Sometimes, the day-by-day can get a little drab. It may seem like everyone else is living the life, but trust me, it happens to each and every one of us. Fortunately, there’s an amazing way to make even the most boring bits feel enchanting: romanticizing!
What Does "Romanticizing" Mean?
In essence, this means turning an otherwise mundane day or activity into something great. Just picture your favorite movie scene, wherein the main character does something totally mundane like go to school or watch a movie, yet everything just seems so… aesthetic! That’s why people romanticize: they want to let themselves feel and know that they are the main characters of their own lives, and that, if there were a movie being made about them, snapshots of their lives would be pinned nonstop on Pinterest.
So... What Do I Do?!
1. To the Haley Dunphys and Gina Linettis of the World, Unplug!
For the most part, at least. If you’re like me and you enjoy keeping a digital planner, going 100% gadget-free probably wouldn’t be a necessity. I guess a more appropriate header would be “Stay away from social media,” but “Unplug” has a nice ring to it.
There’s just something so freeing about not feeling the need to update everyone about your life or stay updated on everyone else’s. Don’t believe me? InnerDrive says it best in this article. And anyhow, romanticizing your life is all about making you the main character, and spending hours on end living vicariously through others really would put a damper on that.
So get your social media login information down someplace safe, temporarily delete the apps, and maybe (just maybe) switch off your phone and put it away entirely. You’ll definitely feel like one of your favorite late-90s to early-2000s movie characters.
2. Vibe to the Playlist
See, here’s a good reason to not fully unplug! Well, unless you’ve got a record player (jealous). I’m probably the furthest a person can be from good music taste and musical talent, but even I can attest to how much an uplifting song can do for your mood. While you cook, clean, scrapbook, or paint, put on your favorite playlist— just like how an iconic song always backs up an iconic M.C.
Who knows? You might get so into it that you get up and have a room concert, Taylor Swift- style.
3. Productive Mornings, Spontaneous Afternoons
This is a personal favorite tip of mine, but maybe it’s just because I’ve always been a morning person. I love designing the perfect morning routine— one that includes an early rise, skincare, meditation, exercise, reading, a healthy breakfast, and the like— wherein there’s not a minute I’m not doing something “productive,” then crashing in the afternoon for a day of doing whatever I like, may it be a lazy movie marathon or a fun trip to the mall.
I’ve always been torn between wanting to have a “That Girl” day and being too unmotivated to move, and to me, this is the perfect balance. Having a refreshing and mood-lifting morning is the perfect segue to a relaxed and interesting day.
4. Treat Yourself
"So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Jorge Luis Borges
This tip can manifest in a hundred different ways! Some great suggestions include:
Binging the show you’ve been dying to watch
Cooking yourself a meal or ordering in
Buying something cute online
Setting up your own spa day
“Treating yourself” doesn’t have to cost money— it can be anything that makes you feel special. And no way should you feel bad about it.
5. Get a Taste of the Outdoors
One of the easiest ways to connect with yourself and get lost in your thoughts is by going out and witnessing the beauty of nature for yourself. Maybe you’d like to go for a run, watch the sunset, or invite some friends to the nearest park for the perfect Pinterest picnic. Maybe you’d like to splash around a pool, tend to your garden, or roast s’mores over a bonfire.
Whatever it is, take a moment to appreciate how refreshing the breeze is, or how small we are in comparison to the rest of the universe. Beyond just making you feel relaxed and profound, it's great for putting your life and your future as a whole into perspective.
6. Try Out an Idle Hobby
Now, I’m not exactly sure if “idle hobby” is an actual term, but in any case, I define it as a simple activity that is relaxing and entertaining without requiring much physical or mental energy. Depending on you, your attitudes, and your pre-existing skill set, some great ideas could include:
Making use of an adult coloring book
Completing a simple puzzle
Knitting or crocheting
Painting by numbers
This is a great way to romanticize your life, because, even with little effort, it often produces beautiful results. My art skills are at par with my abysmal music skills, but I still have several of my favorite paint-by-numbers works displayed around my room.
Accompanying such “idle hobbies” with relaxing music, fragrant scents, and cozy clothing never fails to enhance the experience!
7. Do Something Quirky
“Where's your will to be weird?” — Jim Morrison
TikTok has probably instilled an automatic cringe reflex in all of us when it comes to the word “quirky,” but I find this tip to be incredibly effective. Everyone deserves the right to be a little weird sometimes. Whether it be decorating your room for a rather eccentric holiday (see “Squirrel Appreciation Day” or “Middle Child Day”), building the world’s best fort in your living room, or leaving compliments written on sticky notes around your school, being “quirky” will definitely make your day a little more remarkable than the rest.
8. Play “I Spy”
I know, sounds weird. This is another one that needs a little bit of explanation. This rather odd variation of “I Spy” may resemble the overwhelmingly enthusiastic games teachers play with preschoolers, but trust me, it really helps shape your perspectives for the better. Very simply, all you need to do is focus on the first object your eyes land on and think of something positive about it.
If you happen to set your sights on something as dreary as the random printer in the corner that never works when it is needed and has often been the cause of frustrated tears and desperate begging at three in the morning on a school night (no, this example is not personal), then maybe you could recollect that once-in-a-lifetime occasion wherein it successfully scanned your hours’ worth of math homework, allowing you to submit it on time. Or maybe you could think about how its design was the best one available when you bought it.
Trust me, this is great for giving you a more positive outlook on life. Even if your personality has been shaped significantly by the likes of Blair Waldorf or Elizabeth Bennett, everyone wants to be a little bit like the sweet and doe-eyed character (ahem, Rory Gilmore and Theodore the Chipmunk) sometimes.
9. Contemplate Your Dream Life
My friends and I are notorious for making obsessively detailed (and often highly unrealistic) plans to start a small business or to travel across Europe and Africa. Considering the time, spreadsheets, video calls, and Pinterest boards put into them, it would likely be surprising to (and a little concerning for) most that they never actually pushed through. But we love being this way— daydreaming is something that motivates us, excites us, and adds a little bounce to our steps.
Thinking about your future— about a you who is living the life of your dreams— is an amazing way to romanticize your life. You can picture it however you’d like, with you at the center of it all! Plans and circumstances will surely change, and this “dream life” will likely manifest in a way completely different from what you initially assumed, but there’s no harm in finding something to work towards today.
10. Go Old-Fashioned
Bringing back the aforementioned record player right here to tell you that living a day like you’re in the past is a great way to feel like the main character, set apart from everybody else. It doesn’t matter what time period you picture— set the stylus on the disc, head right down to the nearest drive-in, grab a Polaroid camera, dress like it’s the 80s, or visit an old diner!
Life is full of ups and downs, and then there are the in-betweens. It's up to you what to make of these moments of seemingly agonizing monotony, and I hope these tips gave you the push you needed!