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/ Source: TODAY
By Diana Kirschner, Ph.D.

Being alone after a breakup is a challenge, especially at holiday time. Divorce or separation after a long relationship is one of life's major stresses and can plunge you into depression and health problems. 

But this awareness can motivate you to find ways to make the net effect of the breakup positive. You can make this painful time into a whole new rebirth for yourself in 2008!

Spend time with close friends
A UCLA study showed that being rejected activates one of the same areas of the brain as physical pain. The more ignored the people felt, the more activity they had in the anterior cingulate, which also registers physical distress. Spending time with close friends offsets the pain by causing the brain to release natural opioids, which are like the painkillers found in opium.

Start a meditation, yoga or other mind/body practice
You will de-stress, find more peace and sleep better!

Use anger as fuel to better yourself
If you are feeling angry, channel it into kickboxing, lifting weights or cardio. Exercise lifts your mood. Give yourself a makeover. Initially thinking about how sorry your ex will be when he or she sees how fantastic you have become can be fuel for your rebirth. Make yourself more attractive and better inside and out. 

Have a “new you” party  Invite your friends to come over for a “new you” party where they help give you a makeover.  Have them go through your clothes and accessories to get rid of unflattering stuff and put together some hot looks for the new you. Ask them for referrals to great hair salons or clothing shops. Find a look that makes you feel great. 

Get out there and date (both off- and online)At this moment, your chances of meeting the love of your life could be better than ever! The average marriage now lasts less than seven years, and this means new singles are coming on the scene all the time. Around 16 million people are now using online dating. You don’t need to worry about getting into a troublesome rebound relationship: New research shows that people marrying on the rebound are no more likely to fail than those who wait. Not to worry if you are older: The American Association of Retired Persons found in a recent survey that 70 percent of single baby boomers are actively dating. 

Distract yourself Distract yourself from thoughts of the breakup by taking on new challenges at work or going on a trip. Take that improv or singing class!