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Every one of us at some point or another will face a season in life where things we planned on or counted on will fall apart. The impact of that instance will vary in the level of intensity for each person but no matter what your personal experience, taking these steps will help you begin to heal and rebuild what has been broken.

1. Allow yourself to feel.

This is probably the hardest step in the entire process but it is also the most crucial. When life shatters around us or in us, the first thing any of us wants to do is run in the opposite direction. As tempting as it may be, we have to reject that mindset and instead acknowledge the pain we are facing and admit that it is something that has wounded or disappointed us. Allowing yourself to cry, to mourn the life and plans you had, to release the pain inside, will begin to free you. It’s truly revolutionizing to lean into your own pain and allow it to teach you more about who you are and about what your personal path to healing will look like. At first, it will feel incredibly painful, but over time you will start to see how facing it will begin growing and healing you.

2. Choose a new mindset.

While the first step is choosing to face your pain, the second step is then choosing not to remain in that place permanently. Once we acknowledge the pain of what we’ve been through we have to choose not to stay in a place mentally that will harm us or keep us from moving forward. It is tempting to want to remain in a hard place and it is also difficult to get out, but we must begin the process of moving forward even in the midst of how we feel. We can be aware of our pain without letting it control us. Not allowing ourselves to be controlled by our pain and disappointment is a huge step in the process of growth. It will be hard, but it is not impossible. Keep moving forward.

3. Do something new for yourself.

When my life fell apart I decided to do some things that I had always wanted to do. I started taking yoga, I got a tattoo, I went out of the country and I started my own business. All of these things were things I had wanted to do but somehow I felt more of a push to do them once my life changed. You may want to redecorate a room, take a cooking class, train for a marathon; whatever it may be, choose to do something for yourself that you can be excited about and look forward to. Having a goal or new hobby will help alleviate some of the pain and will also help you begin building something new for the future. New things bring us new life and joy, and having those positive and happy things will help so much with the healing process.

4. Be good to yourself.

Unexpected life changes are really hard, that’s just the truth of it. But learning how to be good to yourself in the midst of it will be such a powerful thing. By learning to be brave, to step out and try new things, and by giving yourself permission to invest in yourself with self-care and self-love, you will begin to grow and heal. And in the midst of it all, give yourself some grace. It’s okay to still struggle, it’s okay to not have it all together, and it’s okay to still break down from time to time. You are human, you are allowed to feel. Not only that but you are beautiful, vulnerable and capable of so much. Remember those things when the changes feel overwhelming. You can make it, I promise. How do I know? Because I’m walking the same road with you and I’m watching myself heal little by little with each step I take.

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