5 Easy Coping Strategies for When You Feel Broken Hearted

These coping strategies will help stop the downward spiral into sadness and depression that often happens when you feel broken hearted. I can almost guarantee you’ll notice an immediate lift in your mood and energy levels!

coping strategies for the broken heartedIn How to Get Over a Broken Heart, I describe four “tasks of mourning.” It’s really important to work through those stages and process your grief, so you can heal and move forward in your life. Here are the most important coping strategies you can implement in your life after losing someone you love, plus examples from my own life.

What advice have you already received about the importance of adopting healthy ways to cope? Before you read my tips, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below. The answers are in you; you just need to make time to hear the still small voice. These coping strategies are about taking that time and listening to your own wisdom and soul.

How to Cope When You Feel Broken Hearted

Briefly, my five coping strategies are:

  1. Morning Quiet Time
  2. Early bed time and quality sleep
  3. Yoga/Pilates one day, cardio the next
  4. Painting one day, playing my flute the next
  5. Paying attention to my triggers

Below, I explain how these coping strategies helped me cope everything from losing someone I love to surviving the death of a beloved dog.

1. Morning Quiet Time

I get up every morning at 4 am. No, I am not suggesting this is a coping strategy you need to adopt after losing someone you love! But, my Morning Quiet Time has been key to my emotional and spiritual growth. I’m happier, more peaceful, and filled with energy and passion. I need that time to reflect and recharge. For me, this means doing a devotion called Bible in One Year by Nicky Gumble.

How do you reflect and recharge? If you don’t know what fills your tank – or if you’ve been running on empty for days or even years – now is the time to adopt Morning Quiet Time as a coping strategy. It will help you cope with losing someone you love by giving you space and time to work through your grief.

2. Early bed time and quality sleep

If I’m in bed by 8 pm, I’m ecstatic! But usually it’s 9 pm by the time I actually hit the hay. Still this is early by most people’s standards. The earlier I go to bed, the happier I am in the morning.

The reason this is one of the most important coping strategies to adopt after losing someone you love is because sadness, depression, and despair is most likely to hit you at night. You may be fine all day…and then boom! Ten o’clock at night and you’re wracked with sorrow. You’re in a heap on the floor.

Get the right amount of sleep. For me, it’s seven hours (9 pm to 4 am), but I also have a 30 minute nap after lunch every day. Many people don’t have that luxury – I work from home as a full-time writer and blogger, so my schedule is fairly flexible – but most people have control over what time their head hits the pillow.

3. Yoga/Pilates one day, cardio the next

After I make a giant cup of coffee at 4 am and have my Morning Quiet Time, my husband gets up. It’s about 5:20 am, and we do a 15 minute session of yoga or Pilates. We have a large selection of DVDs, and we just cycle through them. This makes exercise acoping strategy that’s easy to do because we don’t have to leave the house! I listed my favorite ones in Best Yoga DVDs for Weight Loss, Stretching, and Energy.

I actually don’t alternate Yoga/Pilates with cardio, like I do with my flute and painting (see the next coping strategy). I do cardio – which for me is a 25 minute run up and down five major hills in my neighborhood – on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The other days are Pilates or Yoga, with a day off every week or so.

If you’re grieving or just plain blue after losing someone you love, don’t underestimate the importance of staying physically healthy! Those healthy endorphins from running, stretching, and taking care of your body will help you heal.

4. Painting one day, playing my flute the next

This is my newest and most favorite of all the coping strategies on this list. After my workout, I either paint or play my flute. I alternate days. I like painting better because I can feel the good energy and positive vibes flowing through my body. I literally feel snap crackle pop rushing through my veins! I play jazz or blues music – actually, right now it’s Classic Christmas songs from the RadioTunes channel – and paint for 45 minutes.

I taught myself to play the flute about three years ago, and am slowly improving my skills and technique. I haven’t taken any music lessons; I just buy Flute Practice books with accompanying DVDs. Soon, I’ll be volunteering at a residential care center for seniors and playing for them!

Finding the right creative outlets is a fun way to build coping strategies into your life. You can paint or play through your grief or disappointment. This will help you emotionally detach from someone you care about by allowing your subconscious mind – or your conscious thoughts – process the pain you feel.

5. Paying attention to my triggers

This is one of those “coping strategies” that you can’t really schedule into your day. Rather, it’s a skill that I learned when I was actively recovering from an eating disorder. By paying attention to what triggered or led me to binge eat, I learned what made me sad. It was always sadness that made me do unhealthy things to my body.

Knowing your triggers is an important coping strategy because I’ll help you build self-awareness and insight into your life. What situations or people cause you to melt in pain after losing someone you love? What drives you to drugs, food, shopping, or unhealthy risks? Pay attention to those triggers; learn how you feel when you take up the unhealthy habits that make you feel bad about yourself and your life.

If you’re having trouble dealing with the loss of a relationship, you may find What to Do After a Breakup helpful.

While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. Feel free to share your thoughts on these coping strategies for the broken hearted below. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of coping strategies after losing someone you love. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” – Caroline Myss.

This article was originally called  5 Healthy Habits to Adopt After Losing Someone You Love.

xo

6 Quotes From Martha Beck on Getting Over a Breakup

Sometimes a short quote from a wise, experienced life coach like Martha Beck is more helpful than a list of tips for getting over a breakup. Here are six Martha Beck quotes to help you heal.

Martha Beck is one of my favorite authors – and Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want is one of her best books (in my opinion).  If you’re trying to get over a breakup and you want to move through the pain, you need to focus on living in a whole new way.

“Your dreams are for your joy; even if they lie crushed on the ground, you need not make them responsible for misery,” writes Beck in Enjoyment is in The Waiting…Insight from Martha. “If you raise your eyes from the shards you’ll find more dreams all around, and many of them can come true.”

What dreams are you unable to see because you’re focused on the dream you just lost? If you’re having trouble getting over a breakup, you need to see what other dreams are lying around, waiting for you to pick them up.

Here’s another Martha Beck quote for getting over a breakup: “The fact is, the only reason you are alive is that far more has gone right for you than has gone wrong.”

If you’re having trouble seeing all that’s gone right in your life because of depression, read 7 Ways to Deal With Depression After a Breakup.

1. Take comfort in connection with others

“Silence comes in two varieties,” says Martha Beck. “One that nourishes and comforts; another that chokes, smothers, and isolates. Solitary confinement is the worst kind of imprisonment we can inflict on fellow humans, and if you are forced to keep silent about some dark secret, you live in solitary confinement.”

Don’t silence yourself. If you can’t talk about the pain of breaking up, you can’t share your burdens, receive comfort, or confirm that you still belong. Here’s a Martha Beck quote that summarizes how connection to others can help with getting over a breakup: “Silence is the abyss that separates you from hope.”

2. Connect with other people who are going through the same thing

Here’s what other readers say about getting over a breakup – and how you may feel: “I just can’t move on and I am unable to get romantically involved with someone else.  I am not interested in anything. I can’t study, work, or have fun with my friends. I have just lost interest in life itself.”

“I obsess about my ex and I’m still hurting. I can’t move on. What is wrong with me?”

“I have known this man for many years. All he does is lie to me and treat me like a booty call. But I love him so much. He is now seeing some new chick. My self-esteem is shot. I hate myself. What can I do to get us back together?”

These comments are from my article about how to stop thinking about your ex.

3. Accept emotional discomfort

“What happens when we’re willing to feel bad is that, sure enough, we often feel bad—but without the stress of futile avoidance,” quotes Martha Beck.

“Emotional discomfort, when accepted, rises, crests, and falls in a series of waves. Each wave washes parts of us away and deposits treasures we never imagined. No one would call it easy, but the rhythm of emotional pain that we learn to tolerate is natural, constructive, and expansive. It’s different from unwilling suffering the way the sting of disinfectant is different from the sting of decay; the pain leaves you healthier than it found you.”

Can you believe that getting over a breakup is about being willing to feel bad? It’s about surrendering to your grief so your heart can heal.

4. Go through the grief (don’t avoid it)

Accepting the pain isn’t the same as hating yourself, thinking you’ll never be able to love again, or wondering what’s wrong with you. Accepting a breakup means sitting with your loss. Getting over a breakup is about grieving, mourning, and letting the pain wash through you and over you.

These aren’t quick and easy tips for getting over a breakup, are they? Martha Beck quotes aren’t magic.

But there’s something about accepting your pain – about walking through it instead of around it – that heals you. And when you start to heal, you can start to move on.

5. Start thinking about your choices

“Once we’re willing to confront our emotional suffering, we begin making choices based on attraction instead of aversion, love instead of fear,” quotes Martha Beck. “Where we used to think about what was “safe,” we now become interested in doing what seems right or fun or meaningful or ripe with possibilities. Ask yourself this: What would I do if I stopped trying to avoid emotional pain? Think of at least three answers (though 30 would be great and 300 even better).”

Write down three things that you would do if you weren’t scared, lonely, sad, heartbroken, or consumed with self-pity. If you can’t get over a break up, this may help you start to see beyond the pain of your breakup.

6. Choose to follow your next dream

Here’s Martha Beck’s final quote for getting over a breakup:

Quotes From Martha Beck on Getting Over a Breakup“Find a place in your life where you’re practicing experiential avoidance, an absence where you wish there were something wonderful,” writes Beck. “Then commit to the process of getting it, including any inherent anxiety or sadness. Get on an airplane not because you’re convinced it won’t crash, but because meeting your baby niece is worth a few hours of terror. Sit on the beach with your mocha latte, humming the song you shared with your ex, and let grief wash through you until your memories are more sweet than bitter. Pursue your dreams not because you’re immune to heartbreak but because your real life, your whole life, is worth getting your heart broken a few thousand times.”

Getting over the breakup and living towards your dreams won’t be easy, but isn’t it better than being consumed by misery? Don’t let pain and grief win.

How to Let Go of Someone You Love is one of my most popular articles on Blossom. Read through my tips for overcoming the breakup. The readers’ comments may be especially helpful for you.

What dreams will you pursue, now that the dream of this relationship is over? Who do you want to be, where do you want to go, and what does it mean to you? I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t give advice, but you may find it helpful to write about the breakup.

xo

This post was originally called When You Can’t Get Over the Break Up, and published on my Blossom in Your Relationships blog.

How to Be Confident in Your Relationship

Even the healthiest relationships can impact our self-confidence, because they distract us from who we really are. These tips on how to be confident in your relationship will help you reconnect with yourself.

Here’s what one reader – a doctor – says about her marriage. This is one of my favorite lessons learned from unhealthy relationships because on the outside, their life looks perfect.

“I don’t feel he respects what I do. I have lost my confidence and sense of self. I had always wanted a family, but I no longer want one. We live in a beautiful home in a beautiful place but I resent having to work in a job I don’t like in order to support his dream, because I would have never chosen such an expensive place to live. I am the type of person who would rather work 3/4 time and enjoy my free time, and he thinks I am lazy for it. He works all the time and often comes home late. We have tried counseling, but it is so expensive, and we felt like we were getting nowhere, and quit. I don’t want a divorce but I also don’t want to be the only one trying anymore and don’t want to continue feeling like this. Any advice would be helpful.”

Is it possible to learn how to be confident in your relationship? Of course! The easy part is deciding that you can do it. The hard part is following through with your decision.

How to Be Confident in Your Relationship

These tips won’t resonate with all women in all situations, but I think they’re what my reader needs to hear about rebuilding her self confidence and finding herself again.

Prioritize your relationship one rung lower

Many women naturally gravitate towards creating and nurturing relationships; men don’t prioritize their relationships the same way. I think women need to take a page from the men’s books, and put their relationships second or even third on their list of life goals and achievements.

This is an effective way to find yourself after getting lost in love.

If you decide that your marriage is your number one priority, then you need to sacrifice your time, energy, and money to build it. Same thing if you decide that your confidence and identity (instead of your marriage) are your number one priority. No matter what your priorities are in life, they take time, energy, and sacrifice.

Here’s the idea behind prioritizing yourself first, over your marriage: if you take care of yourself first – finding yourself, being yourself, getting healthy, being peaceful and happy – then your marriage will benefit.

Why your first priority should be learning how to be confident

Your number one priority in life shouldn’t be to captivate, hold, bewitch, or charm your husband! This isn’t a fulfilling endeavour or joy-giving project. Even if you want your whole life to revolve around being married, you won’t be happy in the long-term if you dedicate your life to your husband.

Your number one priority is something only you can decide. I believe our first priority should be taking care of ourselves (self-care). If we aren’t happy and healthy, then we will never be able to build healthy, happy relationships and lives.

If your number one priority is, for example, living a full life and working ¾ of the time, then DO IT. Your husband has his priorities; you have yours. You do not need to have matching priorities – you need to learn how to set your own priorities. His opinion matters, but it should not affect your self-confidence or self-image. I know this is easier said than done, especially if you feel insecure in your relationship.

We need to build our self-confidence and self-image on things that are internal, that are ours, and that can’t be changed by the comments or behaviors of the men in our lives. This is how to be confident in your relationship: find an internal source of peace or joy that doesn’t depend on a man. As a Christian, I believe the source of all confidence and esteem is God, because He is unshakeable and constant in His love for us.

What are you prioritizing in your life? Are you learning how to be confident in your relationship in ways that aren’t about your relationship? Is it building your self-confidence and self-esteem? You need to learn how to balance your relationship with your independence.

Figure out what you want out of your life

Where do you want to be in a year, five years, 10 years?

This is a tough question, but it will help you learn how to be confident in your relationship because it will give you a focus. Start talking about your future plans now. Visualize what your life might look like, and remember that it takes time to create the life you want.

What do you want out of your relationship? Start thinking about ways to rebuild your self-confidence and self-image.

How to Be Confident in Your Relationship
“How to Be Confident in Your Relationship” image by Rodnei Reis via flickr

 

Stop relying on your relationship to build your confidence

I love when my husband tells me I’m smart, beautiful, organized, or amazing. It makes me feel SO good! But I can’t let my self-confidence and self-image come from him. I have to do things that make me feel good about myself – strong, courageous, smart, healthy, happy. I have to learn how to be confident both in and out of my relationship.

When was the last time you felt GREAT about yourself? Do that activity again, and again, and again.

How will you be more confident in your relationship? I welcome your thoughts below, but I can’t offer advice. You may find it helpful to share your experience, though. Writing often brings clarity and insight!

For more tips on finding confidence, read How to Be Happy Even in an Unhealthy Relationship.

xo

This article was originally posted on Blossom in Love, called How to Regain Your Self-Confidence Without Leaving Your Relationship.

5 Signs “Harmless Flirting” is Hurting Your Relationship

Are you cheating by “flirting harmlessly” with people of the opposite sex? Here’s how to tell the difference between harmless flirting and emotional cheating. Also, six signs of harmless flirting, five ways to know if flirting is hurting your relationship, and five signs of emotional cheating…

“When a spouse places his or her primary emotional needs in the hands of someone outside the marriage, it breaks the bond of marriage just as adultery does,” says marriage counselor Gary Neuman, author of Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship. “An emotional affair can be just as dangerous to a marriage [as a physical affair], and often a more complicated situation to remedy.”

One of the best ways to differentiate between harmless flirting and emotional cheating is to figure out where your primary emotional needs are being met. Are you emotionally satisfied by flirting with people of the opposite sex, or by your partner? (It’s better to be satisfied by your partner!)

6 Signs of Harmless Flirting

Harmful flirting is cheating on your partner when your body language goes beyond innocent winks, smiles, and teasing.

Harmless flirting is something you’d do with someone of the same sex; it doesn’t hold the promise of physical intimacy.

  1. Innocent flirts do tease or talk to friends or colleagues of the opposite sex in front of their partners (versus hiding their interactions, which isn’t good).
  2. Harmless flirts don’t make romantic innuendos or promises to people other than their partners.
  3. Innocent flirts make eye contact for short periods of time (they don’t stare meaningfully into another person’s eyes for long moments).
  4. Harmless flirts don’t laugh at jokes, tease, or nudge their flirting partner in suggestive or “hidden innuendo” ways.
  5. Innocent flirts don’t lie to their partners about who they spend time with, or what they talked about.
  6. Harmless flirts treat everyone the same way. They don’t reserve certain touches or moments for a particular person (unless it’s their partner!).

Note that doing just one or two of the above doesn’t mean you’re a harmless flirt…it’s a combination of factors that can change flirting from innocent to hurtful, and that can really hurt your relationship.

5 Signs “Harmless Flirting” is Hurting Your Relationship

You flirting is affecting your relationship when…

1. Your partner isn’t comfortable with your flirty behavior

If your partner feels hurt, betrayed or angry because of your flirting, then you need to reevaluate your definition of flirting versus emotional cheating.

If your partner is the flirt and you think he or she is lying, read 4 Ways to Tell if Your Husband is Lying About Cheating.

2. Friends or colleagues misinterpret your actions

If your coworkers think you’re leading someone on or cheating on your partner, then you may be crossing those flirty boundaries. Pay attention to what the people around you say with regard to your behavior….they may be more objective than you are.

3. Your flirting partner misunderstands your signals

If your flirting partner thinks you want more than to share a joke, then you’re crossing over flirting into emotional cheating.

If the person you’re “harmlessly flirting” with makes a pass at you or thinks you want to cheat on your partner, then you’ve gone too far.

4. Your flirting partner contacts or visits you regularly

If the person you’re harmlessly flirting with calls you at home or visits your desk or workplace regularly, then you’re not longer “just friends.” If your flirt is a colleague of the opposite sex and you’re getting strong intimate vibes, then your flirting isn’t harmless.

5. You’re flirting for the wrong reasons

If you’re flirting to manipulate your partner’s feelings, attract people of the opposite sex, get a job, or increase your self-esteem, then you may have crossed the line into emotional cheating (or just flirting for the wrong reasons). Harmless flirting doesn’t usually have strings attached, nor is it manipulative.

Is your relationship healthy? If not, read How to Be Happy Even in an Unhealthy Relationship.

5 Signs of Emotional Cheating (not harmless flirting)

1. Having long lunches or extended drinks after work with colleagues of the opposite sex – and work or business isn’t on the agenda.

2. Engaging in thorough discussions of problems at work, in your family, or at home with someone other than your spouse.

Harmless Flirting Hurts Your Relationship
5 Signs “Harmless Flirting” is Hurting Your Relationship

3. Sharing jokes and gossip with friends or colleagues of the opposite sex, and excluding your partner.

4. Spending as much time buying the right gift for a friend or colleague of the opposite sex as you do for your partner.

5. Discussing intimate issues with friends of the opposite sex, not your partner.

It can be tricky to differentiate harmless flirting versus emotional cheating when you and your partner disagree on the definition.

However, the most important way to love your partner is to act in ways that reassure him or her…which may mean stopping even the most innocent of flirtatious behaviors.

If you have any thoughts on emotional cheating versus harmless flirting in relationships, please comment below…I can’t offer advice, but you will find it helpful to express your thoughts and feelings. Writing helps you gain clarity and insight.

Do you trust your partner? Read When Your Relationship Makes You Feel Insecure.

Be strong enough to let go, and patient enough to wait for what you deserve.

xo

This article was originally written for Blossom in Love, and called Cheating Versus Flirting – 6 Easy Ways to Tell the Difference.

What to Do When You’re Confused About Your Relationship

Relationships are confusing at the best of times – but when your boyfriend is sending mixed signals, it can be frustrating and mind-boggling. Here’s what to do when you’re confused about your relationship.

These tips are inspired by a reader’s comment and question…

“I have a boyfriend who I love dearly. The problem is we get along great then out of nowhere he needs space…he doesn’t need me around 24/7. He gets upset with me if I go home at night. We have been shopping for cars, furniture, but then he turns the other way. His phone is always connected to him. I would love to look through it but I don’t want to be that person. I respect his privacy even at my expense. Please help!”

It sounds like her boyfriend is sending mixed signals, which is so confusing! He wants her to be around, yet wants his space. Sometimes this a normal part of building a relationship, and sometimes it’s indicative of a more serious problem.

This reader left her comment on my article about knowing if your husband is cheating. I assume she’s worried he’s cheating on her – and that’s why she wants to look through his phone. A big part of me thinks that if you think your partner is cheating, then he probably is. Your subconscious is picking up on things that you don’t want to admit to yourself or to others.

Are you confused about your relationship? Here are a few steps to take…

Go slowly

Is it time to start shopping for cars and furniture together, or is it time to take your relationship one date at a time? We SO often rush into relationships, which is what makes them confusing.

How long have you and your boyfriend been dating? If it’s less than a year, then it’s too early to start meshing your finances, children, and furniture. It’s far better to take your time and really get to know him before you dig into his life – and his phone.

Trust your gut

Why do you want to look through his phone? Because you don’t trust him for some reason. What is your gut telling you about your relationship? Is it confusing because there’s something wrong?

If your instincts are screaming at you, do yourself a favor and listen to them. Trust them. Follow up on your hunches. This means TALKING to your boyfriend about how you feel when he turns away. And LISTEN to what he says both verbally and nonverbally – because he is telling you the truth about your relationship.

Or, maybe your boyfriend is simply moody and unpredictable. Here’s an article I wrote for a reader whose boyfriend has extreme emotional swings: How to Cope With a Moody and Unpredictable Boyfriend.

Give your boyfriend – and yourself – room to breathe

Are you smothering him? Are you forgetting to take time and space for yourself, to stay connected to who you are? If you’re not giving your boyfriend space, you’ll lose something precious.

Confused About My Relationship
What to Do When You’re Confused About Your Relationship

Part of giving your boyfriend space is NOT checking his phone. In the dating stage, people need their privacy! After you’re married – or when you get engaged – then you have the right to check his phone and have his passwords. Before then, it’s just an invasion of privacy.

What do you think – how will you handle your confusion about your relationship? You can ignore it and hope everything works out, or you can tackle it head on. There is no right or wrong way – it depends on where you’re at emotionally, physically, and even professionally!

If you don’t feel confident about your relationship, read How to Gain Confidence and Create Healthy Relationships.

I welcome your comments below, but I can’t offer advice. You’ll find that writing does help you gain clarity and insight, though…especially if you’re confused about your relationship.

Follow your heart. But take your brain with you.

This article was originally published on Blossom in Love, called 3 Steps to Take When You’re Confused About Your Relationship.

xo

How to Change Your Life After a Breakup

Part of healing after a breakup is finding ways to change your life. But how? These 10 “makeover tips” will help you see the possibilities. This breakup is your chance to re-evaluate your life and figure out what you want out of it. Get healthy, happy, and strong. Be free!

The $50 Home Makeover: 75 Easy Projects to Transform Your Current Space into Your Dream Place – for $50 or Less! by Shaunna West is an excellent place to start learning how to change your life. Your home probably contains either traces or full-blown evidence of your ex, and you need to re-create your space. Make it yours. Be creative, light-hearted, and open-minded as you give your home a makeover and turn your breakup around.

Take time to think about how you want to change your life. Another possibility for changing your life is with an actual makeup kit or professional beauty makeover. If you’re into beauty makeovers, just make sure that changing how you look will make you feel healthy and be happy in the long run. For me, a beauty makeover isn’t my first makeover choice after a breakup. I’d go for the “how to change your life” ideas that are more emotional in nature. I’d get counseling, and maybe even join some sort of support group.

How to Change Your Life After a Breakup

The best tip on how to change your life after a breakup is to pick one or two things to work on. Don’t try to make over your whole life at once, or you’ll feel overwhelmed. The idea is to give yourself power and inspiration, not make you feel inadequate or helpless.

Pick one or two things from this list of ways to change your life after a breakup, and focus on it for a month. Then, pick something else. Maybe you’ll only want to stick with one makeover tip – maybe you only want to change one thing about yourself or life. That’s great! I hope these life makeover ideas help you see what direction you want to take your life in.

If your self-esteem took a nosedive because of your relationship and breakup, read Surviving Divorce – Journaling for Recovery and Rebuilding.

Do not think you need a personality makeover

After a breakup, you may feel like everything about you is wrong. You want to change your clothes, your hair, your skin, your face! But don’t even think about changing the essence of who you are. You are a lovable, smart, creative, capable, beautiful woman who has so much to offer. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you’re not good enough.

A closet and clothes makeover

This would be my number two idea on how to change your life after a breakup! I’d go to Value Village and other thrift stores, and stock up on vintage clothes that resonate with me. I wouldn’t buy new trendy clothes, because as much as I like making myself over…I don’t want to change my personality. I’d buy more hats, funky clothes, and cowboy boots. Shit kickers.

How to Give Yourself a Makeover After a Break UpAn exercise makeover for your body

Whether you choose a high energy kickass Jillian Michaels One Week Shred workout or Shiva Rhea’s calm but strengthening Shiva Rea: Daily Energy – Vinyasa Flow Yoga, you need to shake up your workout routine.

I’m more into yoga makeovers than high energy workout makeovers, but you need to choose the type of exercise that suits your personality. Listen to your body. What does it need? That’s how you start learning how to change your life: you listen to what your body is telling you.

A food makeover for your energy and health

After a break up, you may have fallen into the Hungry Girl trap. Every time there’s a break up on TV or in the movies, women grab a pint of ice cream (a bag of potato chips in my case), and dig in with both hands. It’s time to learn how to change your life after a breakup by listening to your body and giving yourself the nutrition and energy you need to stay focused, energized, and motivated. The food you eat directly affects how you feel and how much energy you have. What did you eat today, and why? If you’re eating because you’re sad or stressed, you need to make over your food habits.

An emotional makeover for your mental health

How are you doing? Are you scared, insecure, sad, broken, depressed, or bitter?

how to change your life after a breakupCheck in with your heart, soul, and mind. Take time to figure out what you need emotionally. Maybe you need to talk to a professional counselor about dealing with depression or anxiety after a breakup. Maybe you need to spend time reading about healing from past hurts or abuses. Learning how to change your life after a breakup isn’t just about changing your appearance or image. It’s about getting healthy emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and psychologically.

A hair makeover

Step-by-Step Hairstyles: 85 Salon Looks to Create by Nicky Pope is a comprehensive guide to styling your hair for stunning results, with more than 80 complete looks shown in 500 how-to photographs. Or, cut it all off – if your hair is long and curly, go for a super short summer cut. Another option for hair makeovers is a wig! If you’re open to experimenting with wigs, this is probably the easiest, most fun tip on how to change your life after a breakup.

A life makeover that tackles everything

how to give yourself a makeover after a break up
Weekend Makeover Ideas

Invite your sister or girlfriend over for the weekend, and read The Weekend Makeover: Get a Brand New Life By Monday Morning. After a break up is the perfect opportunity to take time to look at your life. Do you like your job, or do you want to go back to school? Are you happy with the volunteer work you’re doing, or do you need a change? Do you want to travel, get a new hobby, train yourself to run a marathon (exercise makeover!), or reconnect with your family members? Those are wonderful ideas on how to give yourself a makeover after a break up because they’ll help you become a healthier, happier woman.

If you think you can’t think about how to change your life because you miss your ex so much, read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.

A spiritual makeover for your soul

This is without a doubt my best tip on how to change your life after a breakup: connect with God. You exist because of Him, and He is waiting to enfold you in His arms. He loves you. He wants the best for you. He knows you’re in pain, he knows You’re suffering after a break up – and He wants to comfort you and bring you peace. After  a breakup, a spiritual makeover is the best gift you could give yourself.

For more tips, read How to Adjust to Being Alone.

What have I missed – what do you think of these tips on how to give yourself a makeover after a break up? I welcome your thoughts below…

xo

Help Getting Over a Breakup

Finding the right help getting over a breakup is about trying different thinks until you find what works for you. There is no one best way to get over a breakup; what works for one person doesn’t always work for another.

Making things worse is the fact that “Once fallen in true love, a person can’t really fall out of it, no matter what. How much ever you try to hate your better half, you’ll end up falling more instead. Some part of him will always reside in your heart.” – Mehek Bassi.

One of the best tips on getting over a breakup and healing a broken heart is to accept that your heart will always be broken for the person you loved and lost. That person, for better or worse, will always be part of you and your past.

How to Get Over a Breakup

I didn’t get married until I was 35, and I survived many breakups before I met Bruce. In fact, he was one of the people I loved and lost. We knew each other for 17 years before we got married, and when we lost touch for four years I thought it was one of the breakups I’d never fully heal from. But we found our way back together, and have been married for almost nine years.

This isn’t to say that getting over a breakup is about hoping you’ll get back together. This isn’t wise or healthy because it closes you off from new possibilities, new relationships, new beginnings.

Rather, I believe the best help getting over a breakup is to accept that this is the best thing for you. The relationship wasn’t meant to be, and you need to embrace the breakup with all your heart, mind, and soul.

Practice acceptance for one hour

Instead of regretting the breakup, grieving the breakup, or beating yourself up over the breakup…try accepting and even being glad about it. Just try this for one hour. Changing how you think about the breakup will help you get over it.

I was wrong when when I wrote the first sentence of this article: the more I think about it, the more I believe that this is one tip that will help anyone and everyone get over a breakup! I’ve been reading a lot of Byron Katie lately; she writes about the power of our thoughts. We don’t have to believe everything we think. If we think the breakup was the worst thing to happen to us and we’ll never get over it…then voila. We’re stuck in our pain.

If you believe the breakup was meant to be, that it frees you to be happier and healthier than before, that you’ll survive and find someone even more compatible to be with, then it’ll be easier to get over the breakup. That’s the right type of help getting over a breakup: acceptance and surrender.

Make a list of benefits of breaking up

Part of practicing acceptance is being grateful for the good things your breakup brings. If I lost my husband, I’d be grateful for extra free time, not having to do dinner dishes (I’d eat popcorn or salad every night!), and not having to compromise on which church to go to. I’d also get a second dog!

 Help Getting Over a Breakup
Help Getting Over a Breakup

How has your life changed for the better since the breakup? I am 100% certain that there have been positive changes because you broke up for a reason. There was something off in your relationship, your life, or your self – and you know it.

This is your chance to accept it. Change how you think about the breakup, and you won’t just get over it – you’ll create a whole new life. If you can’t stand this idea, you might consider getting professional help getting over a breakup.

If you’re scared you’ll never find anyone else, read How to Be Happy Single.

how to let go of someone you loveIn How to Let Go of Someone You Love, I describe how the person you broke up with is part of who you are and where you wanted your life to go. Getting over a breakup isn’t just about healing so you can find someone new to fall in love with – it’s about closing the book on a chapter of your life that meant a great deal to you.

Closing the book is one of the hardest things to do, especially when your was a huge part of your life. Our partners bring out the best and worst in us…“He brought out the worst in me, and was the best thing that ever happened to me.” – Coco J. Ginger.

I welcome your thoughts below. I can’t offer advice or help getting over a breakup, but writing may help you move forward and heal.

This article was originally posted on my love blog, called How to Get Over a Breakup.

How to Know When to Leave a Relationship

It’s difficult to know when to leave a relationship because you’re not just leaving someone you care about. You’re leaving your hopes for this relationship, you’re leaving a way of life, and you’re leaving a piece of your heart behind.

In 5 Stages of Leaving an Abusive Relationship, I summarize research that categorizes the process of ending a relationship with a man who isn’t healthy. Here, I’m sharing a few questions to help you see your partner and relationship more clearly.

First, though, what advice have you already received about leaving your relationship? I suspect you’re gathering lots of information and thinking a lot about how to know when to leave a relationship. Before you read my tips, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me what your heart is saying; I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.

How to Know When to Leave a Relationship

Are you holding yourself back because you’re scared to be alone? Remember that being single doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you are strong enough to wait for what you deserve.

Leaving a relationship is about transitioning from one state of mind to another. You’re starting fresh in life, and you don’t know where this new beginning will take you. What if breaking up is the wrong choice? That’s the difficult part about trying to figure out if you should leave a relationship. Is it better to stay or go?

Even though I titled this post “how to know when to leave a relationship”, you won’t find a scientific formula that tells you when to leave. Rather, here are a few questions to think about…

Why are you searching for relationship help?

Something brought you here. You’re looking for ways to decide if you should end your relationship not by chance, but by design.

You know what you need to do, but you don’t want to admit it to yourself.

The last relationship I was in – before I married my husband – I knew he wasn’t the guy for me. I felt insecure, uncomfortable, and confused when we were together. I was embarrassed to introduce him to my friends and family, and I didn’t respect him. And yet, I stayed with him for four months after I knew without a doubt it was time for me to leave that relationship.

Are you waiting for him to change?

Do you want different things in life – kids, marriage, career? Are you secretly hoping that his beliefs and wants will change if you stay long enough? If he has different goals in life, then it’s better for you to end the relationship as soon as possible. That’s how to know when you should leave a relationship: you’re hoping he’ll change.

If he’s dealing with drug, alcohol, or anger problems, then he won’t change overnight. You need to be willing to wait for him to work through his issues..which could take a long, long time.

Is your partner willing to communicate?

Here’s what Kevin says on 5 Tips for Finding Balance in a One Sided Relationship:

“If you have a communication problem, it can be fixed. But what can’t be fixed is your partner’s decision not to communicate or try to work through the problems. Is there something that you really want to talk about but your partner is not even willing to consider discussing it? If he doesn’t care enough to talk about it, then you know it’s time to leave the relationship.”

Honestly, you can read all the “how to know when to leave” articles online and take all the relationship quizzes in the world…but the bottom line is your heart.

What is your heart telling you to do? What do you know deep down, but you’re too afraid to admit?

One more question for you

What is one word that describes how you feel about leaving your relationship? Tell me below. You can write more than a word if you’d like. Sometimes it’s helpful to bundle all your feelings into a word and share how you feel.

While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of knowing when to leave a relationship. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.

If you already know it’s time to leave your relationship, read Break Up Advice – How to End a Relationship.

My next ebook is about Blossoming After a Break Up. Make sure you sign up below for my weekly email to receive new articles!

xo

 

3 Ways to Be Strong – and Blossom – After a Break Up

You may feel helpless, hopeless and foolish after a break up. These tips will help you learn how to be strong, healthy, and whole again. You WILL bounce back, and your heart will heal.

I’m writing this article for all women who are scared and sad after a break up. The last thing you want is to continue feeling weak and helpless, right?

Here’s an email from a reader called Twyla: “My boyfriend of three years doesn’t want to be with me anymore,” on What to Do When Your Boyfriend Doesn’t Want You Anymore. “He broke up with me twice before but I begged him not to leave me. So he stayed. Then last time we broke up for about two weeks and I didn’t look for him, he called me and wanted to get back together. Why would he look for me if he didn’t want to be with me? We got back together and we were fine but now everything is bad again. He makes me feel it’s my fault. How to I be strong after this break up and not go back to him? I am very confused.”

3 Best Ways to Be Strong After a Break Up

What do you already know about being strong after a break up? You have more wisdom about how you can heal than I do! Why do I say this? Because you know yourself better than I ever will.

1. Tell me how you were strong in the past

This probably isn’t the first disappointment or heartbreak you’ve experienced. How have you coped with loss in the past? What worked to help you be strong, and how can you apply your own wisdom after this break up? This is one of the best ways to be strong after a break up because you are the expert on yourself. You know yourself better than anyone, and you know what will work for you.

The last break up I coped with was really painful and difficult because I was 33 years old. I’d always been single and never had a long-term relationship. All I wanted to do was settle down and get married. When my boyfriend broke up with me, I wanted him back so bad! I didn’t even think about searching for tips on how to be strong after a break up….I just curled up and cried.

But then I got up. I allowed myself to grieve, and then I squared my shoulders and accepted the fact that I wasn’t meant to be with him. I didn’t exactly learn how to be happy single, but I did recover and heal.

2. Allow yourself time to grieve

Maybe you need to be weak before you can be strong after breaking up with someone you love. I know I did; I was curled up crying because I need to grieve my loss. I lost my hope that he and I would get married, and I was scared that nobody would find me attractive.

I was sad to be alone again, and I was scared I’d always be single.

The funny thing is, now I can’t even remember his name! I can picture his face – oh yes, his name was Alan. Now I remember. See what happens? We heal and we move on. Maybe it’s too soon for you to be looking for tips on how to be strong after a break up. Maybe you still need to find healthy ways to grieve the end of your relationship.

This is one of the best ways to be strong after a break up because you need to process your grief before you can love again. And you WILL find love again…and that love will be better than before. But before you can heal and find peace of mind after a break up, you need to grieve.

3. Learn how to be strong after a break up from other women

Talk to your friends, sister, mom, aunties, and even your coworkers. Don’t look for a shoulder to cry on – unless you’re still in first throes of grieving.

How to Be Strong After a Break Up
3 Ways to Be Strong After a Break Up

Pretend you’re an investigative reporter, and interview healthy, happy women on how to be strong after a breakup. What worked for them, what helped them heal? Who did they connect with? What healthy strategies did they use to cope with the break up, and what unhealthy ways did they cope?

This is one of the best tips on how to be strong after a break up because you’ll learn what worked for other women. You may hear exactly what you need to hear, and find the exact type of support you’re looking for.

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – Winnie the Pooh.

A question for you

In the past, how did you find strength after a major disappointment or loss in your life? Tell me below. I welcome your thoughts on healing and moving forward – especially if you don’t think these are the best ways to be strong after a break up.

While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of finding strength after breaking up with someone you care about. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.

One of the best tips on how to be strong after a break is to learn a variety of ways to Let Go of Someone You Love.

My next post will offer more help getting over a breakup. Don’t miss it! Make sure you sign up below for my weekly email to receive new articles.

xo

How to Adjust to Being Alone

Sometimes the worst part of a breakup is learning how to adjust to being alone again. After you’ve been part of a couple for years – or even decades – it feels impossible to know how to manage life as a single woman.

In How to Emotionally Detach From Someone You Care About a reader commented on a tip that she found very helpful. “You said women should ask themselves whether they would encourage their sister or mother to be in a relationship with their ex-partner, and that really opened my eyes,” says Kathy. “I would never recommend my ex-boyfriend even to my worst enemy. Thank you for saying that, because it is helping me adjust to being alone.”

What advice have you already received on how to adjust to being alone? Before you read my tips, take a moment to think about what you already know. Tell me – I welcome your big and little thoughts in the comments section below.

How to Adjust to Being Alone

These three suggestions apply to women who are:

Of course, there is no one tip on how to adjust to being alone that will work for all women in all circumstances. Here are a few ideas to think about…

Get your spiritual house in order

I often write blog posts that are more spiritual and emotional in nature, because that’s who I am. I believe our spiritual and emotional health has a direct effect on how we live our daily lives. In fact, the very foundation of a happy, healthy life is spiritual!

If you aren’t connected to a higher purpose, if you don’t have hope or faith that everything will be ok (or even wonderful!), then you can search for all the practical tips in the world on how to adjust to being alone. It won’t matter. You don’t need to learn how to stop buying groceries in bulk or how to do a half load of laundry. You need to find a source of peace and joy, independent of your relationship.

Find your purpose in life. What were you created to do? Who were you before you lost touch with yourself? What do you really care about?

Forgive yourself and forgive your ex

What are you holding on to? In How to Tell if Your Boyfriend Has Commitment Issues, I encourage us all to remember this:

You have the power to choose your future. You have the power to choose to be happy, healthy, and in a mutually fulfilling relationship. You do NOT have to stay in a relationship that makes you happy. You are a smart, valuable, and beautiful woman with everything you need.

But before you can really tap into your strength and power, you need to forgive. Let go of the past. You can’t learn how to adjust to being alone if you hold on to regrets, bitterness, anger, or disappointments. You can’t live happy and healthy if you’re gripping on to the dreck and sludge.

Fill your life with light, love, laughter and a mess!

Ah, our loud yappy little dogs. What a pain! And drat that cat; she wakes us up at 5 am. She wants love, hugs, attention, time, affection, pats and scratches. She gets fur in my mouth and nose, and she teases the dogs until they chase her. Then guess who gets in trouble? The dogs.

How to Adjust to Being Alone
How to Adjust to Being Alone

If you don’t have any critters in your life who aggravate you, consider adopting or fostering a dog or cat. Or, take your neighbor’s dog to the dog park. Clean up the poop, wipe the dirty paw prints off your car seat, give the muddy dog a massage.

Live

Life is messy, whether or not you have a dog. Expand your home and make way for disorder, light, and chaos. That’s how I adjusted to being alone. To me, it means a houseful of animals.

What does this mean to you?

Today, my best tips on how to adjust to being alone are: get your spiritual house in order, practice forgiveness, and fill your life with aggravation and laughter. Tomorrow I may have a whole different perspective…but today this is all I got.

A question for you

What is the most difficult part of adjusting to being alone? Tell me below. What advice have you given others about being independent and self-sufficient?

While I can’t offer advice, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your experience of learning how to adjust to being alone. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.

Read What to Do When You’re Tired of Being Alone for a few more ideas – that post was inspired by two readers who aren’t happy being single.

My next article describes how a medical intuitive can help us heal physically and emotionally. Fascinating! Make sure you sign up below for my weekly email to receive new articles.

xo