Here is a fact: heartbreaks are more romanticized than love itself. So much so that even at our happiest we find ourselves going back to that one sad song that made us feel a certain kind of way. But, when the time comes- when it happens when your heart is seized from your chest and scattered into the ground you can’t see beyond the pain and wish for it to end. We have all been there. To top it all, if you are from a South Asian household, you are not even able to cry out loud fearing your parents might hear you because you were not even permitted to fall in love in the first place.
Yet here we are. As much as we wish the well-versed ways of getting over a heartbreak to work, the truth of the matter is there are no shortcuts when it comes to heartbreaks. Also, the world is too fast-paced to have 18th-century romanticism to be placed at the heart of all heartbreaks.
Psst, I have a secret for you. Maybe just maybe we can use this time to be more productive. Hear me out, we are too sad to be enjoying ourselves anyway so why not just utilize all of the anger of rejection to heal as well as grow. So, here are some ways you can utilize this time to build a foundation for your future self.
1. Write it down
“Tears are words that need to be written.” – Paulo Coelho
This is something that has always worked for me. It should not be something poetic or well written, remember you are doing this for yourself. Just your intimate secret with yourself. This doesn’t even have to be written as long as you can get the grief out of your system anything will work. Saying it to your reflection or screaming into a paper bag, the point is to let it all out. But, I suggest you write- it is the broken that reflects kaleidoscopically. And once you are done with it, you can reiterate. Voila! There is your writing that you can be proud of.
If you ask me, this might even be the perfect opportunity for you to fall in love with yourself.
2. Self- love
At first, it might feel counter-intuitive. At your lowest, you are bound to feel unloved and not worthy of care. Then again even at your lowest, you had the strength to pick yourself up and find ways for yourself to heal. This is a sign, you are loved and it’s about time to acknowledge it. Now, pause for a moment here. This is not just about posting quotes on your newsfeed.
Often time self-love is a silent process that involves months, maybe even years of self-reflection. Don’t let this discourage you just yet. Baby steps. Small changes count.
I urge you to look at the mirror and see your flaws, at first you might even feel ugly. But don’t you dare stop looking. As you see yourself you will realize how each of the flaws is so uniquely yours. Do this as much as you can.
You will with time start to see change as to how you perceive yourself. Trust me on this, this is a powerful exercise and might just be what you need right now.
3. Social Media Cleanse
You and I both know, you are going to delete all the pics and post that remotely reminds you about them. I say take this opportunity to dive even deeper, why stop at them? Unfollow, unsubscribe, unfriend and un-whatever people, brands, pages, etc that don’t help you in any way, shape or form. Outwardly it might seem like something petty, but most often than not people that you surround yourself with will determine how much of your goals you will achieve. Likewise, remember this not just for your virtual presence but also in your day to day life.
4. Reconnect with your friends
One of the greater good that comes from a break up would be you getting all this surplus time that you otherwise didn’t have. Yes, the best thing would be to utilize it for learning a new skill or refining the ones that you already have. Not yet, you deserve a break. I highly suggest reconnecting with a long lost friend, a school reunion if those are still a thing. This will help you bring back some sense of self.
5. Learn a new skill
Yes, this might be the best thing to do in any situation, to be honest. But here is just a gentle reminder. Go online, research for the things that interest you. Maybe dip your toe in front end development, or marketing, what about a psychology course. Who knows what might interest you. Hmmm, Entomology?
6. Declutter your room and also your workspace
This is along the same line as having a social media cleanse. Just remove all things that don’t help you or make you happy. I have often found myself hoarding things as if to preserve the memory it has. Although at first, it might not seem to be a big deal, tell that to my overfed closet that had no other option but to spill out. So if you are like me, please get rid of that pile of “memory” junk. If it is worth remembering your brain will remind it to you. Just don’t use this last line during your exams and you are all equipped for the greater good.
By now you must have understood what the point is- selfishly love yourself to the point that it makes you infinitely happy.
Now that you have all of these ways to help you be just a tad bit more productive and distract you, don’t expect the hurt to go away just yet. You will have to fully go through all stages of grief to finally find your peace.
We have a strange relationship with sadness- while being one of the fundamental human emotions, we often time shy away from discussing it or feeling it ourselves. As if there is an internal switch that can be flicked as per our choice. Humans don’t function like that and pushing a full-fledged process to finish sooner will only lengthen it. The key is to acknowledge it and also realize that life goes on.
“It is what it is.” might be your mantra for the time being
Here is a quote that might help you deal with any sort of emotion a bit better.
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”- Gautam Buddha
Live through the pain and the hurt as if it is some kind of new experience, don’t expect it to be over just because you want it to. But, let every moment count and when you finally wake up one day and your heart hurts no more you’ll realise you have finally arrived.
Till then take care. Love you XO.
Also read How to Move On and get over Broken Relationships .