Befriend an ex. Urquhart is friends with 90 percent of the men she's dated. She plays sports with them, seeks career advice from them—and has no interest in reigniting the flame. Those platonic relationships took time to develop, she says, so don't rush into it. Give yourself a year at least, maybe more. The upside is that "you know them intimately, so you know you can trust them," Urquhart says. And sometimes, they can provide helpful perspective on your relationship and why it failed. Still, don't even consider friendship if your ex treated you badly or abused you.
Spend time with your gay best friend. One of Urquhart's closest friends is a gay man who regularly attends events and goes out to dinner with her. He comforts her after breakups, provides a male perspective, and always gives her an honest opinion on her outfit. "It's nice for women to have men in our lives, whether we're dating them or not," Urquhart says. Bonus: There's no awkwardness at the end of the night, when both parties might otherwise be wondering what will happen next.
Stay active. Hit the treadmill or the trails, because exercising is an ideal way to take your mind off your troubles and begin to feel more powerful. Even if you've never been inside a gym, get moving—it'll do wonders for your self-esteem. If you make your body healthy, your mind will catch up, Urquhart says. (And boxing or martial arts can double as a great way to relieve pent-up emotions.)
[See Spice Up Your Exercise Life.]
Change your geography. Shake up that comfortable, familiar routine. On your subway ride to work, consider getting off a couple of stops before your usual exit, and walk the rest of the way to the office. Skip Starbucks for a few days, and try that coffee shop you've been blowing past for years. "Your perspective will immediately change," Urquhart says. "Go to a cool little neighborhood you usually don't go to, and all of a sudden you'll feel like you're in a totally different city."
Meet new people. There's never going to be a better time to take that pottery class or sign up for those Chinese language lessons. Not only will you distract yourself with a new activity, but you'll be spending time with people who don't know that your heart was just shattered into a million pieces. "Your ex's name won't come up, because they don't know who he or she is," Urquhart says. "It forces you out of that 'woe is me' place and into a new conversation."
Plan ahead for Valentine's Day. You know it's coming, so make sure you have something to look forward to. Visit a different city, go skiing or snowboarding, or plan a gathering with your single girlfriends.
Most importantly, no matter where you are in the recovery process, know that it will get better—it just takes time. "As human beings, we're constantly evolving. If you're feeling sad about someone who isn't in your life anymore, start to think of it as the natural evolution of that relationship," Urquhart says. "For every person who's walked out of my life, someone better has walked in. Don't give all your cards to one person and assume that's who you're supposed to be with forever and ever."