It’s not the same, is it? Learning to pilot your own ship, when for months or years or even decades, you had a dedicated co-captain to share the voyage? I won’t sugarcoat it: These are some rough seas. But there are ways you can get through this difficult time on your own — and even find a way back to happiness. After all, you aren’t just one half of a whole; you were a whole person before him, and you can feel like one again.

1. Embrace your inner woman.

You know all those things he made fun of you for doing, saying they were “too girly?” Like when you would indulge in expensive spa treatments “just because,” or paint your toenails outrageous colors, or cry happy tears while watching An Affair to Remember? Well, do all of those things now. Buy a pint of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor, stream the sappiest movie you can think of, and settle in for a night of indulgence.

2. Boost your mood the natural way.

Face it — he probably wasn’t too crazy about your oil diffuser, either. Now’s the time to crank it up, using your favorite seasonal scents. Peppermint oil, in particular, is often used to relieve stress and improve mental well-being. If your eyes are puffy from hours of crying, add a drop each of lavender and lemon oils to a teaspoon of distilled water, and massage the potion under your eyes before bedtime. You’ll wake feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, and look the part.

3. Strut your stuff.

You don’t need to be on a man’s arm in order to have a great night on the town. Visit the local movie theater by yourself — or better yet, treat yourself to a live performance by an artist you love — and sit wherever you damn well please. Before or after, check out that restaurant you always wanted to try but never did because they didn’t have the baseball game on. Bonus: You don’t have to share your popcorn or appetizers.

4. Write him a letter.

All right, I know — you’re trying to get over him, not dwell on all the stuff that drove you apart. But writing can be therapeutic, as well as cathartic. Say the things you weren’t able to say in the heat of your last days together. Get angry. Forgive yourself. Then either file the letter someplace where no one can ever read it, or throw it in the fireplace.

Looking for more tips on how to feel like yourself again? Click here to see How She Wins Him Back for ideas and stories from other women who are in the same boat as you. Just remember: Healing isn’t an instantaneous process, but what heals after a break is often stronger.

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