Self-Care for the Brokenhearted: Healing Practices After a Breakup

Heartbreak is a universal human experience. Whether it’s due to the end of a short fling or figuring out how to get over a long term relationship, the emotional pain can be incredibly intense. Breakups can disrupt your entire life, and it’s normal to feel a deep sense of loss and loneliness. This article aims to offer guidance, hope, and practical self-care strategies to help you navigate through this challenging phase of life and gradually regain your emotional equilibrium.

Acknowledging Your Feelings

The first, and arguably most crucial, step in healing from a breakup is acknowledging your emotions. Heartbreak can leave you feeling a cascade of different emotions, from intense sadness and anger to relief and confusion. It is essential to recognize that these feelings are all perfectly valid and part of the healing process.

Avoiding or suppressing your emotions only prolongs the healing process. It’s okay to feel upset, to cry, to feel angry or disappointed. Give yourself permission to grieve the loss of the relationship, express your feelings without judgment, and reach out to trusted friends or family members for support when you need it.

Focusing on Self-Care

In the aftermath of a breakup, self-care should be your top priority. This can mean different things to different people, but generally, it involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This could be as simple as ensuring you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, and participating in regular physical activity.

Exercise, in particular, can be beneficial as it releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that help relieve stress and promote feelings of well-being. A good sweat session can help clear your mind and boost your mood. However, don’t push yourself too hard, especially if you’re not feeling up to it.

Additionally, practicing mindfulness and meditation can help soothe the mind and bring your attention back to the present moment. It can allow you to gain a fresh perspective on the situation, accept your feelings, and gradually let go of painful emotions.

Cutting Ties and Setting Boundaries


One of the most challenging aspects of a breakup can be disentangling yourself from your ex-partner, especially if you shared a lot of mutual friends or interests. It’s crucial to set clear boundaries and distance yourself, at least for a while.

Cutting ties doesn’t necessarily mean you have to erase your ex-partner from your life completely. Instead, it’s about creating a safe space for yourself to heal and move on without their constant presence triggering painful memories or emotions. This could involve unfollowing them on social media, avoiding common hangout spots, or asking mutual friends to respect your space.

Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, the emotional toll of a breakup can be overwhelming. It’s completely okay and, in fact, recommended to seek professional help if you find it hard to cope. Therapists and counselors can provide a safe, non-judgmental space to process your feelings and offer strategies to manage your emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), in particular, can be very effective. It can help you identify and challenge unhelpful thought patterns that might be causing you distress and replace them with more positive, healthy ones. You’re not alone in this journey, and reaching out for help can be an empowering step toward healing.

Establishing a Healthy Routine

Establishing a regular routine is one of the best constructive coping strategies to manage your emotional well-being post-breakup. This may mean maintaining a regular sleep schedule, setting aside time for meals, and incorporating regular exercise into your day.

Your routine should also include moments for relaxation and unwinding. You could read a book, listen to soothing music, practice yoga, or even take a walk in nature. These activities help engage your mind positively, providing a needed distraction from negative thoughts.

Cultivating a Support Network

You don’t have to face this heartbreak alone. Reach out to friends, family members, or support groups who can provide comfort and guidance. Share your feelings with them—sometimes, talking about your thoughts and emotions can provide a sense of relief and clarity.

Remember, though, that your support network isn’t just for emotional times. Spend fun, uplifting moments with your loved ones, too. This can serve as a reminder that despite the pain, joy, and companionship still exist.

Investing in Personal Development

Post-breakup is an excellent time to focus on personal development. The end of a relationship can sometimes feel like an end to part of your identity. Therefore, this period offers an opportunity to focus on growth and self-improvement.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, start a blog, or take up a musical instrument. Whatever your interest, now is the time to invest in it. Personal development helps build self-esteem and gives a sense of accomplishment.

Learning to Forgive

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what happened or condoning your ex’s actions. Instead, it’s about letting go of resentment and bitterness for your own peace of mind. Holding onto anger only harms you and hinders your healing process.

Keep in mind that forgiveness is a process, and it might take time. You may need to remind yourself daily that you are choosing to forgive for your own well-being. And remember, you’re not only forgiving your ex, but you’re also forgiving yourself for any mistakes you believe you made in the relationship.

Embracing Solitude


While the feeling of loneliness after a breakup can be unsettling, it’s essential to learn how to be comfortable alone. Solitude is different from loneliness—it’s about enjoying your own company and engaging in activities you love.

Being comfortable with solitude can help strengthen your relationship with yourself and increase self-awareness. Use this time to explore your interests, reflect on your goals, and nurture your mental and emotional health. With time, you will find that solitude can be both empowering and liberating.

Rediscovering Yourself and Creating a New Normal

A significant part of the healing process is rediscovering who you are outside of the relationship. A breakup often forces you to re-evaluate your self-identity and your goals, which can be a daunting process. However, it also provides an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

You might find it helpful to pick up a new hobby, learn a new skill, or even travel to a new place. Try to focus on things that make you happy and allow you to express your individuality. This period of self-discovery can eventually lead to a renewed sense of self-confidence and positivity.

It’s also important to create a new routine, a ‘new normal’ that doesn’t involve your ex-partner. This might involve rearranging your living space, exploring new places, or making new traditions. A new routine can help you move forward and create new memories that are entirely your own.

Healing and Moving Forward: The Journey Continues

While it’s natural to want to move on quickly after a breakup, remember that healing takes time. You may experience good days and bad days, and that’s okay. There’s no set timeline for how long it should take to get over a breakup, so be patient with yourself.

It’s crucial to remember that it’s okay to ask for help, to take care of your well-being, and to grieve the end of the relationship. By acknowledging your feelings, focusing on self-care, setting boundaries, seeking professional help when needed, and gradually rediscovering your sense of self, you can navigate the process of healing and move forward after a breakup. It might not feel like it right now, but this pain will pass, and with time, you will heal, grow stronger, and open yourself to the possibility of new beginnings.

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