Though we most commonly think of breakups in terms of romantic relationships, we can find ourselves heartbroken for lots of reasons throughout life. Our hearts break when a family member is given a serious diagnosis or passes. They break when we get our hopes so high that they come crashing down on us, and they can even break in some of our happiest moments, like the youngest child leaving home to go off to college. At the end of the day, a broken heart is the feeling we get in times of extreme sadness. And although it can feel like there is no use going on, a good self-care routine can give your heart and head the time and space they need to complete the healing process.
Giving Yourself Time and Space
Heartbreak comes from grief, and when we are feeling that pain of grieving, it’s important to know where it comes from. Identifying the source of your grief and giving yourself the time and space to feel and understand it is often the first and most important part of the healing process, and it can take practicing DBT skills to pin down. If you recently broke up with a partner, you might benefit from some time alone. If you lost a loved one, taking time off work to spend time with family can be helpful. No matter the type of heartbreak you are feeling, giving special attention to this grieving process is vital to accepting the changes in your life and opening the door to further healing.
Being Aware of Your Needs and Saying Them
Communicating your needs means prioritizing yourself in situations that might impose upon your boundaries. We draw boundaries as a way to communicate our reaction to someone else’s action. For instance, if a mutual friend invites you and your ex to the same party, you have the power to decline that invitation, providing an opportunity for you to communicate to your friend the need for distance from your ex. Simply being aware of your needs as you navigate grief and repair your broken heart can prepare you to communicate your needs in more challenging situations.
Seeking Joy in New Activities
Heartbreak has the power to change us. For many of us, it comes hand-in-hand with trauma. But we can take back the power by embracing change and actively seeking out positive influences for our lives. While this may look like a gathering of friends for some, it may look like sitting alone under a shady tree with a novel. The key here is surrounding yourself with things and people that inspire hope and joy. It’s not about pushing away the heartbreak, but rather embracing and accepting the change it brings.