5 Tips for Recovering from a Breakup in 2020

Shelter-in-place rules, city lockdowns, and social distancing have presented new, unexpected challenges for couples. Amalia Miralrío — a Detroit-based licensed clinical social worker and Girl Scout alumni — has spent a good portion of 2020 helping couples deal with these new challenges, and in many cases, recover from breakups that occur along the way. She began her business during the pandemic and now offers services online.

“My therapy business specializes in helping people through breakups, whether that be the end of a marriage, committed partnership, or even something more casual,” Miralrío tells CircleAround. “I spent many years in my twenties working in the movement to end sexual violence. Now as a business owner, I get to combine my passions for supporting people through trauma with my passion for helping people discover who they really are.”

Miralrío says a breakup can be a time to transform into your best self. CircleAround asked her for some tips on how to recover from a breakup, and how to move on to more positive experiences.

1. Develop a Quarantine Bubble

​Miralrío says it’s important to have a solid network during these times, especially when you can’t see people face-to-face. “You should not have to cope with your breakup alone. We have the human need to connect, and in-person contact is still important if at all possible. If you are able to, find a group of friends and family you are comfortable including in your quarantine bubble. This is especially important if you lived with your partner and are navigating the transition into living alone.”

2. Use More Self-Care Strategies Than You Think You Need

“​Now is the time to pull out all the stops with yourself,” Miralrío tells CircleAround. “There really isn’t any amount of self-care that’s excessive right now. Make lists of different activities you can do to meet your physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs. Don’t hesitate to pull from that list as often as needed.” ​

3. Get Radically Honest About What You Feel and What You Need

​You might receive messages from well-meaning people who love you, but which actually end up causing more pain and stress. “I encourage you to respectfully dismiss all of this advice and listen to your internal cues,” says Miralrío. “If you’re feeling sad, that’s okay. If you’re feeling relieved or grateful for the split, that’s okay, too. There is immense wisdom that comes from your emotional truth, and no one else can really tap into that like you can.”

4. Adopt a Pet

“​If you don’t already have a pet, this might be a good time to consider a new companion!,” suggests Miralrío. “If you are now working from home, you will have more at-home time to devote to figuring out life with a pet. You don’t have to worry about bringing an animal into an unstable relationship, and your nervous system may thank you for having another living creature around to co-regulate with.”

Many people find it soothing to pet an animal, and the daily routines of caring for an animal can help keep you on track with your own self-care. “For example,” adds Miralrío, “having a dog to walk can hold you accountable for getting outside a few times a day. Dogs can also be great conversation starters with neighbors.”

5. Start Online Therapy

​Most therapists are now working exclusively online via secure video platforms. “I know I had my reservations about giving online work a try, but I have been shocked by how deeply connected I have still felt with my clients,” says Miralrío. “A breakup is a beautiful time to not only get support on navigating the emotions of the breakup but to also unpack how you show up in relationships and how to move forward with a clear idea of what you need.” Therapy can help you feel more confident than ever for whenever you are ready to begin dating again.


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