Broken Heart Basics

After a divorce or relationship breakup you may feel overwhelmed by your emotions and life in general. Especially if ending the relationship was not your idea, the broken heartedness you feel may make it difficult to just get through the day.

You probably want to heal your broken heart and to feel some relief. You probably want to know that one day– in the near future even– you will feel happy again.

We’re here to remind you that you can feel better again. You can feel happy and you might even choose to share love with a partner again sometime in the future.

But for right now, in order to heal your broken heart, it’s vital that you get back to basics.

The decisions you are making right now may possibly involve: where you will live, how to fairly divide up possessions and finances, how best to help your children cope with this change, who will have primary care and responsibility for your children and other issues.

In the midst of these more practical and logistical questions you might be grappling with, it is likely that you are also feeling sadness, grief, anger, fear and perhaps some amount of relief in certain cases. Your emotions might seem overwhelming and they also might be confusing if you are experiencing a mix of feelings.

As all of this swirls and whirls around you and within you, it is quite probable that you aren’t taking care of yourself as well as you used to– or as well as your situation calls for you to.

Chloe feels sick inside. Ever since her husband, Lance, asked her for a divorce, Chloe has felt a slight nausea and lump in her stomach. As they’ve worked out the details of their divorce, sold their home, divided up over a decade’s worth of possessions and even sorted out who their treasured pet dog will live with, Chloe has been increasingly unwell.

She cries easily and often and feels depressed. After she settled in her new apartment, Chloe thought she’d start to feel better. But it seems like this new life is only making her feel lower and sicker as well. It’s as if her life is only getting worse. Chloe wants more than anything else to start to feel better emotionally and physically.

Broken Heart Basics Tip #1: Take care of yourself.

This tip might seem simplistic and too obvious. But how many people who are going through a breakup or divorce actually take the time to do this?

Self-care is essential when you are stressed out, dealing with a tough transition and trying to heal your broken heart. It might be that soothing and nurturing your own self gets put on the back burner as you deal with more “important” issues.

We urge you to take the time to give yourself extra TLC, especially when your life seems to be pulling you in all directions and your feel lousy inside.

Take care of yourself by making sure you are eating healthy whole foods that bolster your immune system rather than drag it (and you) down. Get regular exercise even if it’s only taking a walk outdoors daily. Move your body and breathe deeply.

Give yourself emotional self-care as well. Experiment with relaxation techniques or meditation to learn to clear your mind and tune in to your deep needs. Consider working with a coach or finding a book or dvd program that is geared toward helping you feel better about yourself and more hopeful about your life.

Chloe sits down one afternoon and develops a self-care plan. She realizes that she’s been downright neglectful of her own well-being through the whole divorce process. It’s as if she’s been on autopilot reacting to whatever comes her way.

After making an agreement with herself to fill her refrigerator with healthier foods, she also makes a commitment to take the dog for daily walks and to a nearby dog park. She knows that both she and her canine friend will benefit from this.

Broken Heart Basics Tip #2: Simplify your life.

Another step toward healing your broken heart could be to streamline your life. Staying active in organizations and continuing with activities that you are involved with might serve as a distraction from your painful feelings.

But this could backfire if, at the end of the day, you feel drained and sapped out– emotionally and physically. Take a look at your usual activities and responsibilities. What can you simplify? Even if it’s for a trial period of time, consider cutting back on your busy-ness and create more time and energy for that essential self-care.

Give yourself space and time.

Chloe has enjoyed her volunteer work for various organizations in her city. This makes her feel like a responsible citizen. But all of the volunteering– on top of her paid job– has also felt like a drain as she’s dealt with the post-divorce transitions.

It is a difficult choice for Chloe, but she decides to take a sabbatical from all of her volunteer work. She contacts the chairpeople for these organizations and informs them that she will not be available to help with their projects for 2 months.

Chloe feels a bit nervous stepping away from her usual busy life, but she also feels a huge sense of relief. Her stomach even eases a bit. Chloe has promised herself that at the end of the 2 months, she will re-evaluate and decide whether she is ready to resume her volunteering and at what level of involvement.

Even if you have children to care for, your needs and your well-being are absolutely most important. As you create more time, space and energy to soothe and nurture yourself, you can begin to feel the healing that is happening for you.

Give yourself this gift and know that relief is on its way.

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