What's Love Got to Do With It? How Romance and Relationships Keep You Healthy
If You're...Staying at the Heartbreak Hotel
1. Get off the subject. It takes real work to leave a lover and start all over again. During and after a breakup, remind yourself that you may be seeing everything in a negative light, says Krockover. To heal, try to jog your brain out of obsessing on the loss, and engage it in a positive activity. Indulge one of your passions by staying at home and reading Jane Austen. Leave town to volunteer for an archaeological dig and throw yourself into the unknown. Try a new challenge, perhaps, by learning Italian or taking up the clarinet. Happy, healthy love might find you while you're not even looking.
2. Eat a good dinner. Scientists don't need to conduct an elaborate study to tell us that when women feel unhappy, they skip dinner and load up on carbs and fat at night. "I seem to remember one period when all the women were dumped on Felicity, Friends, and Ally McBeal. Each one ended up reaching for the ice cream," says Domar. Ward off the midnight munchies by eating a well-balanced, high-protein dinner. A healthy lunch offers extra protection.
3. Chew the nonfat. "When stress hormones are high and our brain thinks we need a boatload of calories, tuna on greens just doesn't do it," says Peeke. "That's why God made gum. Chewy foods are what you want when anxiety rises." She suggests carrots dipped in hummus or a tablespoon and a half of natural peanut butter on a giant Wasa cracker.
4. Apply pleasure. "Women often say they feel like shadows after a divorce or a breakup, that they don't expect to see anything in a mirror," says Legato. Your body needs simple pleasure just to feel real to itself. "Reaffirm your sense of being valuable by giving yourself small, tangible gifts like a new haircut, a pedicure, an extra massage."
Next: If you're stuck in a bad relationship