How to move on after a break up

In an interview with Cheryl Grant

When your relationship ends and you find yourself single again it can be hard to know where to start to pick up the pieces and put your life back on track. Having a plan of action and sticking to it can help to see you through the first worst weeks of emotional upheaval and set you well on the way to recovering your joie de vivre and self esteem.

  1. Acknowledge what you feel

    Most of us feel angry, hurt and saddened by a break up and it important to face up to how you feel inside. It is not healthy either psychologically or physically to keep such intense emotions bottled up. Far better to find an outlet – perhaps by talking to a good friend or counselor, writing in a journal, blogging – any way so long as you can acknowledge and express how you feel and start to let the feelings go.

  2. Go out and enjoy yourself

    Make a positive effort to get out and about actively doing activities that you enjoy and, better still, make you laugh. This is a good time for self-care and to do all those things that perhaps you never managed to get around to when you were wrapped up in your relationship.

    Spending time being creative, with children or pets, enjoying outdoor activities or down at the gym will all boost your mood, help you keep things in perspective and stop you from brooding. Enjoy this opportunity to reconnect with the inner you and rediscover what it is that makes you tick.

  3. Share

    Reach out to others and let your close family and good friends know what you are going through. If you find it difficult to share your innermost emotions with the people who know you well then talking to a counsellor can help. Therapists have wide experience dealing with emotional situations like this and can suggest books, workshops or other coping strategies that can help see you through the worst.

    Volunteering for community programmes to help others less fortunate than you can also help you to retain a sense of perspective about the end of your relationship. You could also try taking an evening or weekend class in a subject that is new to you, or go to the gym or start another type of exercise programme that will get your endorphins flowing.

    Whatever activity you choose will help you find out more about yourself and will get you interacting with new and interesting people.

  4. Take care of yourself

    Your health is crucial and now is the time to take more care, not less. Regardless of how low you feel make a point of eating correctly, drinking plenty of water and getting a good balance of the vitamins and minerals you need more than ever at this stressful time.

    If you find it hard to eat then mix yourself up a vitamin-packed smoothie and take supplements to boost your nutrient intake. Exercise is always important, especially now when the endorphin boost can help to lift you out of your relationship blues.

    Try dancing, swimming or walking in the park as a change to the gym. Likewise meditation and yoga are great ways to relax and rebuild your mental strength.

  5. Choose a goal

    Setting a clear goal can help to keep you focused on the future instead of the past and can distract your mind from the emotional pain you are going through.

    You don't have to necessarily choose anything big but make sure you write it down and make a point of reading it out loud several times a day to help to keep you focused and your goal at the forefront of your mind.

    You don't have to aim too far ahead, even a daily or weekly goal to begin with may be good enough. Often breaking down a large goal into smaller steps is a good approach and can give you a greater sense of achievement as you can see clearly the progress you are making.

    A clear set of actions like these can help you recover from an emotional breakup and will keep you looking forward, not back. This is a period to focus on your health and wellbeing, to rediscover your own identity, to reconnect with friends and family and discover new interests that will help you disconnect from what is past.