Breakups are hard enough as it is, but breaking up during a pandemic comes with unique challenges.
Finding activities to look forward to in your week is important to help you keep track of time and have planned joy in your week.
Getting plants and having a long-term project can add enrichment to your life and routine.
Under normal circumstances, a breakup can mean moving on and getting busy — a "time to boss up," as the TikTok-famous Vedo song goes.
But during the pandemic, it's not so simple. People are working from home or out of work, seeing friends or meeting new people comes with plenty of risk and hurdles, and your hobbies may be limited.
According to a Dating.com survey of 2,000 users, 67% of people said they had gone through a break up in 2020 — up from 35% the previous year — and 25% said they were still living with an ex.
As such, breaking up with a partner right now can feel like cutting off a lifeline to human contact, acknowledged Veronica Chin Hing-Michaluk, a New York City-based relationship therapist.
These are four tips, aside from therapy, Chin Hing-Michaluk would give to her patients who are trying to find themselves and stay strong after a breakup during the pandemic.
Set up weekly activities to keep you on a schedule
Breaking up can mean having a lot more time in your routine to yourself that you don't know what to do with. It can also mean unlimited time to dwell on the past.
Chin Hing-Michaluk recommends finding fun activities to sprinkle throughout your week to also work in some human connection.
"Seek out anchors for your week. It's easy to lose track of time when you're home 24/7 and it's even easier when you're going through the motions of a breakup," Chin Hing-Michaluk said. "Now is the time to engage in life-affirming activities, sprinkling them throughout your week to minimize the potential to spiral into negative thinking."
A weekly call to your best friends, a long-term project, a socially distanced walk with your neighbor, or a sit in the park with a family member can do a world of good.
Get a pet or plants
Another way to work out a regular routine and hold yourself accountable is getting a pet, fish tank, or plants to check on.
Nurturing them can add joy to your life, get you operating on a schedule, and possibly give you a companion.
House plants have even been shown to ease stress, which is an added benefit during the pandemic.
Join a book club or hobby group that meets regularly and virtually
You might be craving group settings after going through a breakup and want to build up your social network.
Chin Hing-Michaluk recommends getting involved in a group activity that meets regularly to see people with a common interest safely.
"Joining a book club or ongoing peer support group can be really helpful for those who appreciate community," Chin Hing-Michaluk said.
Writing exercises to reflect on how much you've grown and changed
You might be hard on yourself after the breakup, but significant life changes can be opportunities for emotional growth. Think about how far you've come and be kind to yourself.
"Reflect and remember. If and when you have emotional capacity, reflect on what it was like to be in your former relationship," Chin Hing-Michaluk said. "How have you grown and changed as a person? Can you celebrate that growth? Are there silver linings in this experience that you just cannot appreciate yet?"
Journaling about the ways you have changed, writing down affirmations about yourself you can say in the morning, and setting aside time to meditate are all great tangible steps you can take to understand your growth over the last year.
Read the original article on Insider