Did you know you can increase your life satisfaction and happiness by learning how to romanticize your life? Here's what it means to romanticize your life and 27 ways you can embrace your main character energy to make your life richer.
I coped with the stresses of 2020 by following a practice I called “notice the little things.” I don’t remember when and where I heard about this technique, but it’s a mindfulness technique designed to help you see – and appreciate – the good parts of your life.
You see, most of us tend to focus on the bad parts of our life, especially when those bad parts are incredibly overwhelming. You know, like the uncertainty of a global pandemic.
You can counteract this tendency by noticing the moments where you feel even a brief moment of happiness or pleasure and then describing the moment to yourself.
For example, when I’m taking a shower, I like to take some time to really notice and concentrate on just how wonderful I feel as the warm water helps my muscles relax and I find myself letting go of the stress I’ve been carrying around.
I found that “noticing the little things” was addictive. When I noticed how good the shower felt, I made the experience even better by hanging eucalyptus leaves in my shower to enjoy the scent and feel my sinuses open up.
I started adding little rituals to help mark the end of the work day, like sharing a glass of champagne every Friday afternoon with my husband. Those rituals helped alleviate the feeling of “every day is the same” that we were experiencing when our whole life was taking place inside the same four walls.
My rituals helped me hang on to my mental health when everything seemed to be crashing down around me.
Romanticize Your Life: The TikTok Trend We All Need Now
It turns out that my practice of “noticing the little things” is pretty much the same thing as a trend that’s taken over TikTok, “romanticize your life.”
Romanticizing your life means taking the time to appreciate your day-to-day life, no matter how mundane some parts might be. It means understanding that even the small things in your life are important and valuable to your happiness.
When you romanticise your life, you can take any activity and turn it into a meditation. Just imagine how much more fun it is to wash the dishes when you’re concentrating on how pretty the soap bubbles are and how satisfying it is to take a dirty pan and see it get clean right before your eyes. You’ve turned doing the dishes into an act of self-care.
The First Step to Romanticizing Your Life: Main Character Energy
Romanticizing your life goes hand-in-hand with another TikTok trend: Main Character Energy. This means to imagine your life as a movie and you are the main character.
As the main character of this movie called Life, everything that happens is designed to further your growth and take you closer to your goals.
As moms, we often put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. After all, raising a family is a job that requires taking care of our loved ones every single day. It’s a job that often requires sacrifice and selflessness.
When you think of yourself as the main character, you infuse everyday life with a sense of purpose.
You’re not just buying groceries, you’re out acquiring food for your family. Without the food you bring home, they will surely starve! (My kids certainly seemed to believe this when they were teens.)
Main character energy also prompts self-improvement. Does an out-of-shape main character sit around watching daytime TV? No! An out-of-shape main character is spending time working out and running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a glorious training montage.
Why You Should Romanticize Your Life
Many of us suffer from negativity bias. This means we pay more attention to the bad things that happen to us more than the good things in our lives. However, focusing on the negative parts of our lives can lead to harmful consequences:
- We can start to avoid risks that might make our lives better because we are too afraid of the possibility of failure.
- We can become depressed about how bad we perceive our live to be.
- We can be so afraid of losing something we already have, we don’t recognizes opportunities when they present themselves.
By learning to appreciate the good things in your life and taking steps to make those good things even better (aka when you start romanticizing your life), you can train yourself to notice the good that’s already there. You can improve your daily mood and even improve the quality of your life.
Plus, when you start romanticizing your life, your life becomes so much more fun.
Are You Ready to Romanticize Your Life?
Romanticizing your life and main character energy sounds so much grander and exciting than “noticing the little things.” I was hooked immediately and started looking for all the ways I could turn my daily routine into my very own romantic movie.
If you want to romanticize your own life, I’ve got some ideas that can help you turn your daily grind into a grand adventure.
27 Ways to Romanticize your Life (from the Moment You Wake Up until You Go to Bed)
1. Start a Morning Routine
Routines are powerful tools for supporting your mental health. Routines provide us comfort in times of change, support the formation of healthy habits, and can help us stop for a self-care break on a regular basis.
Starting your day with a morning routine gets your day going on a positive note and helps you begin the day grounded, energized, and clear-eyed. I created my own morning routine based on the process described in Your Miracle Morning and I’ve found that my whole day is improved when I follow it.
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2. Take Some Time Every Morning to Enjoy Nature
Getting outside in the morning boosts your energy for the day. Getting out in the sunlight in the morning helps your body sync with the rhythm of the sun so that you’re awake and energetic in the morning and relaxed and sleepy at night.
Getting your body moving, however briefly, in the morning also releases endorphins and boosts serotonin, which improves your mood and relieves stress.
I like to take my dog out each morning for a short, but leisurely walk. She gets to smell all the smells and I walk in silence, appreciating the world around me.
3. Make Your Bed Every Morning
I’m a fanatic about the power of making your bed. Making my bed each morning helps me feel like I’ve already accomplished something that day. Since I work from home, I walk past my bed on a regular basis and seeing a nicely made bed lifts my spirits every time.
4. Hang Eucalyptus in Your Shower
Hanging eucalyptus in your shower turns your ordinary start the day shower into a spa experience. You can start even the busiest day by enjoying its scent and head-clearing properties. Eucalyptus can even reduce stress.
5. Only Wear Clothes that Make You Feel Beautiful
Would the star of your favorite Rom-Com wear anything that wasn’t cute, comfortable and stylish? You know she wouldn’t. As the star of your own movie, you should demand no less.
Get rid of any piece of clothing that does not make you feel beautiful. You deserve to feel your best every single day. Seriously – channel your inner Marie Kondo.
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6. Buy Yourself Flowers
Buying flowers just because is a great way to infuse beauty into your life. Take to the time to arrange your flowers mindfully and stop for a moment to appreciate their beauty each day.
There’s nothing that brightens my day more quickly than walking in my front door and seeing the big vase of sunflowers that I keep there.
7. Take Time for a Special Lunch Date
Rather than grabbing a sandwich at your desk, use your lunchtime to take a break to destress and relax before jumping back into the day. Try to take time for a true lunch break by eating your lunch outdoors or adding in a quick walk while listening to an empowering podcast.
8. Treat Yourself to Healthy, Beautiful Foods
We all know we should eat healthy foods and we all know that we feel so much better when we focus on healthy foods. But when you choose healthy foods that look beautiful, now you’ve turned something you know you should do into another way to bring pleasure and beauty in your life.
I make these easy tomato tarts over and over again in the summer. They’re a beautiful – and delicious – way to enjoy the summer tomato season.
9, Hydrate Elegantly with Infused Water
This is an easy hack, but one that can be too easy to let slide. Turn your hydration into a spa experience by adding cucumbers or fruit to your water. I always feel elegant when I drink cucumber water. Plus, it’s delicious so I drink more. Win!
10. Go On a Photo Walk
Take your camera – or your phone – and go for walk looking for things to photograph. The possibilities are endless: you can go to a city and take pictures of the architecture and the people or go out into the woods and take pictures of nature around you.
Looking at something with an eye to photograph it helps you see it with new eyes and appreciate the wonders that are all around you.
11. Listen to a Main Character Playlist
Make a playlist of all your favorite empowering songs and listen to it while thinking of it as a soundtrack for your life. (If you want some ideas, I’ve got a Main Character Playlist you can check out on YouTube.
12. Make a “Romanticizing My Life” Vision Board
You guys know I love my vision boards. Instead of creating a vision board that focuses on your goals or desires for life, make a board showing all the ways you can add beauty and joy to your life.
You could add pictures of flowers you like, soft blankets for your bed, comfy pajamas – anything that inspires you to add more romance to your life.
If you want to stay inspired, create a digital vision board you can keep on your phone or laptop to remind you to enjoy the little things. I made this vision board using my free Digital Vision Board Template.
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13. Ease into the Evening with an After-Work Routine
An after-work routine helps you mark the end of the work day, leave behind the stress of your job, and transition to a slower pace so you can enjoy your evening.
When I commuted from an office, my after-work routine was to change into comfortable clothes as soon as I got home, wash my face, and take the dog out for a bit before I started dinner.
Now that I work at home, an after-work routine is even more critical because it helps me put aside my work and focus on the evening. Relaxing on our deck, spending a bit of time on my current hobby, and walking the dog helps me put my work away and focus on other things.
14. Take a Mini Adventure
There’s a line I just love in one of my favorite Steve Earle songs, The Week of Living Dangerously, “And I guess I took a left where I generally take a right.” The next time you’re out running errands, try taking a different route or go down a road you’ve never had a reason to drive down.
You might not end up in jail in Laredo (I hope!), but you’ll add a touch of spice to your daily routine and you might find something exciting that would have never known about.
15. Spend 15 Minutes with a Self-Love Meditation
Romanticizing your life is all about loving yourself and your life at the present moment. This guided meditation will relax you and put you in a dreamy mood so you can really focus on just how awesome you truly are.
16. Have a Self-Care Day Just for You
At least once a year (although once a quarter is probably better), treat yourself to the best day you can imagine. Make a plan for a day that includes all your favorite ways to spend time. You could decide you want to wake up late, enjoy your coffee in bed, and then head out for a walk and a massage.
This day is up to you and it can be anything you desire.
17, Take Time to Journal on a Regular Basis
Journals are so helpful in getting out any negative thoughts, but you can also use your journal to notice and record those small things in your life that bring you happiness. You could even keep a running list of the little things in your life that bring you happiness so you can look back on it and remember those times.
18. Save Your Memories and Look Back at Them Often
I have an album in my photos on my phone where I save photos of special moments in my life so I can scroll through them whenever I want.
Looking back through my photos reminds me of how many fun times and adventures I’ve experienced in my life so I can experience the pleasure of those moments all over again.
Similarly, my husband has a box where he keeps tiny momentos of our travels. It’s always so fun to look at his collection and reminisce about our happy times.
19. Make a Self-Care Kit
Gather items that comfort and cheer you up and keep them in one place so they’re easily available to you when you need a bit of comfort.
Simply making a self-care kit is an act of self-care all on its own. It’s a gift from the present you to future you so you’ll always have something on hand to cheer you up when you’re blue.
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20. Add Some Plants to Your Living Space
Houseplants enhance your decor, clean the air around you, and boost your mood. I finally joined the realm of houseplant owners during the pandemic and I understand now why so many of my friends just can’t stop buying plants.
Plus, taking care of my plants always feels like a meditative practice to me.
21. Fill Your Home with Beautiful Scents
I learned the power of a beautiful scent when my husband and I stayed at the Surfjack Hotel in Honolulu. Each time we walked into the hotel, we were welcomed by the amazing scent I have ever smelled. We couldn’t stop talking about how just smelling that wonderful smell made our experience at the hotel so special.
I came home and filled our house with these diffusers so our home smelled like a hotel all the time.
22. Take Time Out for a Short Afternoon Break
I used to work in an office with several people from India. Every day at 3 p.m., they all stopped working and went into the breakroom for a cup of tea and a little sweet snack.
I eventually realized how smart this daily practice was and I started joining them. After all, for many people, 3 p.m. is the lowest point of the work day. Rather than trying to power through my energy dip, taking the time to stop and relax with a cup of tea left me more energized and efficient.
23. Luxuriate in your Bath
I’ve been all about great baths since I learned about the Danish concept of hygge. There’s nothing more relaxing than than spending time in a nice warm bath. Make your bath even more romantic by adding bath salts and flower petals so you can enjoy their beauty while they soften your skin.
Add some soft music and a glass of wine and you’re truly the main character of the best movie ever.
24. Turn off Your TV
Instead of watching TV at night, try spending the evening playing some soft music and relaxing with a soothing hobby. I love to do jigsaw puzzles in the evening instead of TV. I feel engaged and relaxed, while watching TV often makes me feel numb and stupid.
25. Dim the Lights and Light Some Candles
Here’s another Hygge concept that can make a regular evening at home seem romantic and special. Dimming the lights and lighting candles is a chance to sit quietly and bask in the beautiful candlelight.
One of my favorite things to do is to order Chinese takeout and then dim the lights, light some candles, and enjoy my meal straight from the carton. It’s so easy to do, but the evening feels romantic and special, even if I’m alone.
26. Follow a Bedtime Routine
Getting enough sleep is absolutely essential to feeling like your best self. And one of the simplest ways to ensure you get the shut eye you need is to stick to the same bedtime routine every night.
Hey – it worked for our kids, right? It works for adults too. Put your phone and other electronics away at least an hour before bedtime. Make sure you have a cool and totally dark space to sleep with lots of comfy bedding. And go to bed at the same time every night!
27. Upgrade Your Bed (and Your Pajamas!)
If you want the best sleep, you need to have a comfortable sleeping situation. Turn going to bed into a sensual pleasure by adding high-quality cotton linens, extra pillows, and cozy blankets. Check out my guide to creating a Hygge Bedroom for inspiration and don’t forget to scent your linens for extra romance!
Once you’ve made your perfect bed, you’ll want to sleep in luxurious night clothes. Luxury feels different to everyone, so find something that makes you feel like a movie star. I love these crisp, cotton pajamas from Old Navy, but someone else might prefer a glamorous silk nightgown.