Spring Cleaning: How to clear out toxic relationships.

Top tips for disposing of the negative and welcoming the positive...

Rosie McKenna
19th March 2024
Image credit: Pixabay, anncapictures
It is that time of year again, folks! If the ‘New Year, New Me’ did not stick, then the season of spring is a terrific opportunity to get back on track with your goals and confront the more difficult aspects of our lives (trust me, you will thank yourself for it).  

Whether you have a difficult relationship with a friend or an unhealthy reliance on something in your personal life, I hope this article is an influential starting point for you to get some spring cleaning done.  

I would like to preface that before I begin, if you are in a dangerous situation then please seek support through the university or contact the emergency services. You can find more information here - https://www.ncl.ac.uk/wellbeing/  

Here are my top tips for disposing of the negative and welcoming the positive!  

  1. Sit down and be honest about how you are feeling.  

How do you feel about yourself in this relationship? Do you feel burnout, anxious or self-conscious in their company? I would recommend writing your thoughts down when you are alone and in a safe space so you can be truthful and regulate your emotions. Acknowledging how you are feeling in a relationship is the start of the healing process.

It is a challenge to put ourselves first if something else controls us or makes us feel ‘better’

  1. Decide your next steps carefully.

Ending a toxic relationship can be difficult, so you have my sympathies! Whether this is a relationship with a friend or a personal habit like giving up alcohol, it is a challenge to put ourselves first if something else controls us or makes us feel ‘better’. Now you have identified that this is toxic for you, you need to do something about it.  

Here are a few ways you can end this toxic relationship: 

  • Arrange to meet this person in a public and safe space. Be honest about how you have been feeling and be firm that things are not working out between you. This can be hard but will give you an opportunity to get it done face-to-face! 
  • Write a letter. This could be to the specific person, or if you are breaking a habit, to yourself. This can make it easier to get everything out in the open and explain yourself.  
  • Seek professional help. If you feel you need extra support ending this relationship, then asking for help is a route to get there!  
  1. Fill the void with something new!  

Once you have cleared the relationship from your life, refill it with something positive! You could learn something new by investing in yourself - maybe join a new society at university, interact with a new sport or get into the habit of journalling and daily affirmations.

  1. Be kind to yourself.  

Remember to be gentle with your emotions and take your time. Terminating a relationship can bring up a range of feelings, but you must remember why you did it. It takes bravery to put yourself first. These things take time to heal and that is okay!  

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