Heartbreak is a terrible feeling that seems as if it will never go away. At first it's easy to deny, but once it sets in, it can crush you like a boulder. But there is a way out--it just takes time well spent and an undying faith that things will get better.
Cut Off Contact
Don't see one another, don't call, don't text and don't chat online. While it's natural to think you'll get back together, chances are it won't happen, and the sooner you understand that, the better. Eventually you may be friends, but that takes time, and that time is best spent apart. Cutting off contact will hurt at first, but it will help in the long run. Either you will realize with clear judgment that you belong in one another's lives, or you'll find that you can carry on just fine alone. Breakupsurvivor.com, a plain-language site on surviving a breakup, recommends removing the ex's number from your cell phone, her name from your instant-message buddy list and her profiles from your social-networking sites.
Keep Your Self Esteem Up
No matter the circumstances behind the breakup or the divorce, chances are you'll feel as if there was something you could have done to make things work. It is natural to feel bad about your loss, but that doesn't mean you have to feel bad about yourself. "There is no connection between either of these two things and they don't belong together in the same sentence," veteran psychologist Dr. William Cottringer writes in an essay about surviving heartbreak.
Let It Out
Part of overcoming heartbreak is letting your emotions out in a healthy way. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to yell, yell. If you have pent-up anger, let it out through exercise, dance or some other healthy or creative outlet.
If you're feeling crushed, chances are you won't feel like doing much. But boredom makes heartbreak worse. While you shouldn't try to bury your emotions in business, having plenty to do will help remind you that you have friends and talents that exist independently of the relationship you're grieving.
Hit The Gym
Working out is a great way to spend your time, a healthy outlet for letting out aggression, and it has a huge mental benefit. Working out releases endorphins, natural chemicals that make you feel good. Hitting the gym will improve your self-esteem, give you something good to do, and help keep your spirits up as you overcome your loss. Fitness specialists have recognized that working out is key to overcoming heartbreak, and have developed specialized workouts for people who are grieving the loss of a relationship (thebreakupworkout.com is an example).
Alcohol and other drugs won't help you overcome heartbreak; they'll only make things worse. While they may give you a temporary distraction from your troubles, their effects wear off and when they do, you'll find your problems are still there. A night out at the pub or the club with your friends is normal, but hitting the bottle regularly or turning to other drugs will only hurt you.
Don't dive back into another relationship--you're a mess right now, and being with someone new isn't fair to anyone. People who jump from one romance to another lose sight of themselves, and feel as if the only way to be happy is to be with someone. It's best to stay alone; things will get lonely and sad at times, but you will emerge stronger, more independent and better equipped for a new relationship when the time is right.
Be Good To Yourself
While heartbreak feels terrible, it can be a chance to surprise yourself. Try new activities, meet new people, get a cool new haircut or buy some new clothes. It's OK to be a bit self-centered after a bad breakup; no one will hold it against you.
The wounds of most breakups heal with time, but some relationships are so unhealthy they leave one or both partners with severe emotional damage. If you're feeling hopeless and that life has no point, you may be suffering from clinical depression -- a physical illness caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Breakupsurvivor.com recommends visiting your family doctor for help. Your doctor may recommend a therapist who can help you find a healthy way to feel normal again.
John Zaremba began writing professionally in 1997. He has worked at some of the country's finest small daily newspapers, including "The Beacon News" and "The Patriot Ledger." Zaremba is a graduate of the University of Illinois.