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Stressed out by love, life and relationships?


The period following the death of a relationship is critical in terms of recovery.  It's a roller coaster time packed with conflicting emotions like regret, indecision, exuberance, happiness, sadness. It's vitally important to take care of oneself during this time and hasten the return to a healthy equilibrium.

What follows is a plan detailing a sequence of care packages designed for the post breakup period.  Think of them as applying balm to your wounds.

Doing this for yourself is great therapy.  But if you find yourself emotionally paralyzed or sitting in a dark room muttering, enlist a friend to deliver your recovery supplies.  Promise you'll do the same for him or her next time he or she's in a love funk.

Treat the post break-up period as similar to the time of withdrawal after going off drugs, a time when you'll have to resist the urge to reach for the needle for another fix, in other words to grab the phone and beg your ex to come over.  Know that this is a time when you will suffer and be irrational. But bear with it.  Because once you pass through the flames and out the other side, you'll feel a million times better.


This is the most painful time. Your brain is scrambled. Emotions are bruised and raw. The wounds are gushing blood.   Week One's Care Package should therefore contain the following items:

1. A link to this site. Vital for anyone with a trampled heart.

2. Dig out your baby blanket or teddy bear.  Bury your face in it and howl. Just be sure the windows are closed tight and no one's around to witness this.  You don't want to get taken away to the loony bin.

3. Rent some schmaltzy tear-jerker movies. These will get the tears flowing and draw all that excess emotion out, like pus out of a wound. Okay men, so thatıs not your style?  An alternative is to hang up a punching bag and punch the crap out of it.

4. A jumbo box of soft perfumed tissues to wipe away the tears, even if they are tears of joy that your ex is finally out of your life and you can finally hit on the luscious coffee server at your local Starbucks.

5. Duraflame logs for the fireplace. This is the time to huddle around the fire and stare tragically into the flames. Okay, so you don't have a fireplace. Then buy the Videotape Fireplace.  This surreal video is just a two hour static shot of a burning fire complete with realistic crackling sounds.

6. Ice Cream.  Lots of it. The richer the better. My personal recommendation is Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia. Yum.

7. A big box of Godiva chocolates.  If you can't indulge now, when can you? This is the time to pig out big time.

8. A supply of pink lightbulbs. It's important to avoid harsh lights when a glance at your haggard reflection in the mirror could send you running for the sleeping pills.  Soft rosy lighting will make you look your best and give your melancholia a romantic moodiness.

9. Opera recordings. You can lip sync the tragic parts like Madame Butterfly's death scene ­ it'll help to put your puny little problems in their proper context.

10.  Hypnosis tapes for use while asleep.  Have them programmed with ego boosting propaganda like "he or she's not worthy of you", "he or she's a dick" and other subtle reminders of your new world picture.

11.  A week's supply of delivered dinners. You'll feel too horrible to cook.

12.  A crate of fruit-flavored carbonated water -- to go with the meal. Keep away from alcohol in these early vulnerable days. Alcohol brings on excessive emotion and encourages impulsive actions.

13.  Tape for you to tape your mouth shut whenever you feel the urge to grab the phone and call your ex.

14.  Instructions on turning off the phone.  That way you won't have to waste time and energy anguishing if your ex does call....or agonizing if he or she doesn't call.  This way you'll simply never know.  And ignorance is bliss.


Week 2 can be just as tough as Week 1. For some, it can be even tougher. There have been no phone calls begging for reconciliation.  No bouquets left on your doorstep.  No threats of suicide if you won't return.  Looks like your ex is gone for sure.  It's very important by Week 2 to get a hold of yourself and put all your emotional energy into exorcising any traces of the departed one. The Care Package for Week 2 should therefore contain:

1. Matches - to burn anything that belongs to your ex or that reminds you of them. Be careful however.  In your zeal, don't burn the house down.

2. Paper Shredder - to shred all of your ex's sickening lie-filled letters.

3. Play Dough - to make little models of the ex.  You can stick them with pins, gouge out their eyes, rip their heads off.

4. For women, this week rent videos with strong independent female leads played by actresses like Bette Davis or Whoopi Goldberg. These are excellent role models for this junction in your life, tremendously successful very singular women who have done just fine thank you without permanent male attachments.  If you're a guy you can't beat the movie Casablanca for a good male role model who doesn't in the end need his woman.

5. Long Russian novels like War and Peace or Anna Karenina - to transport your mind to a faraway place and time during those long evening hours you now spend alone.


It's time now to concentrate on action, things you can do to move deliberately move forward in your new life.  The big rule is: Don't Look Back.  To aid you with this new impetus, the Care Package for Week 3 should include the following items:

1. Phone numbers of the killer divorce attorneys in town.  You're calm enough now to have a rational discussion about where you go from here and whether or not you can take with you the home, the car and everything your ex owns.

2. A big stack of travel brochures to plan a well-deserved vacation.  Now's the time to make concrete plans to do something exotic or unusual like riding camels in Morocco or canoeing on the Amazon. Be sure you enlist an outgoing friend to go with you.  You don't want to end up feeling lonesome.

3. A day at a serious health spa where they offer rigorous salt rubs. There's nothing like a good exfoliation (dead skin removal) to make one feel renewed.  Nature makes snakes go through this process quite naturally. We humans need more help.  While you're at the spa, why not splurge on the whole package? Get the manicure, pedicure, facial, the works.

4. A Diet Plan to shed the pounds you gained pigging out on all that chocolate and ice cream during Week 1. Walking is a great energizer.  It gets the blood flowing. And it gets you out in the world.

5. A Makeover including a fabulous new haircut by a great cutter.

6. A puppy or a kitten - something on which to lavish all that unfocused love and affection.  This is not recommended for everyone. Pet's faces are often very cute...the other end definitely isn't.

7. A Disguise Kit - wig, nose, glasses - just in case you run into the Unmentionable One on the street.

8. Pepper Spray - in case your ex recognizes you.

9. The Book of Curses - focus that late night energy in a constructive direction.

10.  A VooDoo Doll - an excellent outlet for venom and aggression.


You're ready to live fully again.  This is the time to launch headlong into your terrific new future. Week 4's Care Package will help propel you forward.

1. A Blind Date.  A few cautionary tips: Do not mention your recent breakup. Do not drink too much and start blubbering . If you're in a restaurant, do not pound your fist on the table or fling your plate across the room. Definitely do not jump in the sack with your date. Compensatory sex is never a good idea.

2. A catalog of University Extension Classes - now's a great time to embark on self-improvement.  Learn something fun like how to fly fish or start that MBA program to move on to your second career.

3. Music Lessons.  You always wanted to learn how to play the violin or the piano but never had the time. Now's the perfect opportunity. It will also calm your emotions.

4. Tango Lessons. This is fun, great exercise and a good way to meet new people. Okay, so it's unlikely you'll run into some bodacious babe or dashing stud down at the local Y, but a quick twirl around the floor with a funny paunchy shoe salesman (or woman) may be just what the doctor ordered.

5. Enrollment in the Sierra Club.  Ask about any local Sunday morning hikes which are a big favorite with Urban Singles.

6. A Gift Voucher for new underwear.  New knickers always boost a woman's spirits. For guys, check out those tight little Calvin Kleins.  Women love them. And who knows? You might be showing them off....sooner than you think.

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