Let me set the scene:
You're running through the forest, listening to the wind cut through the trees as you pass them one by one. The smell of the redwoods engulfs your senses and the crisp air is starkly contrasted by the warmth your body creates from running. You're laughing and yelling back at someone you love to keep up, when you stop to catch your breath. He catches up, throws his arms around you, grabs your face and kisses you. You're elated. Heightened senses and gratitude for love and life take over. Everything is good.
Now imagine this isn't just something you dream or hope, but it's something you live. As often as you can.
One of the best things you can do for yourself, is cultivate a life that is filled with beautiful moments, whimsy and romance. So often, we fall into the rut of "work, eat, sleep" repeat. And we act as if our life is something that is happening TO us, instead of us happening TO life.
Does that make sense?
We watch romantic comedies, cute TV shows, videos of our favorite YouTubers, and we look at them as if having a beautiful life is something completely unattainable. Something that other people get to have, and we don't. But that's simply not the truth.
The truth is that we are just as deserving of a beautiful life filled with romance and butterflies and beauty, as anyone else.
So how can we create this?
We create this by taking every opportunity throughout the day, to romanticize our lives.
Romanticizing your life is a fancy way of saying you take the mundane, daily task, and turn it into something wonderful. Something beautiful.
Driving in traffic isn't a bore, it's an opportunity to call up an old friend or listen to your favorite album.
Washing the dishes isn't something to loathe, but to imagine the soapy water is softening your hands mani/pedi style.
It's all about turning the ordinary, into the extraordinary. Because every day has the potential to be the best day ever. If only we give it a chance.
So, let's break down the 10 best and most unique ways to romanticize your life.
Only Accept The Treatment You Deserve
One of the keys to living a romanticized life, is to minimize or eliminate unnecessary drama from your life; including drama from relationships. More often than not, relational drama stems from us not knowing our true value, and accepting treatment from others that reflects our lack of security in ourselves.
The treatment we accept from the people in our lives, is a mirror image of what we believe to be true about ourselves. If you accept the bare minimum, it means you only believe yourself to be worthy of the bare minimum.
Conversely, when we begin to heal and love ourselves fully, we are better able to accept treatment that reflects that. We are like magnets for peace, joy, and love. We are magnets for romance, for intention, and for welcoming people into our lives who will mirror our newfound self-assurance.
When I was 22, I was the saddest I have ever been. Coming off of the death of my grandmother, and a denial of acceptance from the UCLA dance program, I started to spiral downwards. I began to wrap my worth around my image, which meant I needed control of my body. I started restricting what I ate, became strikingly thin, and spent days in my room, laying in bed, in the dark.
The image I had of myself was awful. I lost sight of my worth. I told myself I wasn't smart enough, pretty enough, or a good enough dancer. I was everything my elementary school bullies had said I was. This negative image of myself caused me to attract someone who treated me less than I was worth. He played cat and mouse games with me, only putting in effort when he found it convenient, and would ignore me when it wasn't so convenient.
This newfound pseudo relationship confirmed everything I already thought: I wasn't good enough for him to call me his girlfriend, I was only good enough to hang out and hook up with. I wasn't worthy of his time and attention. I wasn't worthy of effort.
After that relationship ended, I spent a year focusing on self-love. I grew, traveled and began loving myself so fearlessly, that when a man finally did walk into my life, he showed me the kind of effort and treatment I had always wanted.
But here's the kicker; they were both simply mirroring what I believed to be true of myself. And they each treated me accordingly.
If I'd known then what I know now, I would never have allowed someone access to me, who didn't value me. But I didn't value myself.
Work on self love, self acceptance, and self forgiveness, and only accept treatment that you believe reflects that of someone who is totally and completely in love with who she is.
Light Scented Candles Often
This is arguably the easiest thing to do on this list. Lighting candles creates a romantic ambiance that allows for love to flourish. In the candlelight, when it's dark and your vision is limited to only a few steps in front of you, things don't seem as big. Problems don't seem as weighty.
Your other senses are then heightened by the lack of bright light illuminating the world to you. And all of a sudden, smells become more intense, you hear the slightest changes in your environment, and touch becomes a substitute for sight.
When lighting a scented candle, choose one that emits an aroma of love and romance. Rose, vanilla and lavender are all wonderful options to fill your space with sweet smells and gentle lighting.
By nature, spending time in a candle lit area forces you to slow down. It forces you to move cautiously and intentionally. This change in pace makes room for romance and creates a lifestyle wherein enjoying the small things is, in itself, a luxury.
Create A Bath Time Sanctuary
I've spoken about the healing and cleansing power of water before, but I find that bath time is a simple pleasure that often gets overlooked. (Of course, if you do not have a bath in your home, that's perfectly fine. This tip is not so much about the nature of taking a bath, but rather the time in which you spend loving yourself during the hours when you first wake up or are heading to sleep.)
We have an incredible opportunity, to turn the mundane act of preparing for bed, into something that is wildly whimsical and romantic. Through very simple ways, we can take this act from being a chore, to being something that we spend all day looking forward to.
Here are the ways I romanticize bath time:
Light candles throughout the bathroom
Fill my bath water with epsom salts, essential oils and rose petals
Wear a silk robe preparing to enter the bath and before I slip into pajamas
Leave my phone outside and read my book while I soak
Use essential oils to give myself a massage while I sit in the bath
Have ice water waiting for me as I exit (you can add lemon or cucumber for extra freshness)
If you have a shower, you can:
Place a eucalyptus leaf around your shower head to aid in relaxation
Drop essential oils around the shower and allow the steam to release the oils
Play classical or coffeehouse music
Now of course, we won't always have time for a full on healing bubble bath every night. But we CAN schedule it in to our weekly routine, so that we don't allow our self care and self love opportunities to pass us by.
Imagine any period piece; film or tv show (think Downton Abbey or Pride & Prejudice), and imagine them writing letters on exquisite stationary. Using elegant, ball point pens and sealing their letters with a wax seal of their initials.
Now think about how we see mail today.
Random cards chosen at Target and sent to loved ones every once in a while either for birthday's or holidays. Nothing special or particularly romantic or elegant about it.
Now imagine if every time you sat down to write a letter, it was this incredibly romantic experience where you wrote in cursive and sealed it with your very own seal complete with your initials. Seems much more enjoyable, right?
I've been on a hunt for personalized stationary for quite some time, and while I haven't found any that have the #femininefancytouch just yet, I'm sure I'll stumble upon the perfect stationery soon! So I can live out my early Victorian era dreams.
Silk Nightgowns and Negligees
The evening is inherently romantic. As darkness falls over the world, we're left with our thoughts, our desires and our true feelings to keep us company at night. And in addition to lighting candles for ambiance and curating a swoon worthy bath time routine, we can also enhance our sense of touch by wearing silk nightgowns, negliges, and pajama sets.
Contrary to popular belief or romantic films, you don't only have to whip out your silky nightwear when you're trying to impress your significant other. No no mon cherie, your best and most luxurious nightwear is not meant solely to please someone else. Rather, what if it's intended for you? To bask in the sweet feeling of running silky fabric through your fingers and allowing it to caress your body while you sleep.
Why have we allowed our pajamas to morph from long flowing gowns to oversized t-shirts and boy shorts?
Romanticizing your life is about enhancing the little things. The things you don't think are important. And that includes what you wear as you drift off into dreamland.
Create Bon Apetite Worthy Dinners
Creating beautiful, healthy meals, I believe, is an incredible act of self love. It means that you value yourself, your body and your soul. And that every day is worthy of creating beauty in what you eat.
Instead of ordering Postmates or heading to your local Taco Bell, allow your artistic side to shine through and embrace the pleasure of a well cooked meal. The luxury of an al dente pasta with duck sugo, the crunch of garlic crostini, and the bitter sweetness of a Syrah.
Have a little more fun with your food. Add flowers to your drinks, vibrant sauces to your meat and style your meal as if you were on Chopped.
Embrace Your Body
If you want to romanticize your life, you have to embrace the parts of you that make you, YOU. Your curves, your freckles, your height, your shoulders. Every little thing that works together to make you the only you in existence.
I'd like to say this; body positivity is not a bad thing. I've seen videos of YouTubers challenging the idea of loving your body and I, inherently, take issue with this.
In life, we are offered one body, one existence (that we're aware of), one lifetime. Why on Earth should we spend the little time we have here picking ourselves apart? Why would we spend the years we have in this shell of a body insulting it, depriving it of food in the hopes that we'll look more "appealing"?
I'm not condoning an unhealthy lifestyle, but I'm also not going to give you permission to criticize the parts of you that make you the most wonderful.
Embrace your thighs, your belly, your neck, your arms. Shift your mindset to one of gratitude. Be thankful for the things that make you, you. Speak love over yourself, always.
Take the long way home
I mean this both literally and figuratively.
In the literal sense, I mean avoid taking the shortcuts on your daily drives or walks. Find joy in going the longer route. The route that goes through the woods. The route that takes you through a city you're not completely familiar with. Listen to soothing music while you drive, talk to an old friend on the phone. Roll the windows down and feel the brisk, fresh air whip against your face.
These are the moments when you can really feel life. You feel alive.
In the figurative sense, I'm referring to having patience with yourself. "Taking the long way home" is another way to say "Taking the long way to come back to yourself" or "Taking the long way to heal." Self awareness, self love, and self actualization, come from healing. And healing takes time.
You can not rush the process of healing and self-love. It's an ongoing journey that even once you reach the destination of embracing who you are and being happy and okay with that, you will always be on the path.
The journey might be long, but the view is great. So take the long way home and enjoy the ride.
There is something inherently romantic about writing letters, isn't there? I think we've been so conditioned to shoot someone a text or e-mail that we've forgotten the sweet, sweet feeling of receiving a hand-written letter in the mail.
We don't need a special occasion to write a letter to someone we miss or love. We only need to carve out the time to do so. Because all writing a text is, is writing a letter to someone at warp speed. So why don't we take the opportunity to slow down, and really express our feelings in hand-written notes instead?
Now, of course, if it's an emergency I don't want you sending a letter that's not going to reach it's destination until three days later Jane Austen style, but a simple note to say "hello" or 'I miss you" can go a long way.
Especially when you write it on your personalized stationery.
Curb the desire to capture everything
We live in an age where it is far too popular to take out your phone to capture any and everything that you see, sometimes to your own demise. And while taking a photo of something you'd like to remember isn't inherently bad, it perpetuates the idea that the present moment is not enough, and we must capture it to keep it for later.
We must capture this feeling, this second, this very moment because when it's gone we won't be as happy.
Then we take what we've captured and we go home and look at it over and over and over again, remembering, reminiscing. Wondering when we'll feel that alive again.
We do this by recording our favorite concert that we've waited months to go see, instead of just enjoying it. We do this with sunsets, sun rises, hikes. We even do it with random people on the street, taking pictures of silly bumper stickers or a silly outfit someone is wearing.
We're always trying to capture the moment.
And the truth is, while you might be able to capture that moment, you'll never be able to recreate it. You won't be with the same exact person, at the same exact time, again. No matter how many times you go back and watch the video you took or look at the photo you snapped, that moment has passed.
So instead of trying to capture it, live it. Instead of trying to recreate it, enjoy it.
Enjoy the beautiful sunset you didn't expect to see while sitting in traffic. Enjoy the live musical performance your friend is playing in. Laugh at the silly bumper sticker on someone's car, and allow the moment to pass, on its own.
Life isn't about capturing every single thing to share it on social media, or to keep replaying the moment after the fact. It's about turning everyday surprises and joys, into your very own romantic dream.
My loves, that is all I have for you today. I hope you loved this blog post, and you'll start finding little ways to romanticize the mundane.
Comment down below how you plan to romanticize your life for the rest of the year.