Truth be told, I am terrible at getting over relationships. After my first (and roughest) breakup, I basically spent a calendar year teetering between seeking revenge and seeking reconciliation. Sure, I had the occasional fling, but nothing ever stuck — in large part because I still wasn't totally over my ex. But, what I struggled to understand then — and, honestly, what I still struggle to understand now — is how best to get over a person (in a healthy, productive fashion). Should I burn sage after a breakup? Burn my ex's old sweatshirts? Egg his house?
The answers — I'm learning — are yes, maybe, and definitely not (respectively). As tempting as it may be to act out after a breakup (à la Carrie Underwood in the "Before He Cheats" video), it's not going to lead to a ton of spiritual healing.
As it turns out, the key to spiritually cleansing yourself after a breakup is pretty similar to preparing a new chapter in any facet of your life: It involves taking time for yourself, ushering out the old (to make room for the new, of course!), and lighting an inordinate amount of candles. Here are four ways to get over a breakup with your spirit intact.
1. Clean Everything Out
First things first: Get rid of your ex's stuff. Don't wrap yourself in that sweater they left at your place and blare songs from your shared playlist (have definitely never done this!). Instead, clear out everything that belonged to your ex, as well as everything you own that will inevitably remind you of them (that band t-shirt they loved, the perfume they gave you for Valentine's Day, etc.). Give it to a friend, donate it to Goodwill, burn it on the street corner — whatever feels right. Just make sure it's gone.
"It's always important to get rid of your ex's stuff because if you've got it hanging around, you're still psychologically clinging onto the past," psychologist Dr. Cheryl Fraser told Elite Daily. "By getting rid of it, you create space for now, either for the relationship you're currently in, or to get into another relationship without hanging onto what used to be."
Out with the old, in with the new, y'know?
2. Burn Sage (And Some Candles)
Why burn sage? Rumor has it, the smoke from sage takes hold of negative energy, so once it's cleared, that negativity will clear with it. Let that smoke wander all over your home after a breakup.
The downside is that sage also smells like your grandmother's closet (in the mothball way, not the patchouli-based-perfume way), so follow your sage-burning with some delicious-smelling-candle-burning. Scents like lavender and eucalyptus are perfect for de-stressing, thus helping you release even more tension.
3. Write It Out
Writing out your thoughts and feelings — whether they're joyful or a series of aggressively scribbled curse words — is so freaking good for you. As a writer, I'm obviously a little biased on this one, but the American Psychological Association agrees that writing is an incredibly therapeutic activity.
This past summer and fall, a handful of my relationships — romantic and otherwise — began to fall apart, and I blamed myself for their downfalls. I was angry, and hurt, and sad, and knew that I would have an impossible time developing new relationships with all of these negative emotions swirling around in my head. So I wrote it all out: All of my frustrations, my feelings, and the ways that I intended to turn that hurt into something positive. And I felt infinitely better.
Post-breakup, pick up a journal and write down everything you loved and hated about your relationship, as well as some of your goals and aspirations moving forward (in your love life and beyond). You can rip it up, light it on fire, or hold onto it, in case you need a reminder later on — just write it out, girl.
4. Treat Yo' Self
Last but not least, take the time to pamper yourself and practice self care after your breakup. Take a bubble bath, attend a yoga class, splurge on a mani/pedi — just do something that reminds you that you're totally worthy of love and care (which we all too easily forget after a breakup). Because you deserve the world, girl!
Now watch those ghosts of relationships past disappear.
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