Since 1998, I have played a part in over 1,000 bad break ups as a divorce attorney in our nation’s capital. The worst are the ones where one person was oblivious and felt totally blind-sided by the other’s decision to end things. I often tell my clients that more than anything, they need to allow time to pass so that their wounds will heal. But, in the process of mending a broken heart, here are some tips many have found useful:

1. Make a list of the things that make you happy, like being surrounded by flowers, eating some gourmet chocolate, going to the movies, getting together with friends, buying a new dress, going to the spa, hitting golf balls, or working out, and then go do these things for yourself!

2. Try writing in a journal to help you articulate your feelings, or if you are like me, start blogging. It is very therapeutic.

3. Pick up the phone and call a friend. It helps to get your story out, and hopefully the person listening will be able to provide you with some great advice, or refer you to a good book or other references that will help you. Learning that what you are feeling is normal, that you are not alone, and that things will get better are all part of the healing process.

4. Plan a vacation– even if it is just a short weekend get-away. Sometimes, it really helps put things in perspective by getting out of your daily routine. If you don’t have someone to go with you on a trip, and you don’t want to go alone, then go visit a friend that lives in a cool place.

5. Dedicate some time to a special project. Using your down time to do something worthwhile is a very healthy way to fill a void. For example, you can work on your garden, or organize your photo albums to then share with your family, or sign up to do some volunteer work in your community.

If none of these suggestions help, and you find yourself stuck in negativity or feeling depressed, perhaps it is time to consider some professional help. There are many wonderful psychologists specifically trained to help guide those struggling with their emotions. The sooner you can work through the grief cycle, the sooner you can move on to a happy, healthy partnership.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.