Here’s How I Reclaimed My Life After Having My Heart Broken

Nothing prepared me for a broken heart. It was devastating to have the person who’s always been by my side and who’s been a crucial part of my growth suddenly gone, but I refused to let it break me. Here’s how I moved on and rediscovered myself.

  1. I gave myself time to grieve. I allowed myself to cry, scream, or stay in bed for a day. I let the pain run its course instead of repressing my emotions. I set times to let my feelings loose and allowed myself full-blown crying fits. Whether it was on my own with my breakup playlist, with my sister while watching a sad movie, or with my best friend after a bottle of wine, I gave myself time but I didn’t let the sadness consume me. I wiped my tears, put on my favorite lipstick, and got back on my feet.
  2. I spent time with people who love me. At first, it felt like he had taken all the love inside me when he left, but I reminded myself that there are people who love still love me. I surrounded myself with people who truly want what’s best for me—my family, my sister, and my best friend. I realized that these are the lasting bonds worth spending my time on.
  3. I got rid of things that remind me of him. When I was going through the worst stages of our breakup, I wanted to burn all the things he gave me. I wanted to be free of all the things that would remind me of him, but that was easier said than done. Instead, I asked my friend to hold on to these keepsakes and mementos so they were no longer in my presence. I deserved to move forward in my life without being haunted by what once was.
  4. I sweated it out. I enrolled in a yoga class, hit the gym, and went for a run. I made sure to keep my heart rate up and sweated it out. I read that exercising gets those endorphins pumping, boosting your mood in the process. Working out made me happy, which staved off depression and anxiety. Not only did I feel great, I also looked great in a few weeks as I started to get in shape. I’m single now, so I made the best of it!
  5. I created new memories. The hardest part of breaking up was walking around town and being assaulted by memories of my ex—that corner where we first kissed, the coffee shop where we used to go on a date, or the park where we jog every morning… The memories were overwhelming but I chose to take control. I started going out of my way to create new memories in these old places. I went out with my friends and gossiped at the coffee shop. I also went on a park date with a guy I just met!
  6. I started a new hobby. When we broke up, I suddenly have a lot of free time. I didn’t know what to do so I dusted myself off, geared up, and started all the things I’ve been meaning to do. I wanted to learn a new language so I enrolled in a language class. I wanted to participate in a marathon so I signed up for one. I made sure to do something every day that made me feel excited. The world was mine for the taking—all I had to do was get out there.
  7. I started focusing on myself again. I developed a self-care routine and focused on my own needs for a while. I sported the hairstyle I’ve always wanted and I took a solo trip. One thing that having a broken heart taught me was to do whatever sets my soul on fire. Yes, my heart got broken and it sucks, but my whole life is ahead of me. I’m unstoppable and I’m claiming back my life.
  8. I set new goals. When I was in a relationship, I was too invested in it to work on my own set of goals, so when that relationship ended, it felt like my entire world crashed and burned. The only way forward was to set new goals for myself. From small, short-term ambitions to big life stuff, I directed my energy towards achieving these goals and making myself better. I started evaluating what I really want in life and rediscovered myself.
  9. I gave myself a pep talk. Losing a partner means losing someone who supported me. It was tough not having someone to cheer me up when I’m having a bad day or someone to hype me up when I don’t feel beautiful, but I can do that for myself. I give myself pep talks in front of a mirror before going out. I write letters of affirmation for myself. Sometimes I even ask my sister to compliment me when I need it most. I’m badass and I can get through this!
  10. I still have good days and bad days. There are still days when I can’t get out of bed because I’m too hurt, too sad, or too angry. I allow myself these bad days but I always pick myself up and fix my crown because I’m a queen even without him. There is life after a breakup, and I’m proof.
Reichell Labadan is a writer by day, reader by night. Rei is also an advocate for women's health and empowerment. Follow her on twitter @reiwrites