10 Ways to Help Yourself Heal After a Break-up

Health Writer

Time heals all wounds. But when you have a broken heart, you sometimes aren't sure if you are going to make it through the day. You don't feel that the pain will ever go away. Many times a broken heart will cause physical pain, you actually feel as if your heart is injured. Right after the break-up you usually feel sad, lack motivation, feel empty and your body may have a feeling of heaviness. You usually not only mourn for the relationship and miss your previous partner but may also feel a deep sense of loss for the future you dreamed you would have together.

In time, you will begin to feel better. You will get through it. In time, your heart will heal and you will once again be ready to face the day. You will probably meet someone new and fall in love all over again. But, you have to make it through those miserable, unhappy days, weeks or months after your relationship ended.

The following are 10 ways you can help to heal your broken heart.

Cry. Science shows that crying does help - Health Central Jerry Kennard states, "The physical effects of crying do indeed show that once crying stops, the body moves from a state of high arousal to one more associated with relaxation. Breathing and heart rate slows, sweating decreases and the period of the relaxed state tends to last longer than the time spent crying."  So take the time to cry and grieve for your relationship.

Take one small step toward healing each day. You probably don't feel like getting off the couch or even climbing out of bed, but you must. Commit to one positive action each day and sooner or later these actions will start to become normal again. Exercise for 15 minutes, take a walk, cook yourself a spectacular meal or take yourself out to eat, get a haircut.

Create distance between you and your ex. You feel alone and you desperately want some type of connection to your ex. Or you are ready for separation and your ex won't leave you alone, he calls, sends emails or stops by. Every time you talk with your ex, you postpone your healing. Let your ex know you need distance in order to heal and then stick to going without talking, no matter how hard it is in the beginning. Remember, it will get easier each day.

Keep yourself busy. Make a list of activities, no matter how small, that you can use to keep yourself busy. Your list might include: take a walk, go shopping, clean the hallway closet, see a movie, read a book, get together with friends. What the activity is isn't as important as simply giving yourself something to do other than sitting around feeling sorry for yourself or sliding into depression.

Talk to friends. If you were in a serious, committed relationship, you probably talked to your ex every day. If you lived together or were married, you have become accustomed to having someone there all the time. Now that your ex isn't around, life seems lonely; you don't have a constant conversation partner or someone to call during the day. Contact friends and let them know what is going on - ask if you can call just to talk for a few minutes. Hearing a friendly voice can do a lot to help improve your outlook.

Clear the clutter. Most long-term relationships include clutter. I might be text messages in your phone, items left at your house or being friends on social networks. Get rid of the clutter from the relationship so you aren't faced with constant reminders of what you lost.

Remind yourself what is good about yourself. Break-ups tend to wreak havoc on your self-esteem, especially if your partner is the one who left, after all a break-up is a rejection. If the break-up was messy your partner may have brought up everything wrong with you. Instead of focusing on what he or she found wrong, write a list of your good qualities and traits. Keep it posted where you can see it every day and continue to remind yourself why you are a good person.

Take care of yourself. During the days and weeks after a breakup, it is easy to skip meals because you aren't hungry or overeat to mask the pain. Your thoughts may keep you up at night. You ignore your needs. But during this time it is especially important to take time to take care of you.

Accept that you need time to heal. There is no right or wrong amount of time to heal from a broken heart. If it has been a few weeks and you are still feeling down, it is okay. Remind yourself that each day will be just a little easier. Keep moving forward and you will begin to notice that you think about the relationship a little less each day.

Find a new hobby. In long-term relationships, most of your activities probably involved your ex and when you do them now, the grief starts all over. Think about what you would like to do or learn, such as taking a class at a local college or learning how to paint. You might have a hobby that you have ignored during the relationship. Now is a good time to rekindle your interests.

We can't go through life without experiencing rejection or break-ups at some time. While the first few days and weeks are usually the worse, you may find that even months later something reminds you of the relationship and you feel miserable all over again. Be patient with yourself and remember you have a new life ahead of you.

Also see: 10 Things Not to Do When You Break Up with Someone