Breakups are painful and lockdown is tough. Blend both together and you’ve got yourself a monster cocktail of mentally draining TURMOIL.
Heartbreak comes in all kinds of intensities and that’s down to a plethora of variables; how long you were dating, how messy it ended, who dumped who, how the break up came about, how long it was pending for… et cetera.
My current (and first) heartbreak introduced itself to me after 3 years in a relationship, which is a long time when you’re only 20 – my whole adult life, really! That’s a lot of pics to delete from the camera roll (which I’m glad to say has already been done. Step 1: complete.)
The break up in question came about 3 days before Lockdown 2.0 reared its ugly head, leaving me at a T-Junction where I could live on my own for the first time ever or temporarily move back with my family for the impending 3 weeks. I chose the latter.
Lockdown is hard enough on any day but when you’re the owner of a lonely heart it really is a great, huge middle finger to all the classic heart-mending remedies. Pubs? No. Clubs? Definitely not. Gym? Nuh-uh. Crying on your friend’s shoulder? No can do, unless you live together.
All these distractions are completely out of bounds, leaving us hollow chested loners with nothing but time, way too much time. There’s very little left to do but stare your feelings right in the eyes and get hypnotised into a whirlpool of over thinking which I’m really, really good at.
Whilst we can’t publicly drink, dance and date thanks to covid, there are things we can do to make life a bit easier.
DO – as mentioned before, delete the pictures on your phone. I’ve not yet made my way through 3 years of Snapchat memories but my camera roll is now a place where my friends, family and favourite moments live rather than painful reminders of what could have been.
DON’T – Romanticise or demonise your ex. Don’t spend every moment remembering the good times because you’ll lose sight of why you’re now single, though in the same respect don’t focus on the bad things they did because all you’ll do is fester in hate and that won’t end well. Neutrality is bliss!
DO – Try home workouts or walking, I’m really missing the gym as I’m sure a lot of others are right now but keep active. Make your ‘you time’ about self care, not self loathing.
DON’T – Punish yourself for being in your feelings. Work them out instead. A lot of post break up remedies are distractions, while that’s a nice quick fix it doesn’t really solve anything, use the situation of lockdown to your best advantage and understand how you’re feeling. After all, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs – except here I mean you can’t mend yourself without having a few breakdowns beforehand.
DO – Follow feel-good accounts, @werenotreallystrangers (on Instagram @wnrstweets on Twitter) is amazing for self reflection and if you’re into astrology download co-star, they give you daily notifications more personal to you which really helped me with self confidence.
DO – Reach out to your friends, you might be surprised by some advice you receive. Plus, everyone’s at home waiting for something to do so when’s a better time to ask for some emotional support or gently offloading some baggage? Different views of ‘the situation’ can help you to see things from all sides, it’s important to not get wrapped up only in how YOU feel.
So hang in there, if you Google-around you’ll find there’s massive spikes in break ups and divorces in 2020 compared to previous years (most often thanks to COVID restrictions as I’m sure no one is surprised) so while heartbreak in lockdown is difficult, you absolutely are not alone. Use this time to find what you really want – be that in yourself, a future partner or life in general, and come out of lockdown stronger and absolutely raring to go for a bev!