The majority of human beings have or will go through the heartbreaking experience of breaking up. Whether you've been married for years or were only dating for awhile, if you really love someone and they end the relationship--or even if you have--it's easy to fall into a pretty sad state. You may even feel bottomed-out and wonder if you'll ever be happy again.

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It's easy for people on the outside to encourage you and tell you to "keep your head up" and move on, but when you're in the midst of all of those complex emotions, that's easier said than done.

As hard as it feels in those moments, the best thing you can do is to take action, with intent, to start to get out of that emotional funk so you can move on. Give yourself some time to feel bad if you need to do so, but when you're ready, this may help:

Don't over-reminisce. For some reason, at the end of a relationship we have a tendency to romanticize our memories. Even if we know it was time to let go, once the pain-inducing paradigms have vanished, the natural human tendency toward regret and worrying that you've made a mistake can cause our minds to think about all we've "lost." Try not to do that. Talk with a trusted friend who can help you see things a bit more objectively. Wish your former love well and focus on other things that will make you feel better.

Give yourself one night (or week) to have a full-blown "sad party." Go ahead and grieve the loss. Cry, eat the ice cream, watch the old movies that reminded you of them. Write furiously through tears into your journal or write a song. It's important to acknowledge your feelings and let them flow. Just don't get lost there for too long.

Pack up (or delete) the old photos and letters that you'll be tempted to read in your weak moments. There's nothing worse than having an evening when life has been difficult and you're feeling particularly down than continually marinating in the good memories of what was inevitably an unsustainable relationship. Of course, it's not anything to be ashamed of in the beginning to allow yourself to fully grieve the loss of a relationship. But, when you're ready, let them go.

Join a health club. Or yes, of course--exercise at home. However, when you're feeling vulnerable, it's important not to isolate yourself. Having interaction with other human beings will remind you that you're not alone and life does, in fact, move on. Plus, of course, the exercise will help release those feel-good chemicals in your body that will give you a lift. Also, when you start to become more fit, you'll feel all the more empowered to pick up the pieces of your life.

Focus on learning a new skill or become more self-sufficient. Not only does "doing stuff" make you feel better because you're keeping your mind on the present moment instead of ruminating about the past, it'll give you a sense of what you're capable of and you'll feel less desperate.

Eat food that strengthens and nourishes you. As simple as this one is, it may one of the very most important. What we eat has an enormous effect on how we feel and how well we physically function. As tempting as it is to live on fast food when you're sad, take the time to feed your body the things it needs to strengthen you.

Finally, give yourself time. This too shall pass. Be patient with yourself and with those around you when they won't stop asking you about it. You will be happy again--and think of all you will have learned.


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