1. ME TIME. I think quite a lot of us try to entirely avoid being alone after a break-up, and whilst it is really, REALLY important to say 'yes' to as many plans as possible and get out and about, it's also so key to run yourself a hot bubbly bath or watch a sad/romantic film to have a good cry-along to. I've been trying to put on a brave face so much that I've been forgetting to have a proper sob. This is unhealthy - it's OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY - and means that the bottled-up emotion comes out at entirely ENTIRELY inappropriate times in the face of entirely innocent people (... but that's another story).
2. EAT PROPERLY. For almost the whole of February, my appetite disappeared. I was so stressed and upset that I didn't fancy anything at all, and then when I did start eating again I was feeling constantly nauseous and way too full. Again, this is UNHEALTHY and a heartbreak-habit you need to break as soon as you can. Eat little and often - nibbly bits and bobs that go down easily - and distract yourself while you eat. Going OUT for food with friends is a great idea because it's the ultimate distraction and you won't notice that you're eating normally.. if you can't get out, eat in front of some sort of trashy TV you can get tragically engrossed in.
3. SLEEP PROPERLY. This is the one I found the hardest because I was dreading my dreams. Every single night for weeks I was having horrible dreams about the break-up and about unrealistic, weird situations where I'd bump into him with different girls I hate (lol). But sleep is so, so important and waking up fresh and well-rested makes each day more bearable. I found that getting out of London and going to my Mum's was the best way for me to sleep soundly - it's so quiet and peaceful down there - and I was often turning my phone/devices off completely for a few days so that I couldn't obsess over any social media updates. Again, it's about breaking the habit of dwelling on everything (especially just before bed time) and something that you have to force yourself to do.
4. DO SOMETHING NEW. So, this was a pretty easy one for me as I had JUST started my new job when the break-up happened. I was still getting to know people so I wasn't able to cry at work or really talk about it much. Don't get me wrong, everyone is absolutely amazing and they were so kind to me, but I didn't know them well enough to go on about it all. I threw myself into hitting my probation targets and settling in and it's made time go so quickly. I've been at Soap and Glory almost three months, which is CRAZY.. I cannot believe we're in April already. The other new thing I'm embracing is the gym. Don't get me wrong, I'm never going to be one of these lunatics who JUST CAN'T WAIT to work out, but I actually do feel so much better for regular exercise and don't dread it like I thought I would. Sometimes sweating it out really clears my head if I've had a bad day and been over-thinking things.
5. BELIEVE. Believing that things will get easier is so hard but they do. I know this from past heartbreak and I know I'll eventually get through this too. Being Instagram and Pinterest obsessed, I've sort of found myself focusing on a few motivational 'mantras' to repeat to myself at low moments. They are: 1. If you love someone, let them go - it doesn't have to mean forever, 2. Everything happens for a reason, and 3. Sometimes good things have to fall apart so that better things can fall together. I've decided that AT LEAST one of those has to be true (surely?) and I rotate them as my phone wallpaper every few days so that those words are the first thing I see when I reach over to turn my alarm off every morning.
, by Lizzie Newell