Tending to a broken heart

Little Window teamed up with Sam Frost’s Believe Community this year, and Christina and Thania have been responding to questions from people about different issues relating to mental wellness.

Break ups are hard. See our tips below on how to care for yourself after ending a relationship. 

Hello, My heart is aching and broken post a break up. What are your tips for getting through this difficult time? Thank you x

Hello, we are so sorry to hear about your broken heart. Break ups are SO difficult, and it’s normal to be feeling super emotional, raw, sad, and many other intense emotions as you deal with it. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to grieve, and the process and time can vary for everyone. Below are some tips on how to care for yourself as you navigate this difficult time.

1. Know that it is so very normal to be experiencing extreme sadness.

Perhaps there is anger there too. Or confusion, regret, hopelessness and fear. Even if you were the person who did the breaking up, it doesn’t make it any less hard. Be gentle on yourself as you allow yourself to feel all these emotions. The way through is to give yourself the time and space to be with your feelings. Sometimes people will try and manage overwhelming emotions by avoiding them completely, and doing things such as moving very quickly into the next relationship, drinking excessively, or keeping themselves so busy they don’t have time to think about anything. While it is healthy to be in some kind of routine and be around people to keeps you distracted, it is also important to balance this with having moments to be by yourself to process what’s happened. 

2. Talk to people you trust about the break up.

Chat to your friends and family who you feel safe with about how you’re going. Having support around you can really help with processing your emotions, and not feeling alone. 

3. Consider what’s right for you with regards to staying in touch with your ex.

Some people find it helpful or unhelpful to still be in contact with their ex, as it can prolong the painful process of letting go. Depending on your situation, have a think about whether it might be useful to ‘go cold turkey’ for a period of time to let yourself heal and recover before talking to your ex again. Many couples can go to being friends after a break up, however it is usually after both people have had time to fully get over the relationship first. You might also want to consider whether you mute or block your ex from social media for a while, to help you not be triggered each time you’re online while you’re feeling raw. You could also have a hiatus from social media to look after yourself too. 

4. Create a goodbye ritual to help you with the grief process.

Find something that resonates with you to say goodbye and help you have a sense of closure. It could be writing your ex a letter (that you don’t give and maybe burn), making a spotify playlist that you listen to, putting away things that remind you of them in a box, burning a candle and doing a goodbye meditation, going to a favourite spot you used to go to together and saying goodbye, etc. 

5. Engage in extra self-care while your heart is broken.

Take time to give yourself some nurturing and fill your cup up. Do things that make you feel soothed. Some examples might be having baths, going for walks in nature, listening to music that makes you feel good, watching nostalgic movies, and connecting with people who love you unconditionally. 

6. Take up a new hobby or activity when you feel ready.

A lot of people find it useful to fill their newfound time with something that’s just for them. It could be that craft or martial arts class you’ve always thought about doing, or reading club, sports team – an activity that helps you to feel empowered, connected to people, and find joy again. 

We wish you all the best as you recover from your break up. 

~ Christina and Thania ~

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