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How To Use Your Bullet Journal To Help Navigate And Heal Through A Break Up

by Content Team 23 Jul 2022 0 Comments

Hi Archer & Olive family!

It’s Icy of and I am back with another blog post! The topic I have selected for this one was an occurring field of interest at one point in the Archer & Olive Facebook Community. And I thought I’d focus on bullet journal spread ideas centering on the breakdown of a relationship.

I know when we say “break up”, we automatically think about a romantic relationship. But the harsh reality of life is that there are times when friendships end too.

To me, the beautiful thing about keeping a bullet journal is that it gives me the opportunity to reflect on my experiences, become more self aware and continuously grow as a person.

I know the end of a relationship is almost always painful and is never easy to go through but at the same time, I know this sounds super cliche but, endings are new beginnings. After a relationship ends, it is usually time to focus on the most important person in your life - yourself!

For this blog post, I have gathered prompts that you can integrate into your bullet journal which focus on self healing, self care, and ultimately self love! 

Here are the prompts for break up spreads:

  1. Your motivational or inspirational quote
  2. Burn page
  3. Letting go
  4. Before, during and after
  5. Release your emotions
  6. Things I love about myself
  7. Bucket list
  8. Create a happy self
  9. Affirmations
  10. Letter to your future self

What materials do I need?

supplies including notebook, pens and stickers

I will be using my A5 Moon Flowers Archer and Olive White Dotted Notebook, Acrylograph pens from the Archer & Olive Self Love Box, and the stickers from the February 2022 Monthly Theme Box.

I decided to go with a Valentines theme with various shades of pink and red and hearts because I feel like we need to focus on a lot of self love for this one!

Feel free to use whatever tools you have at home! You can either incorporate these break up spreads into your existing bullet journal or if you prefer, you can do these on a separate notebook! And of course, you don’t have to follow the color scheme I will be using, use whatever color scheme you feel like! Also, if you don’t feel like using hearts, by all means use other shapes or drawings. Remember, this is your journal and you can make it into whatever you wish!

Break Up Spread #1: Quotes Page

quote page "healing is not linear"

I almost always have a quotes page every time I start my monthly bullet journal set up and of course whenever I start a new journal!

I like including quotes in my journal because they emphasize the vibe I’m feeling or mood I’m in. I often use funny quotes to cheer myself up, but sometimes I also put in inspirational and motivational quotes to uplift my spirits.

I chose the quote “healing is not linear” for this page because grieving does not usually occur in one specific order. This reminds me of the stages of grief which are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Although they seem to be in order, there are times in our healing journey that we regress back to a stage. The healing process varies between individuals and we need to embrace our own journey and be patient with ourselves. Always remember to take it one day at a time!

There are many other amazing quotes about break ups and moving on out there and feel free to select one that speaks to you!


Break Up Spread #2: Burn Page

Burn Page

A part of healing and honoring your grief is to let yourself feel all your emotions, even the most unpleasant ones like anger.

I myself have gone through feelings of anger but instead of pushing these negative emotions aside, I let myself feel and process it all in order to release it.

You may also recognize this spread idea from the movie Mean Girls (2004) where a Burn Book was used to keep a record of people Regina George hated. For this spread, allow yourself to feel all the negative emotions you are currently feeling. Example, you can write down that you are angry, and then you can also enumerate the reasons why. You can also write down that you are sad, and list down the things that are making unhappy.

Allow yourself to be as unfiltered and unhinged as possible in order to dig deep into the root causes of your negative emotions.

Another fun thing to do with this page is to stick photos or ephemera from the relationship that ended. This is also a good way of acknowledging all the emotions associated with all these things. 

Break Up Spread #3: Letting Go

Letting Go spread

Most of the time when relationships end, letting go is the hardest thing to do. Especially when they have been part of our daily routine and future plans. 

I found this prompt when I was looking for ideas on Pinterest, and I think this gives an opportunity to really dig deep into the reasons why we can’t seem to let go.

For this spread, list the reasons why you can’t seem to let go. Is it because of mutually acquired items? Write what those things are and the potential ways to either permanently or temporarily get rid of them. Personally, writing everything down helps me release all my emotions, become aware of the things that are within my control and can change, and the rest I leave it all to time.


Break Up Spread #4: Before, During and After

reflection page

I believe that we continuously grow and evolve through everything we go through. For this spread, it is a good thing to reflect on what we were before, during and after the relationship. 

Reflecting on the changes we went through throughout the course of the relationship can help us foster a sense of hopefulness for the future in a sense that there was life before the relationship and there is definitely life after. 


Break Up Spread #5: Release Your Emotions

releasing emotions creatively spread

If it weren’t for Taylor Swift’s long list of ex lovers, there wouldn’t be great songs that a lot of people emotionally relate to.

For this spread, it is all about releasing those emotions creatively. Personally, I would look for a relatable quote and practice hand lettering or calligraphy constructing the quote. Your emotions are meant to be felt and released, so make use of this spread however creatively you wish to set those feelings free.


Break Up Spread #6: Things I Love About Myself

things that I love about myself spread

The end of a relationship signifies a period of pivoting from “us” to “me”. And again, you are the most important character in this chapter of your life. As Ru Paul Charles always says, “if you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love someone else?”.

I personally feel awkward writing down the things that I love about myself but we all need to be our own cheerleader, especially in a trying time like a break up. I find that listing the positive things about myself helps boost my confidence more, and I encourage you to try this out for yourself! Go on, fill the page!


Break Up Spread #7: Bucket List

bucket list spread

Surely there were things you’ve wanted to try but could not during the relationship?

Now you have a lot more time to focus on yourself, it is the perfect opportunity to construct your bucket list! I find that ticking things off your bucket list gives you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and how capable you really are!


Break Up Spread #8: Creating a Happy Self

things that make you happy list

This prompt focuses on the things that make you happy versus the things that you actually do everyday.

What I love about this is that it gives a clearer picture of the life that we need in order to achieve a happier self. List down the things that make you happy in one column and the things that you do on a daily basis. This can help you incorporate more activities that induce happiness into your life.


Break Up Spread #9: Affirmations

affirmation spread

This is similar to reciting affirmations to yourself in front of a mirror but in your journal! Or better yet do both!

I find my affirmations through search engines or on social media accounts that inspire me. Gather as much as you want, or feel free to use just one!

Break Up Spread #10: Letter to Your Future Self

Letter to Your Future Self

Last but not least, write a letter to your future self! This is inspired by fellow Design Team member Jess of @jashiiicorrin who wrote a letter to her future self, kept it in an envelope in her journal and read it one year later.

It is amazing how it seems that every day feels the same yet so many things change in 365 days. You can also include other things like maybe a gift voucher to use as a gift. You will be amazed at how different things will be a year from now when you read that letter.

I hope you find these break up spreads helpful in navigating a break up. I encourage you to look for more as there are a plethora of others out there in the bullet journal community! I have also included a video which you can follow along here:

And in addition to that, there is also a printable that you can download as a reference:

free break up checklist

I wish you healing and self discovery in this challenging journey! Remember, you are not alone, you are significant and you are loved! And we’d love to see what you create with these spreads! Don’t forget to tag us @archerandolive and!

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