The One Thing You Need to Get Over a Painful Breakup

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Breakups can be agonizing. You miss your ex, you feel lonely, being single is a significant change, and you’re feeling bitter, angry, and hopeless in relationships. A breakup is a loss and it can be devastating.

I’ve had my share of difficult breakups for sure. When I was inexperienced in heartbreaks, I handled them horribly — indulged in vices, became preoccupied with my ex, and hoped for (a next to impossible) reconciliation. After realizing I was losing a lot of my time to someone who didn’t want anything to do with me, I eventually was able to find the freedom and beauty in moving on. Which led me to the golden rule of healing: Focus on yourself! This is the one thing you need for a healthy recovery.

In love and life, you can’t breakup with yourself, so your best investment of time will always be you. Take all of the attention, time and interest devoted to your ex and bring it back home to you. This can be an emotionally vulnerable time and you must nurture yourself until you are feeling stronger again. (You are likely to end up feeling even stronger than before!)

I like to think of the healing process as cocooning and emerging as a butterfly! Here are some suggestions to get you through:

Improve your health. Taking care of your bod can give you better energy, think clearer, boost mood, relieve stress and many other benefits. Some ways of accomplishing that include getting more sleep, developing your exercise habits, and eating natural foods.

Redecorate your home or bedroom. Make it yours! Out with the old and in with the new. Purging feels great — so do that too! Get familiar with donating items to charity, or selling at pawn shops, eBay, consignment and Craigslist. I have black-or-white rules in the “breakup purge” process and it goes like this:

Items belonging to the ex: donate or sell.
Gifts from the ex: donate or sell.
That sweater you wore on your first date that always reminds you of him/her: donate or sell.

This concept takes the emotion out of the object, and makes space for better things (and relationships) to come your way.

Learn something new to enrich your life. Take a class, begin a new hobby or explore something you’ve always been interested in. When I was diet coaching, my most successful clients kept themselves busy to avoid their fixations. The short-term goal is distraction to take your mind off of things. The benefit of having a constructive distraction is that you are able to cultivate your personal growth in the long term, helping you become stronger, smarter and happier.

Nurture other relationships. Your boyfriend wasn’t the only relationship in your life. Maybe you’re not feeling successful with that particular relationship but think of how many successful relationships you do have or could have. Reap what you sow: develop the positive relationships and you will attract more positive relationships!

Career. I live in New York City and this is pretty much the go-to diversion. When a relationship ends, people tend to find themselves with more time or concentration to develop their careers, find new jobs, change industries, start businesses and more!

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