Pic by Saskia of Hey Saturday
I remember when I was going through heartbreak and spending hours on google and delving into self-help books searching for answers, tips and advice. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! Of course, some of it was incredibly useful and served me well to put into practice, but there are a few other things that I’ve explored and which have really done wonders in cultivating more confidence, self-worth, skills, friendships and purpose.
So, I thought it would be fun to put together a post on some of the more unique things that really helped see me through, and then out of heartbreak in the best way possible.
1) Start a blog
When I went through my last major breakup, I found comfort in writing. Writing is always something I’ve loved and turned to whether that be creative writing, composing articles and blogs or song writing. So it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to start writing about my own experience of heartbreak via a blog - the early days of this blog in fact! Not only did I find it a cathartic and therapeutic experience writing out what I was feeling and learning, it also enabled me to connect with so many people around the world who were going through the same thing. The fact that others found my words meaningful and of value - something they could also use for themselves, it gave me a new purpose during a time when I felt depleted and somewhat useless on every level.
I’m not saying that you have to air the gory details of your heartbreak or breakup for everyone to read - starting a blog or just putting pen to paper doesn’t have to be related to your heartbreak at all! When I read other people’s blogs, I’m always so curious as to what it was that propelled the person into starting it. 9 times out of 10, it’s usually to fulfil a void of unhappiness or emptiness or to mark a turning point in their life.
The whole creative process of blogging is something that can cultivate joy, release and purpose from the get-go.
2) Start a business
My blog eventually turned into my business of helping people through heartbreak on a more personal level. Again, this isn’t specifically what I am suggesting you do (unless you want to, in which case, go at it!) but out of so many of the people I work with, an interesting realisation that often comes to light, is an inner desire to start a business, side business or project. Heartbreak tends to make you reassess everything in your life and that often includes looking at where you’re the most unfulfilled and with many people - their career unhappiness or dissatisfaction is the thing they’ve avoided confronting. So why not actually go for it? Use your heartbreak as fuel to start that business or side project (that might eventually turn into a business) that you’re deeply passionate about!
There are countless examples of people who have started successful companies, small businesses or undergone radical career changes rooted in their passion after the ordeal of heartbreak. Use it as a catalyst to go after what you want! The fact that so many other people have (including me!), just goes to prove that it’s totally possible for you too!
3) Take a solo trip
Venturing out alone can feel like the most daunting thing in the world. Especially when you’ve been used to having someone there by your side most of the time. I took a solo trip to the US back in 2016 and it was the best thing I could have ever done at that time. Yes, I was nervous but the thrill and exhilaration of traveling alone, not knowing what to expect, being open to all kinds of new experiences and meeting new people did wonders for my confidence and zest for life. I had no specific plans or agenda and I went with the total goal of going with the flow whilst seeing as much as possible. I came back into Heathrow feeling like a new woman armed with new ideas, aspirations, friends, experiences and an LA glow that granted, was out of a booth and yes, wildly overpriced but hey, it’s swings and roundabouts ;)
I really encourage anyone to travel alone however near or far that might be. It cultivates reassurance that you can take care of yourself and is the ultimate way to create new memories. Plus with sites like Air BnB, it’s really easy to do things on a budget. I usually get a room in someone’s place when I travel for more than a week as it’s cheaper but it’s also a good way to meet new people who can help you out with the local area.
If high end is more your thing though, I’ve recently discovered a new app called Hotel Tonight where you can book luxury hotels last minute for a substantial discount! Ultimate luxe travel hack right there!
4) Reach out to 5 people and ask them to go for coffee
This one might sound a bit weird but hear me out ;) Something that has helped me immensely recently after going through 2 tough years in 2016/17 health-wise (which kind of felt like a heartbreak, albeit not a romantic one) has been getting out and meeting new people. Not necessarily just in a dating capacity, but in general.
Heartbreak in all forms can feel like such a stifling, isolating experience but with the likes of social media, it’s easier than ever to form new connections that can then turn into IRL friendships. I’ve used Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram and meet-up.com to make amazing new friends who do all kinds of interesting, unique and inspiring things whether that’s in their careers, ventures, hobbies or just in their character. Nearly every friend I made in my visits to LA over the past 3 years originally came via social media!
Whenever I meet someone new or form a friendship this way, I always leave feeling uplifted and almost like some colour has been splashed back into my life. Interacting with people totally creates new and refreshed perspectives.
It’s probably the inner entrepreneur in me that is drawn to meeting people this way but it could also be just reaching out to people you haven’t seen in a while - old friends or ex colleagues you miss. It’s not about trying to accumulate as many friends as possible. I’m a firm believer in the idea that true friendships are about quality not quantity. This is more about just finding ways to broaden your social circles and the type of people you spend time around.
And if there’s someone you’d just really like to get coffee with because you love what they do or really think you’d get on - what’s the harm in reaching out?!
5) Write thank you letters
I can’t take credit for this one as it was inspired by an amazing lady who I worked with in the past. One thing she did after going through her breakup, was to write letters to all her friends and family who supported her through the experience. It enabled her to immerse herself in gratitude as opposed to dwelling on the heartbreak, and of course, it made everyone she sent one too feel loved and appreciated too.
How often do we receive thought out hand-written letters or cards that genuinely express our thanks and appreciation these days? Erm, not very often! I think it’s a fab thing to do (and plus, it gets you off your phone wondering if you should text your ex, right?! ;) )
I really hope these ideas have given you some food for thought or inspiration! The most effective way that I’ve found to alleviate heartbreak stress and counteract the feeling of loss, is to not try and find someone else to cure that, but to immerse yourself in something else. Start pursuing your passion in whatever form that is - a blog, business, fashion, writing a book, volunteering, music, writing, art - anything! I assure you, it will give you so much fulfilment, joy and hope for the future and could easily turn into something better than you ever imagined.
I’d love to hear any other unique coping tools that you’ve turned to following heartbreak?