Decluttering Your Life After a Breakup: Improving Environmental Wellness to Help Painful Memories Fade

Sorry for the delay the last two weeks, guys! I have been dealing with Dead Week and Finals Week at college and have had hardly any time for anything but studying! But! I am through and ready to get back on schedule, focusing on my wellness!

Remember, if you haven't been following along on this entire journey, this is Week 3 in a series of 7. Here is a link to week 1: Physical Wellness and week 2: Emotional Wellness.

Here we go onto week 3 of the challenge! Previously we have focused on our physical wellness, improving our confidence as singles, and our emotional wellness, not allowing our negative emotions to hold us back. This week we are focusing our environmental wellness. It can be difficult to continue feeling comfortable in a place that you lived for so long with another human being around who is no longer there. My ex-boyfriend came over all the time, and millions of amazing memories are scattered all over my apartment. Of course, there are a few not-so-great memories as well although those are much more difficult to focus on when you are missing someone’s company. This week, I will share my strategies for cleansing my space and feeling comfortable alone in it with all the memories, and I will challenge you to do the same.

Reflection on Last Week

Last week went pretty well for me. It was difficult coming back after being home for Thanksgiving break, surrounded by my family. However, I am having a great time focusing on myself. I journaled every day which has been really great for sorting through my many confusing and conflicting emotions. Especially working through how exactly I feel about him right now. 

I gave myself plenty of affirmation throughout the week, listening to pump-up music and keeping an affirmation as my screensaver. This week’s is “today I will not stress over things I can’t control.”  I cannot control that he and I began heading different directions. We both have to discern as individuals what is next for our lives, and, if that lines up, then that’s great! If it does not, which is much more likely, then that is something that I cannot control. I need to just let go of control and focus on living my life as an individual while he does the same. 

I hung out with my best-friend as usual this week. She is always great to talk to about my emotions. I also spent some time with an old elementary school friend who is going through something similar. Being able to work through this together is an amazing blessing. 

I have successfully stayed away from scrolling my social media. I do not want to be worrying about what he is doing, if he is seeing anyone else, if he misses me, and if he is doing ok. You guys, social media is all fake. We put our best faces out there and leave the ugly parts of our lives hidden in the background. If your ex is posting about the great adventures he or she has gone on, there is probably a lot of other not so great stuff happening too. It can be hard, but resist checking their social media. There is no need for any of that to be on your mind. 

I spent some much needed, quality time with my dogs last weekend which always refuels me. My dogs are great little friends who I cherish so much. We went on walks and cuddled which was just the refill on physical touch that I needed. 

I regret to admit that I did not rekindle any of my old hobbies this week. I had a few exams and was pretty swamped. I have decided to come up with a new system that should be more effective. I think that every Monday I will read for an hour or two. Tuesday will be art day. Wednesday will be knitting day, and Thursday will be singing day. I am dabbling with some acapella arrangements that I may start recording. We will see. The weekend will be for socialization and any of the hobbies that I want to continue doing. 

Finally, I worked as an EMT this week and went on some meaningful calls. I also helped proctor a national exam and went to lunch and dinner with some of my crew members. We are not extremely close friends yet, but I am hoping to build those relationships really well. 

The Challenge for This Week

1 – Redesign Your Space

I live in an apartment, so this tip really will not work for me, but if you have the means and ability to do a little redesign, do it! (Click here for a link to a past post in which I talk about redesigning on a major budget.) You can tackle some of the home improvement projects you want to or even buy some great new pieces and artwork. I think that I will be painting some things, adding more string lights, and adding new organizational tools as my environmental switch-around. I also invested in a new diffuser to take advantage of aromatherapy. Diffusing some calming essential oils into the air when I am stressed has really been helping! I also use scents that help me focus on work and some that help me sleep well and wake up in the morning.

Another aspect of this redesign is removing all of the objects in your space that have a direct link to him/her. I took down all of the pictures of us on my wall and replaced them with the people in my life who will always be there. Obviously, I did not live with my boyfriend, so everything in my space was mine, but there are things that he liked that I kept out which did not represent my style or that he used and I didn’t. There is some artwork that we painted together on a date that I need to say goodbye to for a while. You can sell an old chair that reminds you of him or her online and order a new one if that is within your means! It is really important to change the space into a place that your ex was not a part of and did not touch. Make it your own again because you are on your own now! You get to choose what furniture goes where, where to put art and what kind of art, how to organize everything. Maybe you have always wanted to retile your kitchen or paint an accent wall in your living room! This is a really great way to practice making decisions on your own which is something you will begin doing much more often now. 

Whatever cleansing your space is for you personally, get it done this week! That is my challenge to you!

2 – Go On a Weekend Trip

Sometimes environmental wellness can be going to a new environment for a while. Take a trip somewhere you have wanted to go this weekend or for the day. He and I had been almost everywhere in our small town, so walking around and being confronted by those memories can be difficult. There is apparently a super cute plant store that is in a nearby city that I have been wanting to visit. I think sometime this week I will drive there and buy a new little plant for my space! Probably just a little succulent that I can hang by my window! Just going to a place that we never went together will feel like a relief. Escaping the memories for a little while regularly is a good idea. With all of the money you are saving being single, invest in a few mini vacations! Give yourself a breather from all of the memories around you in your hometown. It is not running away from your problems, rather it is taking a breather so that you can return and conquer your demons even better. 

If you need some help brainstorming some good trip ideas, here is a post on wine tasting, and here is a post on backpacking! They are BY FAR my Roonia and I's favorite little getaways :)

Take a trip somewhere in the next few weeks—anywhere! That is my challenge to you.

3 – Spend Some Time in Nature

If you are outdoorsy, you can combine tip 2 and 3 and take a little backpacking trip or something. I don’t know about you guys, but spending time in nature is so rejuvenating for me. It reminds me how small I am. There is a huge world around me, and I will find another teammate that will make me stronger rather than hold me back. It just takes patience. Take some time to just be in silence in nature. Maybe that is going to a park and journaling. Maybe that is going on a day hike. Maybe that is walking your dog outside somewhere relaxing. For me, I think I am going to go on some of the school ski trips. Something about being on a snowy mountain in silence is peaceful. Maybe I will meet some new people while I am at it! 

Spend some time in nature this week; that is my challenge to you!

4 – Keep Your Space Clean

I did a massive deep clean this week. It has been really nice going home to a fresh space. I cleaned everything. Things that he touched, blankets he used; everything. That may seem like overkill, but I want to wipe my slate clean. I want everything to be brand new. Cleaning your space is really great for your emotional health as well. When our space is messy, stress levels increase, and that is the last thing we want right now. I wrote an entire post on the health benefits of cleaning your space if you want more detail. Another thing is that I am so unorganized when I am stressed with school. He is a neat freak. He always hated when I would let my room get really messy. Cleaning it and keeping it clean will honestly kind of feel like a middle finger his direction in a twisted sort of way. “I can keep my life clean and stress free much better without you!” That was my petty, hurt self talking. :) What can I say! I am a little bitter still. Better journal some more! 

Keep your environment clean this week! That is my challenge to you.

That is it for this week guys! All in all pretty easy week! This week is an opportunity for you to redefine how you live in your space as a single person. Buy furniture you have always wanted, take down things that remind you of him/her, add organizational tools to make the space more convenient for YOU to live in. Go on a trip and explore a new place; you can still have plenty of adventures as a single person! Take advantage of nature; nature is the most peaceful of all places. Go soak up those amazing vibes. You guys can do this! It is a new week; enjoy your single life!