Posts in Healing from Heartbreak
The Revenge Body: Is it healthy?
Revenge Body

The “Revenge Body” is apparently a thing now that Khloe Kardashian has coined it and turned it into a new reality show. It’s quickly becoming a hot topic among those healing after heartbreak, but is it really that healthy?

Exercise in and of itself is great, we all know that we should be getting at least 30 minutes every day, and that we should accompany it with a healthy diet and good sleep. If you’re suffering after a break up though, those things can be difficult to come by. You might find yourself lacking in the sleep department, eating as a means of comfort, and lacking the motivation to get you out of bed and into the gym.

Once you do pick yourself up and begin to heal a bit, hitting the gym and getting your sweat on can make you feel amazing. It creates those wonderful endorphins that send the “happy” signals to our brains, and the strength gained over time can be wonderfully empowering, but just like anything, it has to be done in moderation.

If you’re hitting the treadmill to blow off steam, create a sense of empowerment, and channel anger over the loss of a relationship, it can be easy to become addicted. The concept of the revenge body goes a little deeper than this though – with technology it isn’t just about improving confidence and weight loss, it’s more about flaunting bods in front of exes in hopes of feeling revenge – and that’s where it becomes a problem.

Over-obsession about body image and the premise that this revenge body is being created with the intention of brandishing it for an ex to ooogle over can set you up for some major disappointment.

If exercise has become an outlet for you, so be it. I’ve seen many clients run their first half-marathons, lose a healthy amount of weight, and reinvent themselves after a break-up, but when it borders on obsession and becomes over-consuming it’s no longer healthy.

Pushing yourself hard in the weight room and fantasizing over your ex’s reaction to your scantily clad Instagram post might fuel your workout, but that mentality quickly fizzles. Unless you are working hard for your own intrinsic motivation, it’s not likely to last, and you won’t necessarily keep it up over the long term.

Uncovering the need for revenge can be even more beneficial in the long run. I always tell my clients, “You can leave your relationship, but you have to take yourself with you.” Many times people think that they can move on with someone else and not have the same issues that caused their last relationship to crumble, but that’s not typically the case.

You can only control yourself, and learning more about who you are, what you want out of life and your relationships, and your contribution to the end of your relationship will give you far more rewards as you move forward than any revenge bod picture ever will.

Hit the gym, take a yoga class, go on a hike, whatever you do, do it because it feels good to you, and nothing else.

If you’re struggling to heal after heartbreak, and would like to learn more about healing in the most positive way, be sure to get on my interest list for The Starting over Series, an e-course I’m developing to help women everywhere heal from heartbreak and become the best version of themselves, so click to sign up below.

When you just don't feel like it

You know those days when you just don't feel like being inspired by all the wonderful quotes in your newsfeed? The ones that make you just want to hide under the covers with some chocolate and a good Netflix marathon?

Ya, I know those days too, and I recently became a contributor to the Divorcedmom.com website, and that's exactly what I shared about in my first post. I'd love for you to check it out here. Being uninspired while you work through your anger can actually be beneficial, I hope you enjoy the post, and don't forget to leave a comment! 

The #1 way to find healing after Heartbreak
#1 way to find healing after heartbreak

Let’s just be frank, the healing process after the loss of a relationship really sucks. Even if you haven’t lost your relationship, and are just in the midst of a rocky road with your partner, there is one thing that you can do to help yourself heal, and it can’t be found in the arms of another, or at the bottom of a beer bottle. Although those things might sound appealing while you’re hurting, they tend to cause more harm than good.

The best thing that women can do for themselves in order to heal is to reconnect with their strengths. What I mean by that is, many times in relationships there are parts of us that become lost, or overshadowed, but those parts are important, and they make us who we are. They contributed to who we were before we entered into the relationship, and yet those parts often get neglected.

In order to reconnect with those strengths, reflection and introspection have to be involved. I’m a huge proponent of journaling, I recommend it to almost all of my clients who are struggling through life’s challenges. So women who are trying to heal can start journaling and thinking about the parts of themselves that they’ve neglected that once brought them a sense of happiness and strength.

Were you once an athlete, or involved in some sport that you no longer do? Is there a creative side to you that you don’t feed because you’ve become too busy? Are you great with money? Are you a great parent? Are you a great friend?

I help my clients look at those strengths and get back to them so they can start to feel like themselves again, but also more importantly so that they can begin to realize that although this relationship that they’ve lost or that is in a very rocky state – while it’s extremely important to them, it isn’t all that makes up their life.

Sometimes women can place far too much emphasis on their romantic relationship and allow it to govern all other aspects of their life rather than having a full life and allowing a relationship to fit in the picture as well.

A lot of the work that I do with the women in my therapy practice is helping them to find their strengths, and accentuating them, or building new strengths.

Another important piece in the healing process is making peace with what’s occurred by taking some responsibility for the contribution to the relationship issues, the infidelity, and the end of the relationship; owning up to your own shortcomings as a partner. It doesn’t always mean forgiveness, but it means coming to an understanding about what transpired, and moving forward after accepting that.

Do you know what your strengths are? If not, it might be time to reflect on them. Ask your close friends and family what they see as your strengths, or even what they saw that used to be your strengths, because maybe they’ve noticed you’ve lost them along the way as well. It can be difficult put yourself out there in such a way, but a close confidant will likely be truthful if you approach them in the right way.

Find your strengths, reconnect with the old ones, feed them, and you will find healing. If you could use some help finding the person you may have lost while caught in a tumultuous relationship, I’d love to help. You can contact me at (909) 226-6124 and I’ll be happy to discuss ways we can work together to help you reconnect with your amazing strengths. 

Celebrating Valentine’s Day When Love Sucks
Valentine's Day Relationships

I love reading to my 17-month old son. I love it so much, but for mostly selfish reasons; it’s the only time he just sits on my lap and cuddles with me, and I also get to read all my favorite Dr. Seuss books all over again. As a child I always knew those little books were magical – I mean I could tell by the crazy pictures, Mr. Seuss had it goin on, but as an adult I realize just how many fantastic lessons we can learn from his crazy imagination.

I was reading 'Oh, the thinks you can Think' the other day and it really made me think (go figure) about how much control we have over any situation just based on the thoughts and meaning we give to it. We are our thoughts. Our reality is what we make of it.

Valentine’s Day is heading towards us like a steamroller, or as some say, “Single Awareness Day,” or for many of you it may be “WTF-is-going-on-with-my-relationship-anyways-day.” When your relationship is lackluster, and not exactly what you had imagined, holidays – even silly ones like Valentine’s Day can be like a stab in the heart because they serve as that crappy reminder that things just aren’t right.

But rather than hide under the covers all day loathing in self-pity, I want to encourage you to take some time for yourself, change your thoughts and reality, and celebrate anyway.

First things first though – take some time to acknowledge what you’re feeling. If you’re not sure what the heck is going on with your partner and how the two of you may or may not be celebrating together, acknowledge how that makes you feel. Write it down along with the ways you’d like to feel on this day (or any day for that matter).

Next, close the gap. What can get you from feeling the way you do now, to feeling the way you’d really like? If you want to feel loved, appreciated, or accepted, how can you create that for yourself?

Who are the people in your life, aside from your partner that make you feel those things? Are any of them free to do brunch, lunch, drinks, or some sort of class on V-Day? If you’re not sure, find out! Use your support system for all it’s worth. Most people automatically assume that their BFF will be celebrating with their honey, but because they love you too, they really are willing to be there to do something fun with you as well, you just have to ask.

Pay attention to those false negative beliefs you might be carrying and holding on to. That Eeyore voice in your head that says “no one has time for me, so why should I bother?” will keep you stuck, so tell it to be quiet, and ask a friend or family member for a little QT. 

If you’d rather go solo because that voice is just relentless, then think of other things that make you feel what you’re looking to feel on this day. Often giving helps us get those feels we love. Is there someone that you’d love to shower with a little bouquet or homemade cookies? You can channel your energy into creating something nice for a friend or relative to take your mind off of your relationship.

You can also shower yourself with the gifts you’d love to receive. Go get a massage, haircut, pedicure, or grab your own flowers, and spend time remembering that the most important love we have comes from ourselves. We have to fill our cups in order to give to others, so use this day as an excuse to pamper yourself, and fill up your own cup.

No matter how you decide to celebrate, acknowledge your feelings, but resolve to push past them even if just for the day. You have power over your thoughts. Notice how many times you tell yourself something negative about what the day means, and challenge yourself to shift those negative thoughts just long enough to feel a little positivity.

If nothing else, before your feet hit the floor on the start of Valentine’s Day, make a list in your head of at least 10 things that you are grateful for. This will shift your mood and remind you that no matter what’s going on in your relationship, your entire life is much bigger. “You can think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” Dr. Seuss.

Coping with Grief & Loss
grief and loss after divorce

A large part of my job is hearing of the struggles and losses of others and helping them heal and overcome those losses. Part of that healing comes from understanding what is normal and to be expected in certain situations.

I feel as though I am personally in a season of loss, and haven’t gone more than a few weeks without hearing of someone I care about losing a loved one. Grief is thick and strong and whether it is grief that comes from the loss of a relationship, or the loss of someone to illness or tragedy, it has varying shades, and the stages are the same.

I have been asked how I can help others if I haven’t experienced the situations that they are going through, and my answer is always the same: no two people experience the same thing in the same way, however I have experienced the emotions that come along with the different situations that I help others through.

I know sadness, loss, pain, and grief, and I also know joy, love, happiness, and connection. The other answer I typically give when posed with this question is: You don’t see cancer doctor because they’ve also had cancer, but you see them because they understand the science and steps that will help you heal.

No one can know exactly what a loss may look and feel like for you, however there are 5 common stages of grief that have been outlined and studied by Swiss Psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross that are well known and used by many helpers and healers and understanding where you are in terms of these stages helps normalize the situation and know what to expect. The common acronym for the 5 stages is, DABDA:

1.     Denial: in the face of a loss, the first reaction is denial that this could possibly happen. Denial is, “this isn’t happening,” “this can’t be happening,” “there must be some sort of misunderstanding or mistake,” “we can fix this.” It usually lasts only a short time, because it is difficult to deny the outward indications of what is happening.

2.     Anger: when denial no longer works, many people move to anger. Anger is, “Why would she be in that spot at that time, doesn’t’ she know how dangerous it is!?” “I can’t stand him anyway,” “I can’t believe God let this happen!” “How could I have let this happen? I can’t even look at myself right now.” People become angry at the person they’ve lost, others involved for causing the loss, or themselves for not doing something to prevent the loss.

3.     Bargaining: in this stage people sometimes bargain with God, or themselves in order to reverse the loss or impending loss. Bargaining is, “please God, just bring them back, and I swear I’ll live a better lifestyle,” “If I could just have one more moment with that person, I know I can save them, and our relationship,” This is seen more in situations that are less severe such as the loss of a job, but can occur in all types of losses.

4.     Depression: in this stage, the person experiences depression, and may stop doing daily activities. They may refuse to leave the house or have visitors and have much less energy. It’s also common for people in this stage to question life and the reason for moving forward if they too are going to die someday, or be met with the loss of another job, romantic relationship, or friendship.

5.     Acceptance: in this final stage, the person comes to accept the loss, and begins to make peace and resolves to move forward and find ways to commemorate their time with a person they’ve lost. Acceptance is, “this is happening, and my relationship is over, but I will move forward and look for what I truly want in my next relationship,” “although I’ve lost my mom, her legacy will love on in me, and I will teach my own children the lessons she taught me.”

Although these stages are presented in a logical order, it’s common for you to go back and forth between the stages. There is no set length for each stage, however if you are in the depression stage for longer than 2 months after the loss of a loved one and feel as though you are unable to get out of that sadness, have difficulty sleeping, and experience weight loss and low energy, this is a sign of Major Depression and you should seek the help of a therapist, psychiatrist, or consult your physician.

Depression symptoms after divorce, break-up, or losing a job that are lasting longer than one month can also be cause for concern, and the same advice applies.

It’s not possible to remove the various trials, peaks and valleys from our lives, but it is possible to find better ways to cope. If you are having difficulty coping with a recent loss, I’m here to help point you in the right direction and you can contact me at (909)226-6124 for a free phone consultation and we can talk about ways you start to feel better and pull yourself out of grief.