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6 tips to beat the break-up blues

If you've ever had your heart broken you'll never forget the feeling. People say no one ever died of a broken heart but when you're suffering from one, it certainly doesn't feel that way -- at least initially.

People say no one ever died of a broken heart but when you're suffering from one,it certainly doesn't feel that way - at least initially.

I have reached the age of 27 not unscathed in love and relationships.

I sent out a mass email asking all my girlfriends for their tips and things they have learned about break-ups and the general consensus was that all the following are things we all wish we had known when we were younger. So here's my guide for how to get over a heartbreak and how to maintain your dignity -- no matter how bad you're feeling.

1 Step away from the phone

Never, ever drunk-dial. If you think you are going to have a few drinks and won't be able to help yourself texting your former partner, delete the number before you go out.

Also, if you are out and see his friends and want to tell them all what you really think of your old flame, don't. Bite your tongue and move on to another bar.

It's not a good idea to try to get off with his best mate in an attempt to make him jealous, either.

2 If you're angry, then say it

A lot of women don't stress about the small stuff openly. They let little things slide and ignore him being 15 minutes late, not cleaning up ever, flirting with the girl at the checkout/bar/hairdressers, etc -- only to suddenly snap and let all hell break loose over something small.

My point is that it is better to speak up about the small stuff and deal with the monster while it's still a baby. Holding onto aggression and anger can only have a negative effect long-term so try to release it and not let things get pent up. If you can't speak to him, a Louise Hay technique for this is to write a detailed letter, really saying everything you want, put it in an envelope with a stamp on it and then burn it.

3 Don't throw everything out

Although initially you will want to remove anything to do with him or from him from your sight, exercise some caution. Yes, some things have to go but that scarf he gave you that seems to almost smell of him? After a wash and a little time passing, it could just be a beautiful scarf that you would regret had you thrown it out.

Go the dignified route and don't burn his favourite shirt or scratch the CDs he left in your house as that really only makes you look a bit mental. Put his things in a bag and if you meet up, give them to him or get a mutual friend to pass them on. Don't put a love-letter in the bag begging him back -- that looks desperate.

4 Delete him from your facebook or twitter

I know you may have said you want to remain 'friends', but two weeks into a break-up, when you're miserable, do you really want to read that he is having drinks in a bar a five-minute walk away from you -- perhaps with a new girl? Do you need to see if some other girl is leaving YouTube clips on his wall? Really? Do the sensible thing and delete him.

5 Have a good moan but draw the line

Depending on the length of your relationship, it will take anything up to a year to feel 'normal' again, and your mates will rally around you and be a shoulder to cry on, but don't abuse this. After a month or so of moaning at them and being listless, try to pick yourself up and occasionally remind them why they are friends with you in the first place. If things are really bad or you have had a traumatic break-up you may well need proper counselling to help you deal with the situation.

People who specialise in relationships include Ruth Jacobs (www.therapyandhealing.com) and also Edel Malone, (087 9757297 edel_malone@yahoo.com).

6 Don't go all out on the ben and jerry's

Yes, you're heartbroken and yes, ice cream is delicious but don't overdo it. A month's worth of comfort eating could take several months to burn off.

To quote a book title It's Called a Break Up Because it's Broken: "Either he wasn't good enough or you weren't right for each other, but there's an amazing guy out there dying to meet you, and you won't find him at the end of a tube of Pringles."

So while a night in with a bottle of wine and a takeaway sounds great, just don't do it every night...