The ending of a relationship is one of the hardest things humans do.
And while it’s generally a universal experience, the pain is unique to each person. There’s no single ending to a relationship, and there’s no single way to cope with the loss.
For that reason, there’s no prescription to write for how to “get over it.”
However, there are some things you can do to move through the loss, and the grief that comes with loss, as efficiently as possible.
Here are five things to do to move through your heartbreak as quickly as possible.
Feel your feelings.
When we feel “negative” emotions, like anger and sadness, the typical human reaction is to run.
But not feeling our feelings doesn’t make them go away.
In fact, it does the opposite.
Unprocessed emotions linger longer, and they tend to become louder and more insistent that they need to be heard. Humans interpret this as increasing distress, whether that be in the form of anger, sadness, or another emotion.
Unprocessed emotions can also lead to maladaptive, or unhealthy, coping strategies, like numbing with substances.
But, when you feel your feelings, you allow your experience to be as it is. You don’t deny what you are feeling, but instead accept that this is the natural reaction to the loss of someone you cared for.
Normalize your reaction.
Normalization is a powerful tool to help you through your break-up.
Normalization looks like this: “It makes sense that I would feel…”
Normalization supports feeling your feelings. When you allow yourself to feel, you can normalize that it makes sense that you would be sad or angry (or both, or something else).
And when you validate your experience, you allow it to be okay that you aren’t okay yet. And this, in turn, becomes healing.
While you alone must feel and process your feelings, you don’t have to do it alone.
As you mobilize support, it can be beneficial to connect with a therapist.
Therapists are trained to support you in moving through your feelings from an unbiased and non-judgmental perspective.
Many people chose not to reach out to a therapist, and instead rely on family and friends.
And while it’s important to find supportive people within your network, sometimes these well-meaning loved ones make matters worse, as they tend to either 1) push you to the “end” of your pain by saying something like “well, you’re better off without him anyway,” or “someday you’ll forget all about this,” or 2) suggest ways of coping that might have been helpful for them but not realize that your experience is different and you need to cope in your own way.
Therapists, instead, will meet you “where you’re at.” They can sit with your pain, instead of trying to make it better. They can help you process the loss and create a plan to move forward.
Therapists can also help you identify the coping strategies that work for you, so that you can tolerate distressing emotions as they arise.
Expect your process to be non-linear.
The grief process is anything but linear, and with no definite end date.
While there are traditionally said to be distinct phases of grief, most people don’t move through the phases in order, and some may not even experience a specific phase at all.
You might think you’ve passed through the denial or depression phase, only to find yourself there again.
When (not if) this happens, don’t think there’s anything wrong with you, or that you’re “regressing.” This is just part of the complex process that is grieving.
Practicing self-compassion can support you as you weave through the various stages of grief.
Self-compassion means that you recognize that your healing process will be imperfect. That you might numb out one night with a glass of wine or resist your feelings at times.
Self-compassion says, “I don’t need to shame myself for my mistakes, but I will try again and learn from last time.”
Self-compassion is your best friend in healing from heartbreak. It will support you when you’ve lost hope and feel overwhelmed by the thought of moving forward.
Healing from heartbreak is a challenging process, and sometimes you might wonder if you’ll ever feel happy again. That’s normal, too.
But, if you commit to the process of healing, you will not only heal again, but also love again, if you so desire.
If you’d like additional support on your healing journey, you can download my free workbook at darciemft.com/workbooks/.