(* insert – attractive / clever / interesting / thin / other adjective of your choice).
However, it is such a universal part of the human experience that we should take solace that we are not alone (even if we are, literally alone). Relationships are difficult. We expect too much of them and of the partners who unwittingly signed up to meet expectations neither they (nor indeed anyone) might reasonably be able to fulfil; that is for them to “complete” us, to be our rock, our soul mate.
When an intimate relationship comes to an end, our brains respond in the same way as a drug addict going cold turkey. Stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline pour into our bloodstream resulting in anxiety, agitation, nausea, insomnia and an inability to concentrate. Our “happy” hormones, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin plummet. We may crave the comfort and security of being with our ex, even when we know it’s not right for us – we are after all, addicted. The calm voice of our rational brain struggles to be heard over our screaming emotional brain. The reason our physiology campaigns to try to stop the break up is an evolutionary one. We are social animals and across cultures coupling up has been the norm from our earliest ancestors. We needed to form couples to survive, procreate and raise the next generation into adulthood. Even now when we don’t need a partner to stop us being devoured by wolves, we have maintained couple-hood as a social norm and our modern societies look much more favourably on couples than single people, even though more people than ever are now choosing a single life.
Ok. The good news is – you will. The not so good news is that you can’t rush it and if you try to avoid confronting it by throwing yourself into your work/hobbies/someone new, you won’t allow yourself to reflect on what has happened, fully accept it, take responsibility for your part, learn from it and use it to grow, so that you avoid making the same mistakes again or carrying the toxic baggage into your next relationship. Our time you will heal heartbreak. Few things are less attractive than the date who spends the entire evening droning on about the terrible atrocities committed by their ex.
There is no rule book on how to deal with your emotions during this critically difficult time, so I will share my own 10 top tips:
Love Julia x
The heart-warming, comforting way to help you heal heartbreak.
This delicious soup is balm for the soul. It’s warming, rich, satisfying and full of pre-biotics, antioxidants and serotonin-stimulating chickpeas.
Serves 1 (for 4 meals!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (I like to use a red one), finely chopped
2 leeks, halved longways and finely sliced
1 large clove garlic
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tsp ground turmeric
A generous handful of rocket or spinach
1 litre of hot stock – vegetable, chicken or (my favourite) miso
Ground black pepper
In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion.
Cook on a medium heat until softened.
Add the leeks and garlic.
Stir intermittently until the leeks are soft (around 7 minutes).
Add the turmeric, chickpeas, stock and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes
Add the rocket or spinach. As soon as the leaves have wilted, blend.
I prefer to leave a little texture with dark flecks of green from the wilted
leaves still visible.
Enjoy with thick slices of buttered toast
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