After a breakup, you may have difficulty dealing with loneliness. It might be tempting to drown your sorrows in ice cream or spend your evenings Facebook-stalking your former sweetheart. Fortunately, there are alternatives for easing your loneliness that do less damage to your waistline and self-esteem.

The time you spend on your own can prepare you to move on. Try these ideas to speed up your recovery and ease your heartbreak.

Overcoming Isolation

There’s a big difference between being alone and loneliness. Still, social support and interactions are essential to your mental and physical health. Here’s how to stay connected when you find yourself uncoupled.

1. Talk it over. Your friends and family can give you the comfort and encouragement you need. Ask for what you want whether it’s a hug while you cry or a sounding board as you figure out what to do next.

2. Check your contacts. Fill up any empty hours by reaching out to old friends and colleagues. Invite an old friend out to lunch.

3. Volunteer your services. Participating in a charity softball game or fundraising drive is a great way to extend your network and shift your attention away from your ex. As a bonus, focusing on others will help you to feel happier and more satisfied.

4. Pursue common interests. Find new places to hang out. Join a Meetup group or go to a concert where you’ll be surrounded by others who share your love for cooking or jazz.

5. Reach out. Challenge yourself to connect with others. Chat with the waitress at a coffee shop. Tell your neighbor that his lawn looks beautiful.

6. Get a dog. Walking your dog is a great way to meet people.

Changing Your Thinking

It’s great to have friends and family on your side, but you also need to look at your relationship with yourself. Adjusting your perceptions protects you from loneliness regardless of what’s going on in your love life.

1. Accept your feelings. You’ll probably experience some uncomfortable emotions like anger or jealousy. Facing up to the truth enables you to learn and grow.

2. Write it out. If your feelings are intense and conflicted, it may help to keep a journal. Notice any obstacles that tend to keep you isolated. Maybe you feel embarrassed about being single or you’re avoiding mutual friends because you don’t want to run into your ex.

3. Look for inspiration. Heartbreak is a common condition. Listen to songs that remind you that you are not alone. Pick out role models who have built a happier life after a relationship ended.

4. Stay active. Fight the blues by exercising or walking. Even running errands or pulling weeds can distract you from memories that are a little too sensitive right now. Give yourself bonus points for trying something new.

5. Laugh and play. It’s easier to attract others when you’re radiating joy and energy. Participate in activities you love and look for opportunities to brighten someone else’s day. Force yourself to smile and soon it will become automatic.

6. Live in the moment. Keep in mind that your situation is temporary. Take it one day at a time instead of dwelling on the past or projecting into the future.

7. Pray or meditate about it. Your spiritual faith and community can be a source of strength. Contemplate your purpose and what kind relationship you are seeking.

It’s natural to struggle with loneliness after a divorce or breakup. Look for practical ways to reconnect, and treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Dealing with loneliness constructively will help you to heal and find the new love you deserve.