Getting over a breakup is tough enough in itself, but managing other responsibilities and obligations such as work, college, school and socialising can make it seem all the more overwhelming.
I’ve received quite a few emails around this so thought it might be useful to address it in a post in the hope that it will help anyone who is struggling with managing their healing whilst navigating everything else going on in their life. I know how overwhelming it can feel!
I remember when I was going through this and what really helped me, was to avoid compartmentalising. I tried not to see my work and other responsibilities as separate 'tasks' to my healing and instead, found new ways to use them to fuel and compliment it.
It can actually be really useful to have these other things going on in your life as a way to focus your mind and attention. Although all we might want to do when going through heartbreak is to hole up under the duvet for days (or weeks) on end, that usually ends up perpetuating what we’re feeling even more because our minds get saturated with thoughts of the breakup. It’s all consuming.
Whilst something like work and actually being productive once there can seem like an almighty uphill struggle, it can lend itself to be a positive distraction and a way for you to channel your brain in a different way.
Whether its work, college, your business, school, friends, family, your social life in general, you can still work on your healing at the same time. Although, I really do believe that it’s crucial to only take on what you can during these more vulnerable times. Don’t try and overload yourself and stick to what you have to do, and what you want to do!
When it comes to school/college/uni and earning a living, these can’t really be avoided so see them as an opportunity to get yourself into a different environment from one of the heartbreak you’re feeling. Plus, actually getting up out of your heartbreak pit, getting dressed and out the house to get there is a huge in itself! You’re showing up and that’s an achievement!
It’s not about trying to forget what you’re dealing with once your there (as this might seem impossible!) but more about committing to focusing your attention on the task in hand in small chunks. Just take it in the smallest sections of time possible if you have to. Class by class, meeting by meeting, project by project and so on.
Time and attention blocking this way will remind you that you can still accomplish and keep control of your life. It can also offer you some new found fuel and inspiration to work harder at your goals and objectives. But you can also factor in some of the more calming healing techniques throughout your day too. Even something as simple as getting out for a walk at lunch can make such impact on how you feel. Or 20 minutes of reading, journaling and some deep breathing in those oh-my-god-I’m-gonna-burst-into-tears moments can really help too!
Try and get in some exercise throughout your working day (Tip - I recommend installing a free pedometer app on your phone to keep track of how many steps you're taking. Even just getting up away from your desk and walking around the office really helps them add up!) , keep yourself well hydrated and choose nourishing foods instead of reaching for quick fixes like sugar and caffeine. I promise you, it sounds boring and simple but will help your mood, energy and how you feel about yourself!
Creating fresh memories is something I also really recommend. You could try taking a different route to wherever you need to get to, listening to some new upbeat music when you’re on your way there and home, grabbing your morning latte in a different coffee shop. The smallest things help to create new, more positive neural pathways in the brain instead of it being triggered to ruminate on the past. There’s nothing worse than passing that same coffee shop every morning where you might have met your ex for breakfast or always called them at lunch and thinking back to those times, dreading how you’re now going to get through the day!
Make new associations with work or school instead.
When it comes to friends, family and your social life, this is where you can be a little more selective. Spend time with people who you genuinely feel good, uplifted and safe around (i.e. not people who suck and drain your energy!) People who you can be transparent with but who aren’t going to encourage you to talk about the breakup over and over. There comes a point where going over the same old ground and trash talking your ex just isn’t helpful.
Having good people around you who are compassionate about where you’re at but can still make sure the conversation isn’t centred around your ex will definitely help your healing. Laughter, even the shortest, most subtle bursts of it, is THE best medicine and the ultimate antidote to heartbreak. Having the right people on your team to encourage this can be amazing for your wellbeing!
I also really recommend using your social life as a tool for your healing. Surrounding yourself with existing friends but also again, making fresh memories by trying new things and meeting new people. This will help to infuse your world with a sense of moving forwards instead of staying stuck in the past.
Empower yourself to do what you want to do. Strike some sort of balance that’s right for you. If going out with friends after work is just too draining right now, put yourself first and stay home. It’s more than ok to take time out from your usual Thursday night cocktails (and as we all know too well, alcohol and heartbreak ain’t exactly a match made in heaven!)
If you know you just need time to rest your body and mind, do it. Healing is also about instilling your own boundaries and placing your emotional and physical needs as THE top priority when something isn’t a ‘must do’.
I really hope you found this helpful! Wishing you a great week ahead as always and please do let me know in the comments if you have any more specific questions around this one!