5 Ways To Detox Your Heart After A Break-Up (#5 might be hard to believe!)
Written by: Caroline Cosgrove
When a relationship ends, no matter who is at fault, a part of you that was once whole is left hollow and empty. The void overcomes your ability to function. Heartbroken, you wonder what went wrong. The hardest part for me was disconnecting emotionally and physically from that one person I swore I couldn’t live without. Why should the end of our love affair mean the end of our friendship? I realized this time, after years of being an “ex-collector”, that if you are honest with yourself, if the relationship is over, it is time to move on and that means cutting the co-dependency cord.
Let’s face it, you are grieving! Not only for the loss of your love, but for the loss of normalcy, the loss of self. When you are in a relationship, bits of your life intertwine with theirs. When the relationship ends, shared hopes and dreams are now distant memories of a life that once was. Understand that grieving is normal. Embrace your pain, anger, frustration, disappointment, betrayal. Allow yourself to feel with every part of your being without judging. And then, let go and commit to re-finding yourself.
When my relationship of 4 years came to an abrupt end this past December, I was devastated. We were talking about moving in together, committing to a life together. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realized that the majority of those conversations were with myself. I had dreams of a family, but he couldn’t commit. The break-up would have been easier to deal with if he was a jerk. I would have even preferred if he’d cheated on me (at least that’s how I felt). But the truth is, he was a great guy. Which made me think it was something I did wrong. Inadequacy and self-doubt are nothing you want to allow in, as they serve nobody – and that includes you.
I had two options. I could lie on my couch, un-showered for days, polishing off bottles of wine and listening to Nora Jones over and over or, I could accept that it was over and start my life again.
I threw away my waterproof mascara, took a deep breath and let go with the most primal sigh I could muster. I wrote five things down and posted them where I could see daily. I recommitted to love myself fully; to remember who I was before I was his girlfriend and to once again, follow my passions. While I was at it, I was going to continue to remove things and people from my life, which no longer served me. I was going to create new memories. Most importantly, I promised myself that I would love deeply again. When the puffiness of my eyes subsided, the emptiness in my heart began to fill.
These 5 reminders have helped me in my healing process and I hope they help you too!
1. Recommit to Love Yourself
It is all too easy to fall into bad habits when we are upset. Binge eating and drinking are classic symptoms of a broken heart. Negative behavior only leads to more negative behavior. My mother used to always say, “when you don’t feel well, make yourself look well”, which I realize now was great advice.
Exercise is a great motivator. Not only does it increase the production of the pleasure hormone, serotonin, it increases your self-esteem. Recruit one of your friends to join along or find an online fitness support group. You are more likely to stick to positive behaviors when you surround yourself with like-minded people. Checkout Facebook or Meetup.com.
Stick to a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and whole grains. I am not saying you cannot have that piece of “pity pie” now and again, but I am saying that now is the time to make healthy choices for yourself!
Journaling can be very therapeutic. I was able to talk my way through my emotions by writing them down. I was no longer looking for an answer as to why he didn’t love me; instead, I was creating reasons why I loved myself. Pretend that you are writing a letter to your ex that you have no intention of sending. Write freely. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just write what you feel.
2. Follow Your Passion Not His Facebook Feed
Living in a world where we are so connected by social media, this seems easier said than done. Consider removing your ex from your friends list so you aren’t tortured by his/her posts of his/her new awesome, single life. You had life goals before you met your ex. Now is the time to invest your energy into rediscovering and following through with your passions instead of cyberstalking to see where he/she was last night. Find somewhere that is soothing and still.
Write down 5 things that you are passionate about and the resources you have in place already to begin working on making these passions become a reality.
3. Remove Possessions That No Longer Serve You
Relationships blend two lives into one and possessions become lost in the shuffle of the split. Remove, even if only temporarily, the mementos and reminders of your ex. You do not have to break them and burn them, just put them away in a safe place, the same way you will tuck the fond memories away in your heart. Having that constant reminder punching you in the face when you walk in the door is not going to help you heal.
While you are at it, clean out your closet. Get rid of clothes you do not wear and books you do not read. Donate them to a local church or thrift store. There is nothing more uplifting than creating a clean slate.
4. Create New Memories
It is hard to imagine a time when your ex was not in your life, but know that it’s there. If you cannot remember, this is a great time to create a new life for yourself. Book a trip, even if just a day-trip. Go explore the outdoors; fresh air and sunlight are powerful tools to uplift your spirit! Spend time with friends who genuinely care about you and who make you smile. Become comfortable with being alone too. Sometimes our greatest awakenings happen when we can sit with ourselves and just be.
5. You Will Love Again, Deeply
Do not give up on love. You are a beautiful soul, worthy of love, who was just in the wrong relationship to fulfill your long-term wants, needs and desires. Someone else will come along who recognizes all of your beauty and who is smart enough to not let you walk away. Be willing, open and present. Promise yourself that you will once again love deeply and profoundly.
It has been 2 months since my world came crashing down and truthfully, I have good days and bad days. But I know within myself that I have the strength to pick up those pieces and arrange the life that I truly deserve, which is one overflowing with abundance and love. And you can have it all too!
Caroline Cosgrove is the founder of New Beginnings Health and Fitness Coaching, focusing on raising awareness of the health effects caused by the Standard American Diet. A Certified Holistic Health Coach and Online Fitness Coach, she educates her clients on the importance of creating a healthy, happy and balanced life, focused on exercise and nutrition. Her programs consist of both group and individual education, as well as children’s nutrition education.
Caroline is the mother of a healthy and happy 5-year-old girl, Sienna. Together, they are currently working to bring an organic vegetable garden to the school and to create a healthier school lunch program.
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