You've just broken up with your boyfriend and the overwhelming advice and 'pick yourself up' tips from friends and family start flooding in. They try to say encouraging things like, "you don't need him," "you should go out," "there are plenty of other fish in the sea," etc. Those words might make you feel better, maybe for a moment or so, but the ugly truth is any real breakup, regardless of who initiated it, needs time and space.
So how do you give yourself time and space when you reside in the same city and you are only minutes away from his doorstep? Or with technology that seems to never turn off, how do you resist contacting him when he is a mouse-click away on Facebook or by email? Worse, if you work with him, you'll feel like your office space is shrinking by the hour as you see him casually interact and flirt with others. Either way, it's undeniably torturous and tempting to reconnect.
Bottom line: you need to take a break. I'm not talking about a girl's night in watching rom-coms, while drinking wine and eating chocolate. Those should be regularly scheduled-in date nights with your besties, whether you have a guy or not. Feel good films like The Holiday, Sex & The City, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Eat Pray Love (to name a few) aren't just for Friday nights spent under the covers with a box of tissues. They're solid confirmation that women need to take a real break from their breakup.
Your life isn't a movie, even though sometimes you wish it was, but there's no reason why you can't learn from your favourite films. Cameron Diaz's character, a successful overworked Hollywood producer, in The Holiday has just split up from her cheating boyfriend and in desperate need of a holiday, she swaps homes with Kate Winslet's character, a hopelessly romantic Englishwoman who is all too familiar with the perils of unrequited love. (Spoiler!) In each of their journeys, they do come to find love. All the travelling heroines of my favourite films find a guy, typically an attractive one, but that's not the only reason why travelling is the cure to a broken heart.
Discover new passions
You think you'll never love anything or anybody ever again. You say that food has lost all taste and colours have lost their brightness. While I understand that feeling, I can confirm that it isn't until you've tasted fresh pasta cooked to perfection straight from Italy that you'll discover just how much love you can have for food. Any trace of heartbreak will be filled with savoury and aromatic flavours from your new affair, that is, with the finest food. If food isn't your thing, then perhaps you'll develop a greater appreciation or newfound passion in language, history, culture, architecture, or people.
Meet new people
Take the opportunity to engage and interact with as many different people as possible. From personal experience, I've met some of the most unforgettable people in my life, while doing the most ordinary things on holiday. Whether sitting on the train, standing in the street, or taking coffee in a café, you might just be surprised by what happens next. However, don't go into a travel trip hoping to be swept off your feet by a Javier Bardem look-a-like from Eat Pray Love or a cute Italian Marcello, as played by Raoul Bova, in Under the Tuscan Sun. If it happens, it happens. You will find that meeting new people is a great way to start afresh and there's no better way than by travelling to a new place.
Focus on yourself
There's never really a good time to take a holiday. There's always going to be work that has to be dealt with, you tell yourself the prices for flights aren't so great, and you just aren't sure whether now is the right time. Believe me, I know. I thought the same thing when I contemplated leaving for a one-week trip to Mallorca. How could I drop work and add a few extra digits to my credit card just to head to the South of Spain for a week of sunshine and sangria? It was a hard decision that actually turned out to be exactly what I needed.