If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve likely stumbled upon TikTok after TikTok (or Reel after Reel) of aesthetically pleasing “romanticized” moments of people’s everyday lives, such as getting ready for the day, taking a shower, or going for a walk. While some social media habits are far from good for us (we’re looking at you, doom-scrolling), the increasingly buzzy trend of “romanticizing your life” — while cheesy at first glance — actually has some benefits according to experts and those who put it to practice.
First and foremost, what does it mean to romanticize your life? It boils down to being present and finding joy and excitement in the little things. “We often have this idea that ‘I’ll be happy when ... I get that job, that car, that relationship ...,’” says Simone Saunders, RSW, a trauma therapist and founder of The Cognitive Corner. “When we engage in those thought patterns and live our life in that way, it causes us to primarily focus on the future rather than the present. Although you may have future goals, wants, and dreams, romanticizing your life is about focusing on the aspects of your life that you enjoy right now.”
Saunders notes that dismissing or taking for granted the everyday aspects of our lives creates an environment that makes us more susceptible to stress, sickness, and poor moods. On the other hand, because romanticizing is a form of expressing gratitude for the small things and being mindfully present in those moments, Saunders notes it can help improve our moods, sleep, patience, and relationships. “When we engage in these behaviors consistently, it can create new neural pathways which allow you to easily see the world from a more positive perspective,” she says.
For Roxie Sarhangi, a certified sound healing practitioner, romanticizing is about honoring your life as if it is a work of art by adding excitement and mystery to mundane moments. “From my everyday coffee to striking up a conversation with a stranger, to a weekend stroll in a museum and seeing the work of an artist I resonate with, I choose to engage in activities that nurture my soul and encourage me to be present,” she says. When doing so, she finds it positively impacts her wellbeing because it helps her find meaning in her day-to-day experiences, makes each day feel notable, even if just for a moment, which “feels like a winning day.”
Ahead, some easy ways romanticize your everyday routine.
Reflect On The Little Things That Bring You Joy
To practice romanticizing your life, Saunders says the first step is to list what experiences or activities (big and small) you do daily that make you feel positive. Some examples include a morning ritual that you look forward to, enjoying your coffee without distractions, going for a walk, or taking a long shower. If you notice there aren’t many things you do regularly that spark joy, this is an opportunity to get curious about what those things are and how you can incorporate more of them into your day.
Document The Simple Things
There is something about capturing a moment with a photo or video that makes it feel extra special, which is why Saunders encourages documenting the simple things you enjoy daily. The key: Don’t try to make it look perfect. “The intent with this is not to get the perfectly curated Instagram photo,” Saunders says. “It’s to have a record of the small moments that you enjoyed—whether you decide to post it or not.”
Set The Ambiance
Setting the right ambiance is another way to make the mundane feel romantic. “Your environment can play a big impact on your mood and your home is a primary setting in your life,” Sarhangi says. “It can lift your vibration or it can make you feel drained and unsettled.” For her, setting the vibe includes maintaining a tidy space. The act of decluttering, however, doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Instead, she suggests making it an experience in and of itself by timing a deep clean around the new moon, which symbolizes new beginnings and ushers in fresh energy. Bonus points if you also set the mood with candles, music, and mood lighting while you clean.
Incorporate Special Experiences
Other ways Sarhangi romanticizes life are by incorporating special experiences, trying new things, and continually learning and being creative. “This keeps the spark and passion alive in my life,” she says. “For example, I have been taking a weekly interactive class: exploring the self and the universe via the poetry of Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet and mystic. Often after class, I feel excited, with a feeling of awe and wonder — a true celebration for being alive.”
Go On An Adventure
Another way to stir up some excitement in your life is by going on adventures, big or small. “Whether it is a big trip or a weekend getaway, travel can lift my spirit and feel dream-like,” says Sarhangi who recently returned from a trip to Bali. “It allows for new unique experiences.” And when a trip isn’t on the itinerary, she adds that taking herself on solo dates to do something she enjoys — think violin concerts and buying unique flowers — also satisfies the craving for adventure.
Intentionally Create Romantic Moments
While savoring and romanticizing the moments that pop up in our everyday lives is one way to approach this, another way is to create these dreamy experiences intentionally. One example Saunders shares is cooking your favorite meal regularly — no need to wait for a special occasion. “Spend time enjoying the process of cooking rather than just the result,” she adds. And when you’re spending time with people you care about, she recommends taking a moment to soak in the environment and the relationships in your life. Another example she shares is using your daily commute to listen to your favorite music and focusing on how it makes you feel as you take in the scenery. In other words, don’t wait for romantic moments to occur accidentally. Take the time to create them and enjoy them.