Some of my favourite movies are the weird ones. The ones that have less plot, more aesthetic. In many ways, it’s like poetry made visual. Poetry given life. I’m talking movies like The Notebook, Love Actually, About Time, Mamma Mia, The Last Letter From Your Lover and a ton more. These movies make me want to casually open my eyes at 11 am in the morning. I’ll stretch my arms above my head, yawn and carefully crawl out of bed. I’ll put on some jazz or coffeehouse vibes, drink some water, cut up fruit and just casually sit on my balcony with my partner. I’ll inhale the cool morning air and just be. These are the days I unconsciously romanticise my life without even trying. These slow, casually focused days are my very best days.
Romanticising your life in essence means taking the time to slow down and give even the most mundane aspect of your life the attention it deserves. It means living for the little things that happen every day, not the big ones that come once in a year or a lifetime. It means looking forward to and putting effort into curating a morning, afternoon or evening routine that makes you so happy, that you intentionally look forward to it every day. It means not putting all your focus and energy on that trip you’ve been planning all year. Life isn’t just about our long-term plans and goals; it’s about how we spend each day, making every second count for as long as we’re here on Earth. Especially now that the horrors of humanity have reminded us all that we only have this one life. It’s our duty to do with it whatever we please, as long as we aren’t hurting anyone. It’s also our duty to ourselves, to try to enjoy as much of it as we can.
We live in a ridiculously fast-paced world and if you live in Lagos Nigeria, I cannot begin to explain the chaos you most definitely face every day you step out of your house. A lot of people, especially Gen Zs and Millenials, have heard the term “Romanticise your life” or ” It’s giving Main Character Energy” and most of us know what it means. The question many people ask especially when you live in a particularly fast-paced city, especially when you live in our city- is how? How can I turn all of this into something I can sit back and look forward to? …into something I enjoy?
My 2 cents- You can’t force yourself to enjoy something but you can reward yourself for going through it(if it’s unavoidable) and you can look forward to that reward. For example, my commute to work, depending on my mode of transportation can be the definition of hectic. I grit my teeth and go through it because two things are waiting for me.
- The View: What I see on my way to work usually makes me pause. It’s too pretty. That pause usually does away with most of my irritation for that period.
- Me Time: Most of the time, I’m the first to arrive at the office. When I do, I like to put on the mood light, play some soothing tunes, make my coffee and take a few minutes to centre myself for the day. I actively look forward to those few minutes after the chaos and before the heaviness of the workday begins. You can find something to look forward to as well.
Keep reading to learn how you can romanticise your life this season!
Ways to Romanticise Your Life
The year is quickly coming to an end. I can swear I felt the faintest air of harmattan on my way to work this morning. It’s one of the best times of year to slow down. I know these are the months people go above and beyond. They want to reach those goals they abandoned earlier in the year or procrastinated on. They want certain items off their bucket list for the year. I believe in hustle and going above and beyond to actualise your dreams. I also completely understand that a deadline- like the end of a year, is a boost most people need and I’m not saying don’t reach for the stars. Reach for the stars but remember to take a breath every now and then. Don’t forget to curate those little pockets of time you can look forward to. Don’t forget to romanticise your life as fiercely as you hustle for it.
1. Embrace Slower Mornings
I HATE being rushed. My partner has been on the receiving end of my temper, one too many times because of this. I hate the panicky feeling, amongst other things. I also don’t particularly enjoy waking up early but I’ve picked my poison. I’d rather get up a whole hour or 2 (knowing me I’d need 3) earlier and slowly get ready for the day than sleep in and rush to do anything. It puts me in the worst mood.
There is nothing like putting on some music, lighting your favourite candle and having a nice bath followed by a nice warm cup of lemon tea. I’ll spend some time after that either just inhaling and embracing the day or reading a book or writing my intentions for the day. This doesn’t always happen, not with the brain I have but the days that I do this, I feel much calmer. You can create your own perfect morning too. Slower mornings let you take a deep breath before the realities of the day hit you.
2. Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company
You will spend the most time with yourself in this life. You need to learn to just exist by yourself. There’s nothing as calming or as introspective. Take yourself out on dates- go see a movie by yourself, have a solo picnic, attend an open mic show, and many more. It can be incredibly nerve-racking for a lot of people but there’s no better way to figure yourself out and the things you enjoy.
3. Let Yourself Fall in Love with Something- Just Because
You don’t have to be good at it but pick a hobby you enjoy; it can be dancing, tennis, swimming, knitting, football, anything. Create time for this thing that brings genuine joy to your life. I think we as adults sometimes forget that it’s okay to have non-monetary hobbies. You don’t have to be a child to find unparalleled joy in a simple thing.
4. Make Playlists
You know that thing that happens when you want to shower, do the dishes, clean up, play a game, set the mood etc. That thing where you pick up your phone and start searching for the right set of songs. Before you know it an hour has gone by. Take the time to create a playlist for each mood or activity. Nothing helps you romanticise your life like the right song or even a podcast. My partner and I like to slow our day down by turning the lights off, lighting the perfect scented candle, laying or sitting on the bed, lighting a blunt and listening to stories on the AfroQueer podcast. It never fails to be the most relaxing thing ever.
5. Go For Walks: Sunsets and Stargazing
Fall in love with all nature has to offer. More often than not she takes our breath away. There’s no better painter or artist. So go for a walk or lie beneath the stars or have a picnic with close friends and family. This has a way of making you notice the simple joys in life.
6. Make Cooking Fun
Most people cook their own meals and I know too many people that hate doing it. It can be such a chore so add something to spice it up. You’ll spend a good amount of your time cooking, meal prepping and all of the above- especially if you’re on a budget so grab a friend, sibling or partner, play some music and try to make the most of the situation. If you can add something to that process to help you enjoy it, then go right ahead.
7. Celebrate Your Achievements
I know you have so much you haven’t achieved yet and you feel there’s no time for celebration but it took something to get to where you are. That process and time deserve to be celebrated. Your small wins deserve at least an acknowledgement just as much as your big wins do! So buy a cupcake, or go out for drinks or whatever you want to do. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as getting yoghurt, going for a walk or watching your favourite movie. Whatever that looks like, always celebrate your journey through life. It will always be worth celebrating.
8. Unwind and Unplug Before Bedtime
Put off the phones and all other non-essential devices. Give yourself a massage and have a nice warm or cool bath. Journal, if you feel inclined, read a book or do something that delivers even a tiny boost of serotonin to your brain. When you’re ready, close your eyes and go to bed.
9. Attend Our Wellness Event- LIFT!
LIFT is not just an event; it’s a movement designed to uplift and empower women from all walks of life. Rooted in 21 Magazine’s commitment to providing a safe space for the emerging generation of women to claim their rightful place and amplify their voices.
Our event is set to hold this week Saturday, the 28th of October and if you ask us, it might just be the perfect first step to help you begin the process of slowing down and embracing the end of the year. Attendees will have the opportunity to rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and spirits through a series of enriching activities. These include mindful movement Pilates and Dance Therapy sessions aimed at fostering a deeper connection with your inner self and promoting self-care practices.
It’s important to note that while romanticizing life can offer many benefits, it should be balanced with a realistic perspective. It’s not about ignoring or denying life’s challenges but rather finding beauty, meaning, and joy even in the midst of those challenges. Ultimately, the benefits of romanticizing your life are subjective and may vary from person to person, but for many, it can be a valuable approach to living a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.