First things first: We are social creatures wired for connection. We all desire to be loved and belong. And if you’re struggling with either of those realities, you’re not alone. We can all picture love as an elegant dance of giving and receiving, but it takes a lot of studying choreography to get there.
If you’re going through a breakup, or struggling to move past one, it’s OK: the ending of a relationship is a loss. No matter how many pints of ice cream might be involved, when we experience loss we go through the grief cycle.
The grief cycle goes as follows: Denial, Depression, Anger, Acceptance, Recovery. It’s a non-linear experience that is fluid between these various points (i.e., if you wake up thinking, “I feel great today! I love being single!” but end the day crying over old pictures, that’s not falling backward, that’s just processing.)
You are grieving and it’s okay to be ALL the emotions: angry, hurt, peaceful, calm, etc. all at once right now. You will be OK. I know, I know, not the most comforting advice. But think of the storms you’ve weathered before. It may not feel OK right now…but feelings change just like the weather. We just let the front roll through and do our best to close the windows.
But, uh, how exactly do you let the storm roll through?
1. Feel your feelings. Hate to say, but it’s true! There is no RIGHT way to process this. We all have our own unique journey. This is where Sanvello comes in handy: track your mood regularly, several times a day during a breakup, so you can follow your ups and downs and investigate them. This is the time to tune in, not tune out. Be present with what you’re feeling. What or who helps you to process, vent, release, and expand?
2. Seek support. Turn to your Mental Health Emergency Kit. Who is most supportive of you in your life and how can you feel better supported during this time? It could be a coach, therapist, psychiatrist in or outside the Sanvello app, as well as friends, family, pets, outside professionals, neighbors, mentors, nature, etc. Find that source of support for you and access it!
3. Be gentle with yourself. You are going through something — honor that. I encourage you to journal about it and get your ideas, feelings, thoughts out on paper. Maybe scream into a pillow, cry to your favorite sad songs, or engage in rigorous activity or exercise to release that big, sticky energy around your heart. Let the mind, body, and especially the heart be free and expand again.
4. Have a little feel-good time. Dive into the things that light you up inside and out. How can you nurture and care for yourself during this time and always? Ideas include but not limited to: walks, hikes, nature, bike rides, quiet mornings, exercise, movement, playing with pets, family time, baths, spas, games, etc…Take those small steps towards making yourself more of a priority and see how it can assist with the healing process. And look, we know sometimes it feels better to wallow than to move through it, but just try a feel-good activity for even 15 minutes. See how you feel after and write those feelings down.
5. Take time to reflect on what YOU like and love about YOU. Positive self-affirmations. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I love you” or “You are beautiful” or “You are enough.” Don’t be afraid. Say it over and over. Being able to call in someone who can reciprocate the love you want and deserve starts with giving that to ourselves, truly.
6. Meditation. Come back to yourself and come as you are. Find time to be, just be. Challenge yourself to slow down. I encourage you to meditate on the heart space and feel into what is present. Allow your heart the space and attention it deserves and needs. Notice the sensations and moments when your heart is saying yes or no…tune in! And if you think that sounds hokey, I encourage you to do it anyway. Sometimes a heartbreak calls for a little hokey.
7. Challenge thought patterns. Sometimes our perceptions of an experience can completely shape how we cope and handle it. Check in with your self-talk and thought patterns. Use the thought-reframing tools in Sanvello to catch those sticky think traps in their tracks and try to reframe them little by little. Sometimes self-doubt and negative self-talk can creep in about us and potentially the other person. Examine those thoughts with the support of the Traps and Reframe tool in the app. Our expectations may be causing us to get stuck in certain thought loops or patterns. Let go of the outcome and focus on the now and what you can call in for yourself! Most possible without the inner critic being on high volume.
8. Practice gratitude. It may feel like the furthest thing from your fresh-out-of-the-oven heartbreak…but it can be your saving grace as you navigate the stormy and choppy waters ahead. Find gratitude in the simplest of things and newfound appreciation for things. And…perhaps down the line and when you are ready, find gratitude for the ending of this relationship and the opportunity or gift it is giving you. I encourage you to really feel that sense of gratitude, noticing the heart and what it presents.
9. Resiliency in action. You are cultivating a greater sense of inner strength as you navigate this hard time. Build your ability to cope through the challenges of life. Turn to the routines, practices, behaviors, and rituals that serve you, and better set you up for whatever comes next to try to rock the boat…which may not always have to be perceived as a bad thing but rather an opportunity to let your sails stand strong and move you forward. Practicing regularly that which keeps you afloat makes you the most resilient boat out there. Use the health habits and goal tracking features in Sanvello to help you take care of yourself, solidifying the routines that work for you and abandoning the ones that don’t.
How do I know this all works? My recent and fresh heartbreak turned my world upside down. I am now seeing it as a true invitation to be fully me. All these beautiful intentions would not be possible without the tears, journaling, therapy sessions, coaching, friends, family, nature, runs, meditation, walks, yoga, and lots of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches by my side. (Hey, we all have our unique coping mechanisms.)
I hope you can find that as this door closes, you are perhaps getting the push you need to open and enter that next door, window, hidden bookcase entry to a secret room…whatever it is for you! And no… it is NOT easy… but just like you may be, I’m trusting in myself and the opportunity ahead.
By Arielle Hartz, Coach at Sanvello
Arielle “Ari” Hartz believes that health is everything and everywhere. As a Sanvello Coach, she knows every action and experience, no matter how small or trivial, has the power to impact our health. For her, self-empowerment is the beauty of coaching.
Besides being a coach, Ari is a yoga and meditation teacher and Ayurveda enthusiast, but most importantly a proud student of life. She’s a human like everyone else and uses her imperfections to connect with others, grow, and heal.