Hello gentle reader,
Of all the articles available, thank you for taking the time to read mine during this crazy time. Today, I wanted to write an article to help you during this time. This is an opinion piece and I am not a therapist or trained counsellor, though I will give examples of some services you can use for this.
Now, let’s get started, but first, let me tell you a bit about my situation.
I am a 21 year old student living alone during this pandemic. At times, I feel really isolated, which I am sure you can also relate to. I am a student, but the term has finished, so for the next little while, I am going to be alone with my thoughts. 🙂
I did not want this breakup to happen, but it might be for the best for now, as it is what my ex wants. But still, going through a breakup during this time is difficult. And to be honest, my breakup happened a little while ago, several months before any of this started, but it has taken me a long time to heal from this, and I recently made the decision to cut communication with me ex, who I was still in frequent contact with, almost daily, it was best for them, and also for me.
Despite the breakup happening months prior, spending this time alone has been particularly difficult, and I am unsure how long it will last, but I do know that others find themselves in similar situations. And likely, some of your breakups might have happened much more recently than mine, so let me offer you some no b.s. tips to work through this situation.
1. CHECK IN ON YOUR EX… ONCE
This situation is tough for everyone, and it might be a good thing to check up on the ones you care about, including your ex. People may be a little lonely, confused, and frustrated during this time, and checking up on each other is important. But… keep all communication positive. No fighting especially during this time. And just because this situation occurred, it does not mean your ex will want to communicate or want to get back together with you. In fact, while I do recommend checking in once if you are in an emotionally healthy enough state to do so, I do not recommend checking in any more frequently than that. Once is enough. To let them know you are there for them as a friend, but after that, you need to let them go again. This breakup is not going to change because of current circumstances, some exes might reach out out of loneliness, and while an ex sending you an “I’m horny” text might be rather frustrating, I recommend being compassionate to all messages and politely declining in a judgement free zone. Everyone feels alone and weird right now, and it is important to be considerate of others emotions, but most importantly, you must put your own emotions first.
2. SOCIALIZE WITH PEOPLE WHO WILL RESPOND
Now this one is crucial, not all of your friends will want to video chat or text. I have a few friends like that, they are good people and great friends, but virtually they are never there. Do not frustrate yourself trying to stay in contact with friends who won’t reply or will leave you hanging. Make a list of the friends who are there for you, who always reply, and who always seem eager to talk to you, and contact them the most frequently. Do not repetitively contact the friends who will not reply. Yes, they can still be your friends, but they will not make you feel most fulfilled during this time and can actually make you feel more lonely.
3. CALL YOUR GRANDPARENTS
Calling your grandparents during this time is mutually beneficial to them (who are especially isolated and scared during this time) and to you, who needs the company from loved ones. If you have a healthy relationship with your parents or siblings, call them frequently also. This is also the case with professors who are there for you, and other loved ones who would love to hear your voice.
4. CUT OFF CONTACT WITH EX
I know, I just said check in on them, but after you checked in, and you know they are safe, take some time to breath. Do not check their social media, it will make you feel a sinking feeling in your stomach, and it might leave you tempted to contact them. But trust me, contacting an ex right now, especially one who doesn’t want to talk to you, will only make you feel lonely. They will reject your messages and leave you feeling rather isolated. Your ex is not the person you need to contact right now. If they want to speak with you, they will. Otherwise, best to give them the space they asked for. It will make them feel grateful towards you. And it will give them a chance to breath, alone, which is what they wanted all along.
5. DOWNLOAD TINDER/ Bumble BFF/ etc.
So, I am not suggesting you jump into a rebound relationship. But connecting with new friends online will keep your confidence up. I’m not saying you have to start looking for a new long-term relationship, you may not be ready for that yet, I know I am not, but fortunantly, not everyone on Tinder is looking for a relationship, and contrary to popular belief, not everyone is looking for virtual hookups either. Most people on their crave friendship. So say you are looking to socialize and make new friends in your bio and write your interests down. Start meeting new people. Tinder also has a free option to meet people across the world right now, so take advantage of that. (Some locals don’t like it, but they can deal with it. When you were raised in a small city, and they had the privilege of being raised somewhere interesting, they can judge all they want, do you boo. ).
6. FOCUS ON YOUR PROJECTS BUT DON’T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
The point of working on these projects should be to alleviate stress, be it financial (if work related), emotional (if passion related), or physical (if work-out related). The point of these projects is not to add pressure to your life during this time. You should be doing projects to keep yourself busy, but don’t overwork yourself either. You need balance, especially now.
7. LISTEN TO UPBEAT MUSIC
It instantly picks up your mood.
8. BUT ALSO LISTEN TO SAD SONGS WHEN YOU FEEL IT
Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Breath, and be real with how you’re feeling.
9. GET DRESSED EVERY DAY / SHOWER EVERYDAY
Yes, get dressed, and yes, put some jeans on. I understand no one will see you today, but you need to do it, dress every day like Ryan Gosling or Ariana Grande is going to video chat you. (but throwing in the occasional PJ day is also perfectly ok and acceptable). BUT SHOWER GOD DAMN, and do your laundry child. Eat those three meals a day, and breath. Be kind to yourself. Everything will be ok.
10. KNOW THAT THIS SITUATION IS TEMPORARY
This is tough, but it isn’t going to last forever. Don’t rush yourself to get over your feelings towards your ex, or the breakup, just do the best you can every day. Your best is all you can do, and I believe in you. <3
11. VIRTUAL COUNSELLORS:
So this is also an option, and some I would recommend include:
GoodtoTalk (free counselling service, google number for your area)
KidsHelpPhone (free counselling service, google number for your area)
BetterHelp (NOT FREE, but still a good counselling service if you have the means) <3