Breakups are awful. They’re messy, and they’re difficult, and it’s just plain hard to end a relationship with someone that you’ve invested so much into. Especially if you’re dealing with depression after the breakup

Breakups suck—  this fact has been true … well, basically forever

But when the world is going through a global pandemic – and, not to mention, we’re told to avoid social interactions and stay home at all costs – it makes it that much more difficult. There are things you can do that will help you get over a breakup during COVID. 

Many of your normal coping mechanisms are gone; and, what could possibly make you feel more lonely than a pandemic that’s forcing us to be alone? The aloneness… why do I have to feel this way?

But, the good news is: there are still many ways to healthily handle a toxic breakup. Even during an epidemic. 

Overall, it’s important to strike a healthy balance when you’re going out on your own

You’ve gotta stay in touch with your emotions, and let yourself feel your feelings. 

But, just as importantly, is to allow yourself a distraction or seven. So, give yourself permission to forget about your ex and your heartache, at least for a little while.

Here are the ways to deal with breakups during quarantine: 

Exercise (yes, really, even if you don’t feel like it)

Yes, you’ve probably seen this advice to help you deal with – well, basically everything there is to deal with. And there’s a reason! 

Even doing grade school jumping jacks can reduce anxiety and depression. It can increase both your energy and your mood. Exercise can make you feel more like yourself. Do five crunches today. Tomorrow do eight. The next day ten. You don’t have to run a dang marathon. 

Start with baby steps! 

A little adrenaline goes a long way. And it can help you manage your breakup sadness

If you don’t belong to a gym (because, perhaps, of that aforementioned global pandemic), there are still ways to get your endorphins flowing. 

For example, and especially once the quarantine started, online exercise videos took over the internet. Many are free, and many are intense enough to make you quickly forget about that gym membership. And that ex.

Or, head outdoors: take a walk, jog, bike ride, or hike. As a bonus, this one comes with fresh air and vitamin D. Hey… and if you wanna skip the shower today, nobody is the wiser! 

Find an TV Show to Binge

Sometimes, we all just need to escape into another world. One without a deadly disease or heartbreak.

Find a TV show you enjoy – one that’s easy to watch, easy to connect with, and easy to love. Especially if it’s a show you’ve already seen, the characters feel almost like close friends or family hanging out in your living room whenever you need them.

Need a recommendation? Try something like Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls, The Office, or Cheers. Cliche? Maybe. Make you forget about the world? For sure! 

It can be comforting to have some voices on in the background, or to sit down and escape whenever you need.

And hey— books work for this too! I’m a big old nerd. And books are the best at pulling me into la-la land. 

Reach Out to Loved Ones

You do NOT have to go at this alone. Share your heartache with people who care about you.

Listen: that doesn’t mean you have to “bring them down,” if that’s what you’re worried about; but discussing your feelings can help ease the pain on your end tremendously.

Tell your loved ones what happened; why you’re upset; and overall, how you’re doing. Don’t forget: they care, and they want to know.

That being said – you also don’t have to be a feelings-sharing machine. It can be helpful just being around – or talking to – those you love. 

In fact, you may even be so tired of thinking about what’s-their-name that talking about anything else is a welcome distraction.

Let Those Feelings Out!

Talk about it! Yes – it’s hard to address your feelings, and it hurts to talk about. But, just like, for example, weightlifting: the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Get in touch with a licensed professional. Utilize your journal. Join our breakup support group. 

It’s hard. But, letting your emotions flow will, ultimately, help get them out faster.

Drink, but don’t get cra-cra! 

This one may be even harder to hear than the “let those feelings out” one. 

A bottle of wine erases the heartache quickly – and, frankly, very effectively – in the moment. But alcohol also lowers serotonin. So not only will you have to deal with the hangover in the morning, but also a decrease in your brain’s “happy chemicals.”

You don’t have to cut out drinking altogether – just use wisely.

Get Back Out There (Virtually)

A big part of moving through a breakup is meeting new people. Sure, it’s not quite as easy these days as walking into a bar and chatting up the cutie next to you. But the good news about our technology-driven world is … well, the copious number of dating apps.

And a big part of easing a breakup is finding someone new to get excited about. Even if it’s short term, the reminder that “there are more fish in the sea” can put your mind at ease – even if merely subconsciously.

There are, also, ways to date virtually. If you find someone you want to get to know more, strike up a Zoom call. (And, bonus, you can use the “40 minute timer” to get out of the conversation if things aren’t going well.)

If you live in the same city, you can also invite them out for an outdoor excursion. A walk around the neighborhood; a hike on the trail; maybe even a socially distant chat in the park.

It’s a whole new world of dating that we’re in – live it up!

Just Remember: It Will Get Better

Though it may feel overwhelming in the moment, just remind yourself that these feelings of heartache are not permanent. They will eventually subside, and you will eventually feel back to normal. Promise. Need to talk? Click here to join the best free breakup and divorce support group for women.