When it comes to breakups, like all life changes, you want to take care of yourself. Our friend Ellen recently moved into a new space after separating from her partner. She followed the advice of reader Katie, who said, “My biggest breakup advice: buy new sheets. It feels good to sleep in a refreshed bed that’s newly ALL YOURS.” So here, with help from our favorite bedding brand, Brooklinen, Ellen shares what she’s learned about creating a sanctuary…
1. Build a warm space to come home to.
“I was married for ten years, and we separated around five months ago,” says Ellen. “I’m renting this room right now. I have two roommates, but this room is my little sanctuary. This is the first time in my life that I’ve had a space completely to myself. I put most of my things in storage, and have only what I actually need. I wanted to start at the very beginning.”
2. Make your bed the most comfortable place on earth.
“One of the most best things I did was get soft pillows and sheets, just for me. It’s important to create a cozy space, especially when it comes to your bed. I love that Brooklinen’s sheets and duvet cover have a touch of color. It creates a splash of warmth, like color therapy. Plus, these Brooklinen sheets are so comfortable.” (They also come in other colors and patterns, like glacier and window pane.)
3. Keep photos of happy memories close at hand.
If you’re feeling down after a breakup, it can help to surround yourself with photos of loved ones to remember that you will feel happy again. “I grew up in Brazil, and my family is still there. So, my friends in New York have become a family to me,” Ellen explains. “They’re always checking in to make sure I’m okay. They’ve been a hugely helpful part of this process.” But it hasn’t been without challenges. “When you’re starting a new life, people always want to give you advice, and sometimes everyone’s advice is different. After a while, it started to drive me crazy. Finally, I was like, ‘No. I’m not going to listen to anyone right now. I’m just going to listen to myself.'”
4. Lean into your interests.
“Since moving here, I’ve been watching more movies, and I always have side projects,” she says. “I do origami and ikebana, a form of Japanese flower arranging. Other times, I’ll go for a long walk and listen to music. It’s so important to take time for yourself.” One of her favorite suggestions? “Have a drink or meal by yourself at a restaurant. To me, it feels really empowering.”
“These sheets have brought me happiness. I have this whole comfortable bed to myself!” Ellen laughs. “After five months, I’m starting to see, ‘This is my new life, and that’s exciting.'”
If you’d like to spruce up your bedroom, Brooklinen’s cotton percale sheets are crisp and soft and make your bed the most welcoming place to climb into. We also love their lightweight quilts and linen bedding. We can’t recommend them highly enough.
Bonus: Brooklinen is offering Cup of Jo readers 10% off any order over $50, with the code CUPOFJO10.
Do you have any tips for starting over after a breakup? Or favorite ways to make a room feel like a sanctuary? We’d love to hear!
(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Brooklinen, whose sheets we’ve loved and used in our homes for years. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)