Recently a friend posed a question on social media: “Following a breakup, what are the self-care rituals and other actions you take to help heal a broken heart?”
The responses were fascinating. Most women suggested things like exercise, time in nature, therapy, coaching, and journaling. An alarming number of men said simply: “Date someone else”!! YIKES!
If you’re here reading this, you probably already know that jumping right from a rough breakup straight into a new relationship isn’t a great choice, but let this serve as a reminder that not everyone understands this.
I agree with all the suggestions for exercise, time in nature, therapy, coaching, and journaling. I’ll add to these ideas a few other things I find helpful.
Cutting the Cord Ceremony
This is a ceremony in which we release past connections. It’s an energetic, spiritual cleansing of the past, a formal letting-go, and it can be done in any fashion that suits you. Some people may want to write the word “past” on a piece of paper and burn it over a flame, imagining the past released in the smoke and ash. Others may want to choose two candles, tie the candles together with a string or cord, and then untie or cut the cord, stating your intention to no longer be joined.
When we cut cords, we must do so with a sense of gratitude for what we learned from the past. If we do it with anger or resentment, we won’t fully release the past. As preparation for a cutting the cord ceremony, it may be useful to journal about what you are grateful for. What were you thankful for about the past relationship? And what are you grateful for now that it is over?
Eighteenth century physicians prescribed a “Change of Air” for patients suffering from a range of maladies. They believed that travel – breathing fresh air, changing your routines, and increased outdoor activity – would stimulate healing in patients. While a lot of medical advice from this time period should rightly be dismissed, this one stands the test of time. Travel does help us gain different perspectives, focus on new things, and when we return home it is often with a shifted (and improved) point of view.
Impeccable Self Care
Last but not least, I suggest impeccable self care. Treat yourself well in all the ways your ex didn’t (and the ways they did!) If flowers bring you joy, buy yourself flowers. If touch feels amazing, book a massage. If you long for passionate sex, take yourself on a date and make exquisite love to yourself. (Really! It’s possible!) Be patient with yourself. And if it seems like your healing is progressing too slowly, then seek therapy or coaching. As always, reach out if you have questions, and we can discuss how I might be able to help.