Whatever the situation, here are personally-tested ways of getting yourself up and on-track with life instead of being caught up in sadness. It is okay to dwell and acknowledge the sadness and pain but it is equally, if not more, important to know when it is time to take that deep brave breath and move forward. Remember, you are not the only one limping around with a broken heart. We could all use company :) and most especially, the inspiration to getting through it :).
Don't be alone. Ask a sister or a best friend to sleepover especially for the first night. Or sleepover at a friend's house. The goal here is not to be trapped in your own thoughts when you are at your most vulnerable. Having company helps you process the event in a more healthy way by having another perspective and encouragement and support.
Start a new project. Look at your someday-to-do list and pick one item. Getting yourself busy by engaging mind and body will help in pulling your heart out of the slumps. In my case I finally got myself seriously moving towards making those creative photo albums and photo journals that I have been meaning to make for ages.
Learn something new. Another way of getting yourself feeling that you are moving forward is to expose yourself to new things and expand what you know. For my part, I learned to sew, an activity that required concentration and motor skills and definitely a certain amount of love because I believe it is one of those things that you master with patience and perseverance. I have always wanted to sew and I have always wanted to make something with my hands and maybe make something of myself through what I create. Taking this step makes me realize that there is a whole world to learn and explore and it would be a waste to just sit around wistfully for the past.
Make lists of happy goals for the next 4 weeks. This is something I picked up from our friend SexyJen. At this point you will have started to notice that many of the suggestions on this list really focuses on moving forward. It is because I have been at that stage when I wallowed so long that I later regretted not rousing myself up to move on soon enough. You can always take that occasional pause to grit your teeth through a painful thought but the point is not to linger.
The lists will help keep you focused on the positive actions you can take and will remind you that you have the power in you to heal yourself and make even better decisions and choices in the future.
The other way of making lists is to list all your accomplishments in a day no matter how small (including cleaning out the kitty litter and eating lunch). This will show you that you are whole and able and strong -- most importantly it will remind you how blessed you are and how thankful you should be that you are able to do all those things.
Don't go to the mall for retail therapy. Wait a few days, and when you do go, have a list that is according to some specific purpose, like that new project or that new thing you are learning. This way you satisfy the need to buy something but also not waste the purchase on impulse items. You don't want to add the heartbreak of a huge credit card bill to what you are already dealing with!
Immediately remove anything in your home that reminds you of the heartbreaking event. Just the same way as vision boards help us focus forward and attract the right energies to fulfill them, constantly seeing reminders of what broke our hearts will weigh us down. You don't need to throw them away as if you didn't care. Put them away and deal with the items later on when you are more ready.
Do a bit of redecorating and re-arranging of your space. This will further help in easing out any sad or painful memories because even if you take out the reminders, the old arrangement will make you think of what used to be there.
Do go out. Step out of your home but into a friend's or family's home. Spend a day helping out with chores or cooking in another's kitchen. This helps you slide back into the rhythm of daily life while having company and absorbing the positive energies of those around you.
Do a through cleaning of your home. You can do this in stages spread out through a week. You can do this simultaneously with the redecorating and rearranging. As you clean, visualize old energies and stagnant energies being swept away. After cleaning, light a scented candle and play a favorite happy music playlist to thoroughly refresh the space. This simple little ritual can send the right signals to your brain and your heart that things are going to be really okay.
Get in touch with dear friends and family through email, letters, phone calls. Not necessarily to moan or mourn about what just happened but to remind yourself that the people who do understand and who will support you no matter what are just there to support you. Stretch yourself out and reach out and feel how big your world actually is and how filled it is with people who care about you.
This would even be a great moment to write gratitude letters to those people so that you focus on the all the good and blessings instead of the sad thing.
Plan a trip. Be it local or abroad, plan a trip but definitely make it out of town. Find family or friends with whom you can stay for a few nights. Learn about the place. Plan an itinerary. Get yourself excited. Even if the trip does not push through immediately (in my case I cannot yet spare the money for travel), the planning will give you that feeling that there is somewhere to go, and that there are many things, places and people out there waiting for you. You can move forward and the horizon is vast and deep.
Who knows, if you exude the right energies you might find yourself in a free trip brought on by serendipitous events.
Do get a haircut or a trim or even just a simple hair pampering treatment. A nail spa treatment works too. Just as redecorating your home can help ease out any sad associations, so does giving your own self a bit of a makeover. Don't do anything drastic, you are not trying to escape or run away from reality. Instead what you are doing is enhancing yourself for the even better days ahead.
This doesn't even have to be an expensive treat. In my case, I just got new nail polish and did my own nails. I also trimmed my own bangs. The target is to have a bit of change on you physically, and if you think about it, all that time you were just focused on you and making you pretty is in itself a pampering.
Dress up nicely everyday. Don't look as miserable or sad as you may feel. People will respond to you more positively instead of highlighting your sadness or loss or pain. In turn, you will feel cheered by their response. You see what I'm getting at?
All of these look easy on print. I will be the first to say it is not as easy in action. I've been there. Pretty recently. Literally less than a week. But I have also reached that stage in my life when I recognize the futility of wanting to change the past or bringing it back. There is only today and there is only moving forward. I still have the occasional cry at night, usually before I go to sleep. But then I remind myself of these things on the list and suddenly my life feels full.
The universe will take care of you. But you will have to take the first step. The rest will follow.
*Hugs to everyone out there nursing a broken heart*