Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Angela Vaz

I know what it feels like when the whole world is crashing.

My mom always said, “Bad things happen in 3s.”

It’s a silly superstition, but sometimes, coincidence plays a part, and you’ll find the worst luck for consecutive days/weeks/months.

It happens.

It happens to the best of us.

I think one of the worst periods of my life was when I went through a breakup, lost my mom, and was confined in a strange apartment in a foreign city due to the pandemic lockdown.

I had left my dogs in another city to bury my mom, and I was stuck in that city waiting for the lockdown to be lifted.

I can officially say that I was at my lowest point.

I felt like the world was closing in on me; all I could see was darkness.

I woke up each morning reliving the breakup and my mom’s death and had to pretend to be okay because I was staying with my father – who was also doing the same.

But looking back on April 2021, I can tell you I survived.

The days improved, and eventually, I was in a good place again. I got back home and reunited with my pups, and I started my life from scratch.

I eventually found love, and I was able to make more friends – I want to share how I found hope and turned my life around in this post.

1. Accept that sh*t has happened

You can only spend so much time in denial.

But at one point, you need to face the music.

It’s hard, but it’s the first step to healing.

So, spend some time alone or with someone you trust and let your feelings out.

You can do this by journalling, talking to yourself, meditating, or just crying.

Take your time.

Don’t let other people dictate how fast you need to heal.

Everyone’s healing looks different. And the grief hits differently.

You may be angry, upset, or just plain sad.

It’s okay also to feel numb.

Just let your feelings wash over you while you reach acceptance.

2. Take it one day at a time

It may seem like cringey advice, but this particular bit helps overthinkers like me.

I want you to forget the past and stop thinking about the future.

You only have today – you only have this moment.

So, focus on today.

Ask yourself what you can do right now to make yourself feel better. And then do it.

  • Make yourself something to eat.
  • Read something.
  • Water a few plants in your house.
  • Just hug your pet for a while.
  • Journal/mediate.
  • Talk to a loved one on the phone.

But at any cost, do not numb your pain with alcohol/drugs/shopping/binge eating.

These activities don’t do anything except cover up the wound. Right now, you need to heal.

And healing means being present.

3. Practice gratitude

I know this feels like a kick to the shin but go with me on this.

When I lost my mom and my partner, I felt like I’d lost everything.

But I remembered I still had my dad, my dogs, and myself. And that was important.

It is so easy to look at everything you’ve lost and focus on that.

But it would be best to remember that 99% of things are going well for you.

So, do that.

It can be as simple as that cup of coffee you just had in the morning, watching nature and appreciating the greenery around you, or the ability to smell the bread from a nearby bakery.

It doesn’t matter what; write it down.

Start with 3 things every day and work your way to 5.

My partner started doing this years ago, and he still maintains a gratitude list—he says it really helps him stay grounded and grateful.

4. Read about how people got back up

Whenever I’m stuck, I look to advice from the greats.

When I say “Greats,” I mean anyone who’s overcome the challenge I face.

For instance, when I lost my mom and couldn’t imagine life without her, I read books on people who lost people.

It made me feel less alone – knowing others have walked the same path and felt the same pain.

This taught me that it is possible to live with pain and eventually find happiness.

It is possible to turn that pain into something else and channel it into something productive like art.

Believe it or not, that pain I felt during my breakup/mom’s death has helped me connect with so many people.

I’ve made some good friends/connections because I was able to help them traverse that journey of loss.

I was able to talk about my pain and help people realize they weren’t alone.

Pain helps you grow.

It helps make you stronger.

Here are a few books you can read to find comfort if you’re healing.

And you can read these books if you’re going through a painful breakup.

5. Put yourself first

It’s not selfish to want to heal.

It’s not selfish to want to spend time by yourself till you feel better.

But at the same time, don’t isolate yourself completely – this will lead you to close up and bottle your feelings.

Hang out with people.

Remember that they might not understand what you’re going through, but every single one of them felt pain at some point in their lives.

They’ve lost jobs, lost people close to them, have had to survive on their own, or just been through regular heartbreak.

Nobody’s heart is whole and untainted.

So, let people in.

Open up and talk about your feelings when you’re ready to people you trust.

When I didn’t have friends, I started going for meetups at cafes and parks just to mingle with people and not be in silence all the time.

I even joined a book club, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done.

I talk about how you can make friends as an adult here.

So mingle, but also take time for yourself.

Focus on healing and take things slowly – one day at a time.


If absolutely nothing is working and you’re feeling stuck, it’s time to take a bigger step and go for counseling.

Talking to someone who is entirely unbiased will help you.

A professional will listen to you and give you the tools to work through your feelings.

I wish you nothing but peace and happiness.

If you liked this article, remember to join my newsletter by grabbing this eBook – I write them myself, and they’re quite personal and helpful. =)

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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