06/02/2017 12:06 GMT | Updated 07/02/2018 05:12 GMT



Photo: PK289

So you're heartbroken. Because he or she left. Or because you realised that you had to end it. The reasons don't much matter because it hurts the same! We know that time heals all wounds but we'd just like for time to move a bit faster for the foreseeable future because what earthly use is that to you? Now?

What you could do is let yourself cry your heart out! Lie down on your bed and empty yourself of tears. Get really angry, shout, stamp your feet, smash things, call your friends to complain, hurl insults at the universe and everybody else... Please do that, but remember to set your timer ;-)

Of course you're hurt, of course you're angry so get it out of your system but don't let those feelings take over. This is where your timer comes in useful. If you give yourself 15 minutes of feeling pity for yourself and crying your heart out, this could be enough in one session, don't you think? I mean, crying is not going to change anything, is it?

What IS going to change something is if when you timer reminds you that the 15 minutes are up, you wipe off your tears and steer for the bathroom. Once in the bathroom wash your face with some cold water. Look yourself in the mirror. It might not be a very pretty sight and it could set you off weeping again, but please stop and start noticing yourself! Look yourself in the eye and say some comforting things, the things an elderly person would tell you when you were little and had hurt yourself or when somebody had upset you. Keep telling yourself these soothing things till you start perking up!

What you're doing talking to yourself in the mirror is that you're starting a relationship with yourself. You're not looking at yourself the way you do when you get ready in the morning to go out, checking for faults in the way of running make-up, undesirable hair, pimples or wrinkles (according to your age). What you're seeing is yourself the way other people see you when they look you in the eye. They're not thinking: "Oh, hasn't she got too much make-up on," or "what a dreadful hairstyle". When people look you in the eye, they're looking for so much more, so why don't you try that?

Look at the person behind the make-up and the dodgy hairstyle. Who is he/she? What are their desires, hopes and talents? You could take the time to ask. For example: "What are you doing today?" or "What would be fun for you to do now?" Take the time to wait for the answer. It would be impolite not to. You wouldn't walk away from a stranger before he'd answered your question, so why would you do it to yourself?

Throughout the day, treat yourself as you would a person you'd only just met. Don't take anything for granted. It's not because you always have muesli in the morning that you must have it today. Scrambled eggs with an orange might be more to your fancy. Or a big cup of hot chocolate. Pamper yourself the way you would somebody who'd come to your house unexpectedly. If you don't know what you fancy, stop and listen.

When you go past a restaurant that you used to visit with your ex, or when you see that your favourite TV show's on, this is the time to invite yourself on a date! Think of something you've wanted to do for a long time but haven't quite got around to. Could be visiting a museum, having a massage, going to the cinema, taking a dance lesson ... anything that would get you out of the house. On your own. Remember, you're cultivating a new relationship, a relationship with yourself.

It's normal to have to get to know each other and it's normal to sometimes get it wrong. Perhaps you really fancied going to the cinema but found it disappointing. Don't worry but try to think of something else to do with YOU next week, tomorrow or soon. Give yourself a date and treat it as you would a date or an appointment with any person. You wouldn't for instance cancel it unless you had a very good reason, would you? You wouldn't be late, that would be so negligent of you and negligent is the last thing you want to be with yourself at any time.

Programme these outings with yourself and see how well you enjoy them. You might have to become really creative to keep finding things to do. When you're at home, you could also try doing things differently than what you used to. You could change your furniture around, buy new curtains, get into new foods. For every change you make, ask yourself if you enjoy it. And please stay tuned to the answer. You might discover the most fascinating person you'll ever meet. And enjoy it into the bargain :-)

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