Going though a breakup stinks at any age. Whether you are 22 or 42, a breakup is a loss that requires healing time. There are lots of ways to recover from a broken heart and what will work for each person varies. As a dating coach for women who are dating after divorce or dating after 40, here are my top five tips for breakup survival which I call the “Man-Free Diet”TM
1. Take a complete break from men
Don’t go online or go to dances. Don’t call or text your ex or previous loves. Don’t contact your ace in the hole guy that you keep in your back pocket just in case. Steer clear of straight men for at least one month. (If you have gay male friends – they don’t need to be avoided.) This time is all about you and your recovery and not about finding another man to fill the void left by your breakup.
2. Indulge in extreme self-care
Get a massage, facial, or skin care application. Try some energy work or energy healing. Seek the help of a professional counselor or therapist if you feel you need it. Take long bubble baths or try Epsom salts which detoxify. Exercise, rest, meditate, do yoga and breathe. It’s OK and expected to be sad for a while, but make taking care of yourself a priority as this is a way to express and embody self love which is crucial for healing.
Eat well. Fix yourself yummy, healthy meals. Try some new recipes. Dine out at a fabulous restaurant and try something new. Indulge in a little comfort food. And of course, there’s always chocolate.
3. Lift your spirit
Get together with girlfriends to laugh. Watch funny movies or comedy shows. Listen to great music. Sing along at the top of your lungs. Dance alone in your living room. Movement and music are very healing. Singing is recommended for the passing of a partner, so it will work for a breakup as well. When you sing, you lift your energy with the happy vibration of your voice.
Start a creative project. Immerse yourself in something you love to do. Or try a new craft or art modality. Unleashing your creativity is healing and engaging, so if nothing else, you can forget for a while.
Read something inspirational or watch/listen to inspirational speakers. Learn something new. Try a foreign language or a musical instrument to stimulate your brain and kick out those toxic thought loops.
4. Find reasons for gratitude
Get connected to what is good about your life – there’s plenty when you really start to look. Think about your other relationships, family, friends, pets, neighbors to see that you do have other types of love in your life. Count five things you are grateful for every day and make this a practice. Write them down in your journal so you can see what is good in black and white.
A grateful heart is lighter and more positive. The more grateful you feel for what is going well, the easier it will be to let go and allow the healing process to proceed.
5. Rebuild your confidence
Time for a makeover! You can go to the makeup counter at any big department store and get this done for free. You might want to purchase an item or two if you like what the representative does. Or hire a professional makeup artist to show you exactly what colors look best and how to apply them to accent your positives and achieve a great look.
Buy a few new outfits. I recommend working with an image consultant who knows exactly what will work on your body type as well as the best colors to flatter you. Some upscale department stores have personal shoppers on staff who are trained as well – try Lord & Taylor or Nordstroms.
Get a new hair style! Plop down in your stylist’s chair and ask what they recommend to update your look. If you feel brave, go for it! Hair grows out so you can always go back to your old ways in the future. Don’t be afraid – updating your look will take years off which is sure to make you feel younger and happier!
Remember you are a great catch. Even if the last guy couldn’t see that – his loss! You are a fabulous woman who deserves an amazing man. A man who knows you are the one for him and really appreciates you. He’s out there. And when you are ready, you can get back out there, feeling confident and healed and open to possibilities and meeting lots of new men.
People fall in love every day. When you are ready again, you will too.