The end of a relationship is downright difficult, even if you are the one who ended it. Kay Moffett and Sarah Touborg, authors of Not Your Mother's Divorce, offer some tips to get you through.

1. Take pride in the small accomplishments: "I went to work, I answered the phone, I sent a fax." Try not to dwell too much on The Future, but rather take one day and one moment at a time until things in your life stabilize.

2. Start a journal (if you haven't already) so that you can record your chaos-inspired poetry, rants, speeches to your ex, new philosophies on life and love, etc. You may produce some of your best thinking to date. Really.

3. Rock out the new routines. The early period after a break-up is a great time to discover (or rediscover) what makes you tick. Explore the hobbies you love but haven't had time for whilst with Mr Wrong.

4. Fast-forward six months or more. Although it may feel like you are never going to enjoy life and/or find someone to love again, keep in mind that you are in an altered, "post-break-up" state of mind right now and that, with time, you will return to a happier and more stable version of yourself.

5. Reach out and call someone. Let all your good friends and family know you are single again and to invite you to anything and everything. It's important to marshal your social network at this time to keep you afloat and give you the support you need during the rough patches.

6. Do the things your ex loathed and relish doing them! Watch "The Bachelor" if he hated it. Blare that Beth Orton song if he thought she sounded whiney. Do whatever you couldn't do when he was around and do it with a little jig because you can now do it all you want!

7. Get into shape. Avoid the self-destructive tendencies that can arise after a break-up, such as drinking too much and going out all the time, and instead use the new time you have on your hands to get fit. Exercise can allow you to feel like you are taking care of yourself and becoming strong.

8. Indulge in little pleasures. Go for it, get a mani and a pedi. Draw yourself a bubble bath every night after work, get a twice-weekly massage, or do whatever feels like the most delicious guilty pleasure you can think of. It's important to rediscover your immense capacity for joy during this period.

9. Cleanse and purge. Now is also a great time to embrace your inner cleaning lady and scour your place from floor to ceiling -- symbolically, this can do wonders for the spirit.

10. Be phenomenally accepting of yourself. It sounds trite, but go with the flow. Break-ups are always difficult and heart-breaking, and you're bound to feel off-kilter and act a little strange some of the time. Learn the critical importance of forgiving and having deep and abiding compassion for yourself. Keep the faith that things will get better and saner with time.

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Comments

Comments on "Ten ways to stay strong and healthy after a big break-up"

jersey April 02, 2014 | 3:01 PM

Great article, I also came here looking for help with a broken heart. I chased a girl since the eighth grade. I finally got her when I was 30. Now I'm 40. 10 years of dating her, living together and I asked her to marry me 4x. all came with excuses of why we should wait. Mostly because she was depressed over the death of her mother. After the death she quit her job and went into a depression for almost 8yrs. I supported her morally and financially the entire time without a single complaint! She didn't want to start a family, which I begged for. I finally got up the courage to break it off because I wanted more and she stopped helping herself. after a few months of being apart I called her and we got back together. She was extremely happy and the depression was gone. She still didn't work and spent most of her time siting on the beach. Five months ago she started working as a substitute teacher and moved back to her Dad's house and said she wants to work as a teacher in that town. I live and work in a different state and could not believe what I was hearing. I excepted it because I wanted her to follow her dreams and hoped one day I could move there and we would get married and start a family. we talked still but didn't see each other much, some weekends. She recently told me she met someone and can't talk to me anymore. I never thought I would care as much as I do I am DEVESTADED!!! I cant believe the love of my life, the girl I had chased for so long, took care of for years could for one leave me after I all I did and stop talking to me...... help I cant sleep everyday is a struggle and all I can think about is "now I'm 40 years old and doomed to be alone and without children, that I wanted so bad for so long, forever". the pain is torture! My days are like knives in my heart all day long!

Wendy February 14, 2014 | 7:34 PM

Thanks for a great article. I initiated my breakup and even though I'm not on the receiving end of it (being dumped is a bigger blow to the ego), I'm feeling all sorts of emotions as the days pass. One day I'm feeling strong and proud of myself for tackling a difficult situation, the next I'm confused and full of self doubt. This article was full of really solid new habits to embrace. Fast forwarding (#4) is a great idea - visualizing yourself once the emotions have settled and you're OUT of it. I guess the breakup part doesn't get you OUT of the relationship, you are actually OUT when you get him and all the FEELINGS out of YOU...

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mia January 23, 2014 | 4:04 PM

I could not agree more with this post. It is really important to take care of yourself and not to think how is he doing. Also i would add that you should try not to have negative feelings toward your ex, he was a part of your life and your choice for some time and try to wish him happiness and love and also wish to yourself. My mistake during breakup is that i kept comparing myself to my ex, because he was doing so great, traveling, already dating while i was sad,thinking what went wrong and taking time for myself. It is not a competition everybody has its own way of dealing with breakup and just don't do it! don't obsess about how is he doing. It is all about YOU in this time and realizing what you want from life and future relationships!

Sharon November 13, 2013 | 10:13 PM

Broke up with boyfriend of one year relationship. It is the third week after I broke up with him. Just fed up with his lies and his unreasonable dependence on his ex-. What the hell is that about? He cheated on me by dating his ex- while dating me for eight months. I forgave him for the first time since he promised in front of her that he would never see her again or contact her again and I decided to give him and myself a second chance. But he wasted my forgiveness and kept pushing my limits of tolerance by talking to his ex- again and again. His ex is tremendous interesting too. After she found out his cheating on both of us, she still asks him to go back to her because she loves him very much. What the hell again? I am totally done with this man. Now I feel angry, relief, and sad at the same time. I hope next time I can observe more and feel more before committing myself to a serious relationship. Guess that's what I learnt from this fresh pain from breakup. Every girl, cheer up. Life still moves on. Sun will still come out even you feel the world is in darkness. But the truth is the way you look at the world change your life. Start from this breakup and be determined to find a new yourself in a better way! God bless us.

Dion November 09, 2013 | 6:23 PM

He just broke up with me after many years of being together. I'm tried of crying, I promised myself that I was going to stop after tonight. I also promised myself to let go and move on.Thanks for the tips

Single September 09, 2013 | 1:38 AM

My boyfriend just walked out on his kid and me after 2 years of our relationship living together.My baby boy is only 6 months old. I feel like i cant live widout him and i dont have the strength anymore.Any advise

Just breathe August 14, 2013 | 6:36 AM

Article has good points, except points 7&8 - as I am sure the women ( and maybe men) with kids and those who have been left without house, car will know they won't be spending a thing on manicures and weekly massage ! It takes a while to get over a 1 year relationship. Much longer for those who have been together for many years or who have kids together. Would be good to see an article on how to help the kids when their father - or mother - has abandoned responsibilities. The 'single' is left trying to meet the needs on every level, whilst not bad mouthing the partner who left. The hardest thing is trying to restore their kid's security and filling the 'void of love' whilst going through such a desolate time yourself. Exhausting. To all of you coping with a bad break-up, whatever your circumstances, I wish you courage, strength you didn't know you had. Just breathe, walk one step at a time. If you can't do a 'day at a time', do one hour, even 5 mins at a time. & go and find one thing in the day to "wonder" at : nature is inspiring if you look outside yourself. You have probably wasted energy on someone. Stop doing so. Accept you did so, but you if you loved with a good heart, no love is wasted. Now put your energy - and love - where it counts. Don't let bitterness take over. Accept anger, rage on for a while, Then put it down. Bitterness will take your soul - but only if YOU let it. Reach out to friends - or go out and find good people. They ARE out there and will restore your faith in humanity.

xerox June 21, 2013 | 8:14 AM

It's hard for all of us, i've just broken up with girlfriend after 6 years, it was an unhealthy relationship from the start, she has a drink problem, i thought i could help her to stop but i didn't know how hard it would be. We both have children from other relationships, this was another cause of the friction in ours,i can honestly say that she was the first woman in my life who i had tried to be totally unconditional with, i thought i was putting her first. I still miss her and know it will take time, i just don't want to ever go back to the drama.

single June 16, 2013 | 5:58 AM

Well it's father's day and I'm single after 13 years in a relationship! We have been engaged for many years & have a beautiful baby girl. We have lost 2 sons...at 6mos & my daughters twin passed away at 1mo. My daughter became disabled from a heart surgery she had in the NICU. She is a miracle 23.5 weeker only weighed 1lb 3oz at birth. I was forced to leave my career of 7 yrs to dtay home and care for her. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with Lupus...an autoimmune illness that causes your body to attack itself. I'm under a doctor's care but at time I'm really in pain and very fatigue. My short term disability ran out as well as my unemployment benefits. And the bills keep pilling up! I decided to start waitressing at a club 2-3 nights a week because with my daughters special needs and therapies & the fact she can't go to a regular day care left me with a very small amount of availability. So I started and he packed up his things and left us. Said he wants a normal life. ;( I'm so hurt & am doing so much. The bills don't pay themselves and I have to do whats best for my family in the long run. We've been together for sooo long. It's hard to believe I'm now a single mom struggling to survive with my sweet baby girl.... Never again will I let someone crush my heart.

Sp June 09, 2013 | 10:27 PM

Just broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years. I feel like a lunatic responding to emotions I didn't know existed. I go from hating him to yearning for a second of his casual touch. I don't know what to do with myself. He is my best friend and all I want is for my best friend to console me, im going through a break up. How long does this feeling of uncertainty last? As a rational person I understand why I broke up with him but as an emotional lunatic I don't know what to do with myself.

Shakydiah Lucas May 26, 2013 | 4:16 PM

I was in a relationship for 4yrs I have a daughter with him. Now it just seem like things have turn out so wrong for no reason he says the reason is because of my anger when we are not getting along i admit its not good but who's is its anger and he just dont get it the things he says is so hurtful and selfish he says stuff that I can't even fix my mouth to say to him cause those words hurt I just feel overall that he is a good person but not good for me its sad cause I tryed soooooo hard to make this work but if the both doesnt want it then it will not happen but I have to keep my head up for my kids which is soooo hard cause I just want to ball up like a baby and cry but I stay praying for the strenghten and it will get better with time and God

Manpreet saini May 24, 2013 | 8:16 AM

Nice ideas to become a happy after break up. Thanks allot!

Qwerty March 17, 2013 | 11:48 PM

I came here seeking advice and comfort and I found it. Not in the article, but in the comments. The end of any relationship hurts but after reading some of your situations, I realise mine is not as bad as I thought and that I AM moving on. Thank you all for sharing. And I genuinely mean it.

Cynthia March 06, 2013 | 6:34 PM

I was with my boyfriend since high school for 9 years (I'm 25). We've lived together for 7 years. For a while I felt that he wasn't the one for me because he is a very pessimistic, cynical person. I'm pretty optimistic and easy going. Basically, I knew there was someone better out there. Out of the blue a few days ago, he tells me he doesn't want to be with me. I'm in a very confused place because I wanted to break up as well. But I'm completely devastated. He's my best friend, and knowing that I'll never see him again is so completely heartbreaking that I feel like someone died. I can't comprehend the severity of this situation. He's been my life for 9 years. Most of the day I'm very strong and optimistic. Then I become extremely sad. I just want happiness.

Alyssa March 03, 2013 | 8:09 PM

ending a relationship with boyfriend of about two years we were engaged in high school and I broke I off when he cheated on me we both went our separate ways and got married to others and divorced and got back together. Went through a lot to be together the second time around but just isn't meant to be... will always love him but sometimes it is better to be alone, no matter how painful it is, than to be with someone you know will only hurt you more.. Doesn't make the pain any easier to deal with though...

scott March 02, 2013 | 10:04 PM

Stay strong and do not give up hope everyone!. I too just got canned again from a 6 year on and off relationship. Every new break up has been easier and easier on me. It was like a gradual release from her. I currently feel worried about the future and what it holds for me. I take comfort in the fact that other people are going through situations like mine.

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Sha December 24, 2012 | 6:14 PM

My relationship of 2.5 years has come to an end and we also have a child together. I feel as if I'm hitting every single "do not" there is. Being that i don't see him grieving I feel he doesn't care about me nor our child. I'm so unsure of what to do anymore I'm looking all over the internet for answers.

Leon west December 23, 2012 | 8:08 AM

Guys get broken hearts too...No disrespect to women but I'm a guy n I'd like to hear from a guys point of view!

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