If you’ve been trying to heal after heartbreak due to a post-COVID breakup, you are not alone. While many people stayed together in 2020, the fall of 2021 saw a significant shift as many couples decided to call it quits. That’s left a number of people struggling to heal.
You’ve probably experienced heartbreak before, but it has likely been intensified by the new reality of a global pandemic, other world events, and even your personal fatigue.
Since that’s the case, the most important thing is that you don’t make this worse for yourself. Maybe you know some of what you should NOT DO while trying to heal that broken heart, but you’re not quite sure what to DO instead. Well, here’s a handy list of the TOP FIVE DOs and DON’Ts.
1. Don’t stay in contact with your former. If it can be avoided altogether, AVOID it. At least for a period of intense processing and healing. That means 3-4 months.
Instead, focus on positive aspects of the break-up. List ALL the ways it BENEFITS you. What new blessings and freedoms do you have? Write it down. Refer to it. That means listing everything from not having to do boring dinners with the in-laws to getting to choose your brand of peanut butter to having your fave music on lock-down in the living room. Write it ALL down. And keep it handy. Review often.
2. Stalk on social media. This is just a recipe for misery. In fact, it’s best to disentangle, unfriend, unfollow, and truly disconnect. Or at least MUTE for a while. But do not stalk or creep. At all. And don’t try to send “secret” look, I’m happy now messages in your posts. Gross. And immature.
Instead, pay attention to yourself: your thoughts, feelings, triggers, and moods. Practice self-awareness and self-support. No matter what you gave up, you are never going to leave or lose yourself again. Say that out loud “Hey sweet self, even though I (fill in what fits-lost myself, gave up my fave activities, felt ignored) I will never again lose you or leave you or ignore you again.” Repeat often until you KNOW it.
3. ESPECIALLY if one of you initiated the break and it wasn’t exactly mutual, resist the temptation to reconnect. If you’re the less-mutual one, just NO. Notice the first 3 DON’Ts; that’s purposeful. It’s because disconnecting can be really hard when you truly loved someone. And let’s be real; your heart was in it or it wouldn’t be broken now.
Instead, socialize with people who know about the heartbreak and are truly supportive. Being truly supportive means they won’t let you wallow in the pain, nor pretend it didn’t happen. You need those kinds of social activities.
“It’s not time that heals heartbreak; but what you do with the time that allows the broken heart to heal.”
Beth Luwandi Lofstrom
4. Do NOT focus on how wonderful the other person was. Or how bad you were in the relationship. No sainthood, and no villain-hood…for either one of you. Making one of you the bad guy or thinking there was something you could have (or would have) done differently is just self-torture.
Instead, recognize and grieve that you HAVE lost a part of yourself. Your identity was altered by and changed in that relationship. Acknowledge and grieve this loss as well. THAT fact deserves your focus and attention as you ACTIVELY heal from the heartbreak.
5. Finally, don’t self-medicate. I know it can be easier said than done, but trust me. You’ll be worse off. Those temporary relievers aren’t just temporary, they reek havoc. There’s no time allowance for letting your life slide while your heart is broken.
So, instead, truly treat the withdrawal symptoms. Allow yourself time to feel sad, to feel like crap. Do take tender care of yourself. But don’t wallow. This might mean setting a timer. When time is up, MOVE. Literally get up and DO a thing. It might mean setting an interrupter any time you’re ready to self-medicate
The Gist of Healing Heartbreak
Listen, getting past a break-up is going to take more than staying busy, finding a new love, or just hoping time will take care of it. Maybe those things helped you in the past, but they just aren’t enough anymore. This is a perfect opportunity to go to the core of your relationship patterns and alter them forever.
Get help and support from appropriate friends, and family. Don’t be shy about reconnecting, especially with some you may have lost touch with during the relationship (or during COVID.)
Even better, get help from a professional so you CAN heal at the core level. Don’t waste any more time thinking that the usual methods for dealing with heartache will get you ready for healthy love. In this post-pandemic reality, there’s just no time to waste.