21 Days

As the holidays are approaching, we often find ourselves in a bit of a nostalgic mood. This can be a joyful thing to feel around this time but it can also cause many to feel down. One of the main reasons someone could be feeling this way could be because of a loss in their life. This doesn’t necessarily mean a death but any kind of loss. Loss has never been something I welcomed easily. Rather than letting something slip out of my hands, it is more like a painful grip onto this thing as it inches slowly out of my hand. I do however feel I have experienced loss enough to be able to cope with it.

There are so many things one could do to cope with loss. Some coping mechanisms are healthier than others, of course. One of my favorite ways to cope is quite simply giving myself time. To be more specific, giving myself 21 days, three weeks. I have read a few articles on this idea and after testing it out in my own life, I find it to be successful… usually. I first attempted this method last year when I went through a painful separation from two people that meant the world to me. I will not go into detail but I will say that it was not my idea to part ways from them. Everything escalated and in a blink of an eye, I was left by myself and picking up the pieces of my life. It felt like everything that could go wrong was happening. I started reading about this 21-day method. I wanted healing and I wanted it in that moment. Unfortunately, as much as we want to snap our fingers and make everything better, with healing comes time.


With the 21-days or as I call it, “total detox”, you take whatever it is you are letting go of and you go cold turkey. Typically, it is a person, so let’s use that for my example. Let’s say you just went through a breakup and you are heart broken and you cannot stop looking at their photos which is only hurting you more. Your first step after accepting the breakup, is blocking their number and any other access they might have to you. Next, you want to get rid of any reminders you have of this person. That sweater they let you borrow or those photos in your phone. Completely get rid of everything that reminds you of them. This next step is optional but I find it to be extremely helpful during times like these. I recommend taking a piece of paper and a pen or a whiteboard and a marker and drawing out a calendar. Keep the calendar in a visible area so that you can see it and mark off on it daily. Something about seeing my progress each day and what I have left to accomplish puts my mind at ease. Rather than my brain just going all over the place and wondering how long I might feel this way, I have a clear idea of my goals. The articles I read explained how this time won’t get rid of all the emotions you have but at the very least, the physical symptoms you were feeling will start to fade away. As insane as it is to think, humans and the feelings they give you can truly be as addicting as a drug. You are bound to have withdrawal symptoms after this loss so how you cope with it is important. When I started seeing things like heartbreak as more of a physical than emotional thing, it made it easier for me to cope.


You will get use to using this method if you keep applying it when needed. The last major loss I went through, or what felt like a major loss at the time, I used this detox from day 1. The second this person and I separated, I accepted it, blocked their number, blocked them on social media, and I deleted every photo I had of them. I got out my white board and I got a calendar ready to start marking off each day. I even set up an appointment with my therapist and threw myself into church groups. I believe it is all about being proactive so that you can start feeling better even sooner. Do not take this as me saying you should not grieve because you should. You should let yourself feel every emotion that comes to you and just let it happen. I spent about a whole week just crying and letting it all out. I also recommend writing a list of all the negative things about this person just so you can take the rose-colored glasses off for once. Lastly, seek help from those around you. The people around you care for you and want to see you at your best.

Take that time to grieve and remind yourself that it is okay if you are doing great one day and terrible the next. This is not some smooth process but I can promise you this detox is a very helpful option. Now hear me out, you won’t necessarily be feeling the best you’ve ever felt but you will likely be more certain you are on your way. With all this being said, I hope you can find peace in knowing that letting go is not impossible and healing is well on its way. I wish you all a happy holiday and a peace of mind.