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How Taking Good Care Of Yourself Is The Best Cure For Heartbreak

How Taking Good Care Of Yourself Is The Best Cure For Heartbreak

You thought your relationship was going to last a lifetime. You fought long and hard but it still ended, and now you are left with a heart shattered in a million pieces.

Heartbreak pain is different than breaking a limb. It’s an invisible, continuous throbbing from the inside that no one else can truly understand because it’s intimately personal to you alone.

So rather than depending on others to help you, it’s a time in your life when you have to simply be your own best friend. I advise those I coach to take care of their own heart first. It’s one of the most important survival methods I learned when going through this experience myself.

Here are some must-do heartbreak cures that may help you through this difficult time:

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1. Put your heart in a cast as you would a broken arm

Give yourself time. Recognize that the very core of who you are, your heart, is broken and you must let it heal. Just as you wouldn’t go run a marathon on a broken leg, don’t think that your heart is ready to jump into another relationship immediately. A general guideline for healing is one year for every four you were committed. Purposely letting yourself do this may lessen that time.

2. Be patient with your up and down moments

When we go through a traumatic event, it’s normal to have emotions that bounce up and down. One moment you may feel as if you are getting better, only to have something happen that will trigger the blues again. Expect this. As you focus on healing, you will find the good moments extending longer and longer.

3. Feed yourself good food even if you don’t feel like eating

You are a well-oiled machine that needs fuel to operate at its maximum. Some nights you will cry and eat ice cream, but for the most part, do your best to put yourself on automatic pilot for meals and choose good food. Your brain needs this as it’s working overtime right now to keep you in balance.

4. Take mini adventures – find new places and ways of doing things

What you don’t need are a lot of reminders of your ex. So begin carving out some new habits and make it interesting. Shop at a grocery store you have hardly ever been to (you may find some new ideas for eating well). Take a new route to work. Eat at new restaurants, try a new coffee flavor. It can be fun and you may discover some eye-opening preferences you didn’t know you had.

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5. Allow yourself to work out your anger positively

I discovered the treadmill when I went through a breakup. It was amazing for pounding off frustration. An added benefit was that I found myself in the best shape of my life. I joined a small gym, so it was conducive to meeting many people who were in the same situation as I was. I made some good friends there. This was much better (and less humiliating) than drinking myself into oblivion and then having to recover from that as well.

6. Find a way to help yourself sleep

Breakups are often not compatible with sleeping the whole night through. After a couple of hours – if you can fall asleep – you jerk awake and the pain hits you in the stomach again as memories come crashing in. You need your sleep just as you need good food. So if you must go to a physician and ask for help, do that. If that treadmill helps exhaust you so you can rest, do that too. Your sleep patterns will get better as your heart heals.

7. Realize that you have been through a loss and you need to grieve

If you had lost your spouse to death, you would let yourself grieve. We don’t tend to view breakups the same way. Separation can be worse than a death as the one you loved still lives and breathes and may have the power to continue hurting you, or you might have to watch them with someone else. So realize that you are facing the death of your lost dreams, the comfort of the love you once had, and the future you thought you were going to have.

The same stages of grief will affect you: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Bouncing back and forth between these is normal. Be tender with yourself. Learn how to go through them and you will be amazed at the difference in your healing.

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8. Give yourself permission to do some wild and crazy things you wouldn’t have tried before

Whether or not you chose to leave your relationship, this has now become your opportunity to become more ‘you’ than you ever have before. So cross over the boundaries of your comfort zones and find some new experiences to try. Start with going out to a movie on a work night if you and your partner just didn’t do that. Try rock climbing. Learn to ski. Take swimming lessons. You will find yourself distracted and you may discover you have some interesting likes you didn’t know were part of who you are.

9. Become your own coach by starting a Strength Journal

In some way personal to you, celebrate what is working on this journey from heartbreak to happiness. I started what I called my “Strength Journal.” In it I would write quotes from books I read that helped me to stay positive. I would record insights I had and the results of personality tests I randomly took. It was a place for anything that made me feel stronger and revealed who I really was and where I wanted to go. Then, when I was feeling low, I would go back and review all these wonderful entries. It was the inspiration I often needed to keep going.

10. Revive your dreams

When you are consumed by the difficulty of a troubled relationship and then live through the shock of breaking up, your dreams are often what suffer. That is, if you were ever in touch with them in the first place. Again, this is your time. As you begin discovering who you are again, let your heart tell you what it is you have always wanted to do or to be.

Pain is amazing for drawing out the compassion in us if we let it. So as you heal, notice what your heart is saying. Did you always want to start a bed and breakfast? Do you have a yearning to protect the lost or innocent in some way?

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Start small and build from there. Would purchasing a particular piece of furniture to go in that exact spot give you a sense of individuality and peace? Begin saving. Work step by step toward where you want to go.

You will heal.

You will find your life again and it will be richer and deeper than before if you take care of your broken heart now.

Many have traveled this road. What other suggestions do you have that may help others going through this? Have you got any great heartbreak cures? Share them in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Image credit: 123bogdan / 123RF Stock Photo via submit.123rf.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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