One of the greatest gifts in my adult life is the friendships I have with the women around me. The stability of my support system of amazing women helps ground me when I'm facing challenges. Being around women who are ambitious, focused, and capable is also extremely motivating, so when I've felt stuck or unable to handle something, I know I can rely on my friends to get me over the hurdle. One of the most challenging hurdles in life can be figuring out how to move on after heartbreak. When I've been broken-hearted in the past, I've heavily relied on my friends to help me process and recover from a breakup.
Heartbreak can take a toll on every aspect of your life — work, friendships, and self-esteem. Heartbreak can also be an opportunity for growth, reflection, and self-awareness. But if you're dealing with a breakup, sometimes you just want someone to tell you it's all going to be OK. Having somebody give you a little pearl of wisdom when you’re feeling really down about a break up can be the spark that motivates you to start healing your heart. So, here are some incredible pieces of advice from impressive boss ladies who have walked through the fire and know you can, too. They will see you on the other side.
Invest In Yourself
Heartbreak is one of the most common and universal emotions a person will experience in life, but wow, does it feel so uniquely treacherous when it’s happening to you. Navigating my own heartbreaks and watching women around me do the same has shown me a silver lining — in the depths of a breakup, I’ve watched countless women begin to cultivate their biggest and most fulfilling achievements. So my best advice is to take this bittersweet opportunity to invest in you and the things that make your heart sing. Even when you don’t feel like it, taking tiny steps toward your dreams will give meaning and purpose to a brutal season of life, and possibly even set you on track to a future that is bigger and brighter than you could have ever dreamed up.
— Danielle Finck, founder and CEO of Elle Communications
Solo time can be good but don't cut yourself off from society. Spending time with friends or just other humans really puts things in perspective and can prevent spiraling too far into self-pity and sadness. Plan a low-key hang, even if you don't feel like it. Also, the healing power of Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra Core cannot be underestimated.
Don't Rush The Process, Trust The Process
I give myself time to deeply feel and process the loss. I listen to positive female break up songs — Destiny's Child's 'Survivor' is a go-to. I go running, I journal, and let myself cry anytime. I tell my friends and trusted work associates what’s up and ask for support. After a while of feeling all the feels, I’ll naturally desire to feel good again. Then I start wearing lipstick and pretty outfits and get back out in the world! But I don't rush the process, I trust the process.
— Kim Turnbull, founder and director of The Brooklyn Schoolhouse
Remember Who You Are
Remember who you are and what you want. You’ll likely realize it’s better now. Get away for a self-care trip. A couple days in the desert can do some healing. Indulge in the sadness, but then quickly use that energy towards your art or into a project. Feel your feelings, but don’t stay in them. It’s not productive. Surround yourself with people who know who you are, so they can serve as a reminder of why things are they way they are. Nothing good is lost, and you’re literally a more wise and experienced woman now so, like, let's move forward.
— Trace, singer and songwriter
Get Out Of Your Head
Do something for someone who really needs your help. Get out of your head and into service. And — real talk — you can’t even start to move on after heartbreak until you block your ex from every social media platform. I read a self-help book written in the '70s on heartbreak and will never forget that a doctor said 'never kill yourself after a breakup because your ex will use the story to get laid at cocktail parties.' I know that’s so dark, but it really snaps you out of it.
— Meagan Grainger, host of Superficial Magic podcast
Fill Your Time
One of the hardest things after a breakup is the void time to fill. Turn it into an advantage by filling it with things you love to do. Take a bath, go to a fitness class, cook an elaborate meal, finally start that podcast, etc. By focusing on yourself you can think through what happened and by staying busy you won't feel a lonely. (Plus, you might meet your soulmate along the way!)
— Ilse Paanakker, founder of wellness company Habit House
Make A List Of Goals
Make a list of goals. Work goals, personal goals, hobbies, whatever, and every time you feel sad, pick one and do it. That way, when you're spiraling or wanting to stalk your ex's Instagram, you'll divert that energy into actually accomplishing something. Currently, I'm trying to plan more day trips, getting back into photography, and learning to cook more vegetable-based dishes. The time spent doing an activity stops the spiral, and then you feel better afterwards because you've actually gotten better at something. Look at your breakup as an opportunity for self-improvement.
Honor The Process
The only way to truly move on is to honor the process of grieving the loss. You cannot out run it staying busy or escape it grinding away at work. Let yourself feel it. Let it feel bad. Know that as you allow yourself to do that, you are also getting the hurt out of your body and letting real healing in.
— Courtney Hart, makeup artist
Sweat It Out
Sweat once a day — hell, maybe twice. When I’m going through anything I make sure to prioritize workouts —preferably something that is so hard that I truly can’t think about anything but staying alive and finishing (CrossFit does the trick!) And of course, when you're feeling sad the endorphins you gain from a sweat are key to helping you feel better.
Keep Your Perspective
A bad breakup plays a cruel trick on your heart and soul, making you think you did something wrong or that you’re deficient in some key area that makes you hopelessly unlovable. I promise that’s not true. You know how hard you worked (or are currently working) to find a job that is perfect for you? And then every tiny tweak you made along the way to ensure that job made you happy, fulfilled, excited about your possibility in the world? Why should it be any easier to find the right partner? This advice doesn’t make a breakup suck less, but it gives you some perspective that relationships that don’t work out are just like jobs that don’t work out, they’re a necessary step toward finding the one that will.
Reclaim Your Space
Reclaim your space by inviting people in — create new memories at home with people who adore you. Have a friend over for takeout and binge-watching, host a dinner party or a game night (whatever you and your space can handle) and feel the love. It’s there.
— Anne Zelek, business management for a tech company
While every breakup is different, the most consistent pieces of advice I've been given have been to feel the hurt, and then let it go. And if that advice is coming to me from one of my incredible boss lady girlfriends? I'll take it.