sure it's an effective one that works fast; the sooner you can calm your mind, the better. Then you can begin to process your anger. Understanding what caused those feelings to erupt will help you deal with them better in the future, should they ever rise again.
6. Get over your broken heart by finding a new hobby
The absence of someone to text 24/7 or go on dates with means you may have suddenly found yourself with a ton of free time on your hands. This is a good thing! Use your newfound free time to try out something new! Bonus points if it's something your recent ex disapproved of or would have judged you for. Ideally, you should get into something that will make you feel good (like a new type of exercise) or something you've always been curious about (maybe a form of art). Whatever new hobby you choose, throw yourself into it with your heart and soul. Not only will you be able to develop new skills and improve existing ones, but you will also reap the added benefit of having something to focus on other than your broken heart.
7. It's okay to cry over your broken heart and lost love
The process of getting over a broken heart isn't always going to be a smooth journey forward. There are going to be detours along the way and potholes in the road. As early as now, you need to know that there will be days that the initial sadness will return. Despite your hard work to move on from your past love, there are going to be days when it doesn't feel like you've healed at all. Instead, you may feel like you've slid backwards and all the feelings you worked so hard to repress have entirely burst out. Do not repress your feelings. That is not healthy behavior. As sucky as it is, you have to realize that they're not going to completely die away that fast. The best you can hope for is that one day, you'll randomly think of the person who broke your heart and not feel anything except a vague feeling that's similar to shrugging. But for now, it's okay to cry. Cry into your pillow. Cry on a friend's shoulder or while hugging your pet. Let out your feelings. You'll feel a great sense of relief afterwards – promise.
8. Do something crazy to get over your ex
Instead of constantly reminiscing over memories of your ex that you used to love thinking about, why not just create new memories to make you happy? For these new memories to take priority in your mind, they need to be special and significantly memorable. Your best bet is to do something completely spontaneous and out of your normal routine to let off some steam and forget about your broken heart. Typical activities that come to mind are road trips, late night snack runs, and sneaking out at midnight to hang out with friends. These are all fun ideas, but you don't have to go to such lengths if you don't want to or if you don't think it would suit your personality or lifestyle. If you'd rather take baby steps into the world of spur of the moment ideas, there are far easier things you can try. Simply trying out a new café instead of heading to your usual neighborhood spot totally counts! The goal of this exercise is to create new memories – new positive feelings that are associated with with new places.
9. Forget your broken-hearted self with a makeover
As you continue to reinvent your mind and soul by picking up a new hobby and trying out new things, it makes total sense to rejuvenate your outer self at the same time. You may have noticed a little weight gain if you gave in to emotional eating while you were initially heart broken. Get back into shape and bring back the body you love by joining a gym or starting a new fitness routine. If it helps, you can also revamp your diet. Similarly, set aside more time to pamper yourself. Whether you want to get regular massages, or DIY a face mask at home every Sunday – it's completely up to you! Do things that will help you love your body and ease your mind and heart. This is called self care, and it's an important step for people who want to get over a broken heart. Self care reminds you that you are worth caring for, and that you don't need an outsider to do this for you. You are capable of loving yourself, because you are worth it.
10. Find a new love interest to get over him
There are very few ways to get over a broken heart that are better than finding some new eye candy. You might spot a cutie while you're having a night out on the town with your girlfriends. Or you may decide to log into Tinder, Bumble, or any other dating site just to see who's out there. Either way, if someone catches your eye or sparks your interest with a witty remark, there's no shame in chatting them up. Let things happen organically and start off as friends. Taking it slow allows you time to assess your mental and emotional states – to figure out if you're ready to find love again. If you're not, it's all good! Just go with the flow and chill out with your new friend. But if you are ready to date again, great! Enjoy your newfound love, and hopefully your previous relationship will have provided you with a few lessons to make this one even sweeter.
11. Start a new project to get over your ex
An excellent alternative to dating around is to instead use your time to actively begin a new chapter of your career. Perhaps you have a brilliant idea for a startup that you haven't launched yet. Or maybe you have some creative juices that have been held behind a dam for far too long. Well, it's time to let your ideas flow and show the world that a broken heart isn't going to stop you from succeeding in life. As an additional perk, if you ever run into the guy who broke your heart, you'll be able to subtly brag about all the things you accomplished after you moved on from him.
12. Adopt a pet or volunteer
Still feeling like you've got so much love to give, but no one to receive it? Adopting a pet is the answer to your surplus of love! There are hundreds of sweet souls in animal shelters across the country waiting for someone to come pick them up and take them home. Visit the shelter closest to you one of these days. Who knows? You may find your true love waiting for you inside! And the best part is your new friend will be sure to love you unconditionally. No more broken hearts for either of you!
13. Go on a shopping spree
Honey, it's called retail therapy for a good reason. Complement your recent makeover with an updated wardrobe! Again, just as you are working on changing your inner self to somebody who doesn't care about the guy who broke her heart, your outer self should reflect your new strength and independence as well. A great shopping strategy is to window shop first and take note of items you like. That way, when a sale hits, you can move fast and snag your dream picks before they're sold out. Clothing isn't just about making a fashion statement or following the latest trends. It's an avenue for self-expression and a way to boost confidence. Remember, a confident woman is a woman who loves herself, regardless of whether or not there's a man in her life.
14. Take a vacation to get over the pain
Ease your mind out of the slump that your broken heart caused by getting away from it all. Even just a quick weekend trip out of town will help you unwind. The healing presence of nature coupled with new sights and sounds is sure to help you relax. Take this opportunity as a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. It'll be easier for you to think clearly since you're away from the hustle and bustle and overall stressful nature of city life.
15. Be patient
Following all the tips in this article isn't going to guarantee you a fast recovery from a broken heart. It's more important to move at your own pace rather than rushing the healing journey. Don't force yourself to get better, as this could put undue pressure on you and actually make your mental state worse. There will be ups, and there will be downs as you get over your heartbreak. But please know that, eventually, and hopefully sooner rather than later, you will be able to love again. That much is certain.