Ask Hope: How to I stay active after a painful breakup?

Gals, do I have experience with this one. Simply put: It painful and it’s hard. After a break-up, my typical response involves a tub of ice-cream, Nicolas Sparks movies featuring Ryan Gosling, and an ugly pair of Oh-So-Sexy sweat pants.

By all means, give yourself a day, or two, or five to grieve and process. That’s actually quite healthy and natural. Then get your tooshie back on the mountain, on those ski slopes, or on your bike. Don’t want to? Don’t know how? Don’t worry and read on.

Rely on Your Network
To insure that you don’t fall into an ice-cream laden depression, rely on the community of friends you’ve built for yourself. Enlist your girls to run or hike with you. Ask your guy friends to meet you at the gym. If you explain to your friends that you’re really committed to maintaining your activity levels post breakup, they’ll hold you accountable. Trust me.

Set Goals and Keep Setting Them
Sometimes, after a split, throwing yourself into training for something that really inspires and excites you can be healthy and fun. Train for a marathon. Climb a mountain. Take up and master a new outdoor sport like rock-climbing or surfing. This will take your mind off of the breakup and keep you from eating tubs of Chocolate Cherry Garcia or downing lemon drop shots.

Out with the Old, In with the New
When we’re in a relationship, we often get into routines or patterns. Perhaps you had a favorite trail that you hiked together every Sunday or a particular ski area whose opening you looked forward to every year. After your break-up, you don’t have to stop enjoying all of the places and activities that you and your ex used to enjoy together, but it is a wise move to spice things up a bit. By adding variety to your activities and letting go of some of the old habits you established with your ex, getting over the breakup will be more seamless. That being said, research some new hikes, find a different ski area, and pick up some new outdoor sports. This will not only help you move on, but it’ll broaden your horizons. Never a bad thing.

Let the Outdoors Heal You
Last, but certainly not least, let nature and your outdoor experiences heal you. Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better,” so as you’re hashing out the details of your break-up and trying to come to terms with singledom, allow nature to whisper the answers and soothe your soul.

Follow these simple tips and you’re certain to stay active, healthy, and wild post-breakup.