Rituals can be a source of comfort and stability when you’re going through a difficult time. After a breakup, you might find solace by doing small things that make you happy, like reading books, cooking, or revamping your self-care routine. As you adapt to your new reality, getting rid of things that keep you rooted in the past can also be helpful. Saging your home after a breakup is a great place to start.
Sage was first used by Indigenous tribes as a holistic cleansing agent, to remove any negative energy and start fresh. If you’re into them, holistic rituals can make great additions to your post-breakup recovery plan. “The power in holistic self-care rituals is that they have the ability to help us heal from within by connecting us with our deeper selves,” breakup coach Natalia Juarez tells Elite Daily. “These self-care rituals can be as spiritual [or] woo-woo as you want — with crystals and mantras — or as simple as writing in your journal with a fresh new candle to symbolize new beginnings.” Leaning on loved ones around you, and seeking out a therapist or breakup coach for some professional guidance can also be helpful, but these at-home routines can help you focus your attention inward and show yourself some love.
“White sage, in particular, has been used in many cultures throughout time as a way to release, clear, cleanse, purify, and uplift,” explains holistic dating coach Kate Dreyfus. “Sage helps us by clearing any energy we are creating or holding onto that could be negatively affecting our wellbeing.” She cites the stress and anxiety people often carry around when they’re dealing with painful emotions, and how this stress can become stagnant after awhile. “An important part of the process when going through a breakup is to be able to feel what you need to feel and afterwards release it to make room for something new,” Dreyfus says. “And sage can help to support your emotional wellbeing in your process and journey to heal.”
It’s ideal to start using it right after a breakup, to remove the negative vibes in your life ASAP. “Sage should be used immediately after a breakup to help the person clear out old stagnant energy,” Annie Vasquez of wellness brand Annie the Alchemist tells Elite Daily. This energy can come from “the person they were in a relationship with, the feelings they might be holding onto, and on any items that were gifted or that person touched.” Vasquez says she typically recommends getting rid of as many items as you can that remind you of your ex, and saging everything else — including your sheets and comforter.
White sage is easily available to purchase online, and it can also be found at some holistic markets and boutiques. To use it at home, Dreyfus suggests starting by clearing out your space of any clutter. “It’s important to clear your physical space first before clearing it energetically,” she notes. Make your bed, put away your clothes and dishes, and remove all the random items strewn around the place. Then, Dreyfus recommends opening the doors and windows, “with the intention of releasing the old to make room for the new.”
Set an intention before you begin, choosing to let go of the past and open up space for new energy, people, and experiences in your life. If you’d like to incorporate sound into your ritual, Dreyfus suggests using a crystal bowl or Tibetan chimes before burning the sage. “You can use it by starting at your front door and making a full circle around your home all the way back to the other side of your front door,” she says. The idea is to help break up the negative energy in your space with the sound.
Once you’re ready to burn sage, settle into a predetermined spot and light your sage stick with a candle or lighter. Then, blow the flame out until you’re left with the glowing embers. Then you’ll start by cleansing yourself with the sage. “Everyone has different approaches, but I like to keep it simple,” Dreyfus explains. "I like to begin by clearing my head and slowly clearing my whole body down to my toes (clearing both my front side and back). I tend to hold the sage over parts of my mind, heart, and body that may be holding heaviness or tension to help alleviate it.” Breathe deeply as you take in the scent and repeat your intention to yourself.
Next, you can carry the sage throughout your home. Dreyfus advises starting at the front door and going in a full circle around the inside of your space. “You can use your hand or feather to waft the smoke from the floor upwards to clear your home, starting with your front door and then moving in the right direction,” she says. Spend extra time lingering in places where you expend a lot of emotional energy, and places where you go to rest.
Once that’s finished, if you want to replace the smoky scent with something lighter, Dreyfus suggests using essential oils (rose, frankincense, and lemon all have uplifting properties), placing crystals out if you want them, and taking a few final breaths of gratitude. Place the sage stick in a dish and let it burn out on its own. You can repeat this ritual as often as you’d like — Dreyfus suggests doing it once or twice per week during the early stages of the breakup, then dialing back to once a week or every couple of weeks when you’re starting to feel better. On particularly bad days, you can sage yourself once in the morning and once in the evening to help you feel more peace and clarity.
Beyond sage, there are many other holistic methods that can help you move on from a breakup. Dreyfus suggests journaling, buying yourself flowers, leaving notes of self-love around your home, and being in nature. “It’s all about what we choose to do on a daily basis that can build a brighter tomorrow,” she says. Juarez asserts that doing a home cleanse can bring you a sense of openness and freedom. “Not only will it accelerate your healing and recovery time by cleansing your space of your ex-partner, and old or negative energy, but you are energetically creating space that is welcoming for new beginnings (such as a new love) to enter your life,” she explains. Out with the old, and in with the new. You've got no time for toxic energy.
Natalia Juarez, breakup coach and dating strategist
Kate Dreyfus, holistic life coach and healer
Annie Vazquez, Reiki-certified founder of wellness brand Annie the Alchemist