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We broke up…now what? The ending of a relationship, whether one-sided or mutual, can be an emotionally overwhelming experience. Whether you are standing on the “winning side” or the “losing side”, the ending of a very personal and intimate commitment takes time to recover from. Grieving the loss of a partner is more than just the loss of their presence. Couples in committed relationships often plan their days, nights, and weekends around spending time with each other. Date nights, watching shows together, or going to gym together become regular parts of your life. Often after breakups, it is the lack of these activities that prolong emotional pain. In many ways, you are grieving the loss of the life you once had. You broke up, so now what?

Heartbreak can be a time of rediscovery and deep self-reflection. Even if you have had your heart broken before, it is difficult to find the silver lining, however; with the help of a counselor you can help develop coping strategies and have you on the course to happiness again. Throughout the process of emotional recovery we can uncover the underlying roots of why the relationship ended and how to move forward.

During the grieving process, it is perfectly common for people to blame themselves. “If only I had given a little more, if only I had been more unselfish,” is a common reaction. Feelings of guilt and remorse following a relationship can lower your self-esteem and possibly affect future relationships. Being comfortable with who you are and what you have to offer will help you figure out what you are looking for in future relationships.

If you or someone you know if struggling with heartbreak try these 5 tips to help cope with the emotional pain.

1. Self-esteem boosters: Breakups are emotional painful and can leave anyone feeling down on themselves. To help keep your mood up try to exercise regularly, spoil yourself a little more than usual, and spend more time with friends and family.

2. Let it out: Don’t fall victim to bottling it all in, you are supposed to feel sad. It’s not easy, cry if you have to or punch a pillow if you must.

3. Keep yourself busy: Don’t forget about the rest of your life. Stay on top of work, catch up with friends, and schedule in fun or leisure time. Be wary of developing depression, if you find it difficult to maintain your responsibilities or find yourself not enjoying activities you once did, let you counselor know.

4. Push forward, focus on the future: Set new goals and develop strategies for achieving them. Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.

5. Fools rush in: Give yourself all the time you need before entertaining new relationships. Focus on yourself and avoid external pressure to rush into another relationship to help you get over the last one. You’ll know when you are ready.

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