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1. It’s supposed to hurt. Pain is, unfortunately, a critical part of the mending process, and in order to move on from an emotional injury you need to acknowledge its ache. The tears that form during this time are not a sign of weakness, they’re proof of your strength: it takes a lot of bravery to be honest about what you feel.
2. There is no correct way to heal. Everybody rebuilds themselves in different ways, and at different paces. Life isn’t a race to see who can become the strongest in the least amount of time. Whether your method is loud or quiet, colorful or muted, predominantly internal or external, it’s valid. You’re valid. What you’re experiencing is valid.
3. Don’t isolate yourself. It’s very easy to succumb to negative thoughts if you’ve cut yourself off from the people that care about you. Making sure you have some alone time is fine, but there isn’t a good substitute for being with others. If you’re alone, for whatever reason, take yourself out to dinner or the movies. Browse a pet store. Connect with the world one step at a time. Remember, you’re not the only one that’s felt this way.
4. Talk about it. Let it out. Bottling up your thoughts and feelings won’t make them disappear or diminish the effect that they have on you. Once you’ve voiced your ideas, or written them into being, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to work through them and understand what’s going on in your head.
5. It’s a cliche, sure, but the passage of time really will help. Time may not heal all wounds on its own, but it does ease the burden with each passing day. The longer you live, the more you’ll come to terms with the amount of heartache you can handle. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. You are always more courageous than you think you are.
6. Take care of yourself. There will be days where staying in bed feels like the only thing you’re capable of doing, and sometimes it’s okay to take a break from life, but it’s important to give your body love even when nobody else is. Especially then. A warm shower and a balanced meal can make a larger difference in your mood than you might believe. And if that’s too much too, which sometimes it is, just try to stay hydrated. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
7. Don’t ruminate on your mistakes. We all make them. Some are larger than others, some are harder to forget, but there’s no use in constantly agonizing over what you regret having done; you cannot change the past. If there’s anything you can do to remedy these errors, try to do so to the best of your abilities; learn from your experiences and better yourself for next time. We’re all constantly growing and developing.
8. Find closure. It will probably take you some time to figure out what exactly “closure” means for you in your situation, but once you do don’t be afraid to pursue it. You deserve to feel comfortable and have resolution with the areas of your life that are causing you stress. It becomes much easier to close the book once the final chapter has been written.
9. Forgive when possible. There are some people that you shouldn’t feel obligated to forgive for what they’ve done to you or how they’ve interrupted your life, and that’s okay. Not everyone deserves to be forgiven. But if forgiveness is possible and you feel comfortable doing so, there’s no reason not to. Allow yourself to move forward.
10. Don’t torture yourself with old memories. In this day and age it’s easy to scroll through social media and old texts to find evidence of a time when you were happier than you are now. Consider this a warning that nostalgia, as romantic as it may seem, loves to lie to those that are hurting. Nothing is ever as perfect as it appears to be, and we often fool ourselves into believing otherwise. Clean out the old and welcome the new. You’re going to need that phone memory for your next great adventure.
11. You are worth the effort it takes to heal, no matter what you are healing from. Always. Always. Always.