I’ve been going through a hard time lately because my boyfriend and I broke up. I debated about writing about it here because I’m a private person and my now ex-boyfriend is even more of a private person.
Then I thought, why not? Writing has always been a way for me to process complicated emotions. Also, I have nothing to hide. The relationship meant a lot to me and so it’s normal to grieve over it.
Plus, I want provide some tips to people who are experiencing or have experienced a similar thing. At one point or another, we’ve all had our heart broken. If you haven’t…well, I guess consider yourself lucky.
Here are some ideas I have for tending to a broken heart. Obviously many of them are food related, but some of them aren’t. This isn’t a guaranteed prescription for getting over someone; Only time can accomplish that. But it is a way to lessen the pain. Be very kind to yourself during trying times.
Take a Long Walk
I’ve been coming back from an injury so I haven’t been out in nature as much this summer. Luckily, I’m on the mend and so this past week, I took a few long walks. Being out in nature is very therapeutic. It reminds you of natural beauty, forces you to look beyond yourself, and relaxes you. Sometimes you’ll stumble upon an unexpected scene and for a minute or two, all is right with the world.
Eat Something Delicious
This isn’t exactly a new thing for me because I frequently eat delicious food. But during a breakup, it’s extra important to eat things you love. I’m talking about comfort food, or food that warms your heart and soul. See: This grilled cheese sandwich at KNEAD. I got it yesterday and it temporarily cured what ails me.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
In the days after my breakup, all I wanted to do was stay in bed and not talk to anyone. Luckily, my sisters and my mom broke into my room and forced me to talk to them. I’ve reached out to family and friends the past week and it’s been so helpful. Everyone has been supportive.
I usually make breakfast at home before I go to work. This week, I decided to shake things up and treat myself to one of my favorite breakfasts, a pain au chocolat and cappuccino at Comet. I sat out on the patio, enjoyed a leisurely meal, and put off going to work. It was exactly what I needed.
Read Whatever You Want
Good reading material is essential during breakups. It takes you away from yourself for a moment and puts you in a different world. This week, I escaped into the Deep South and into chaotic kitchens in Paris, France. It made me appreciate my life a little more and distracted me from my heartbreak.
When I told my friend earlier this week that I was going through a breakup, she advised me to stay busy. She’s so right. I focused a lot on freelance writing work this week. I’m proud of an article I wrote about Good Fortune’s new dinner series showcasing young cooks in St. Louis.
Write it Out
Not everyone likes to write so this might not be a coping strategy for the masses, but I’ve found writing to be very helpful during a breakup. Even if it’s just jotting down random thoughts, journaling can help you make sense of your emotions and process them in a safe place.
Binge Watch a TV Show
Some might argue that this is an unhealthy coping strategy, but I disagree. Watching a few episodes (or five) of one of your favorite shows can be therapeutic. I’m trying to get through the third season of “West Wing” right now. It’s a little frustrating waiting for Donna and Josh to get together, but hopefully I’ll get to that point in the show soon.
It’s normal to want to go far, far away after a breakup. If I had my way, I would be halfway across the country trying to distract myself from everything that’s happening in St. Louis. I can’t do that right now, though, so I’m focusing on future plans. I just finished booking a trip to Portland, ME, to go to my friend’s wedding this fall and I’m excited about it. It’s important to have things to look forward to.
Buy Something Frivolous
I wouldn’t advise spending hundreds of dollars to cope with a breakup, but treating yourself to something relatively inexpensive that you really want can be helpful. I just got these earrings. A character on a TV show I watched once said, when you’re feeling bad on the inside it’s extra important to put yourself together on the outside. She’s right. You can lounge around in your pajamas without showering for a while, but then it’s important to regroup.
Go Easy on Yourself
I once had a therapist who told me to go easy on yourself when you’re grieving. He was right. It’s easy to beat yourself up during upsetting times but it’s also counterproductive. Every time I feel like pushing myself past my limits or trying to distract myself in unhealthy ways, I take a step back and reassess.
Listen to Music
I’ve been listening to a lot of music this week. Here’s a playlist I put together a while ago for heartbreak, and a new song that I’m listening to today. There are a lot of songs about heartbreak, which in a way is reassuring. It’s something we can all relate to.