I’ll forever own my main character energy without shame. It isn’t narcissism, and it isn’t an unmerited obsession with my experience. Instead, I’d describe it more akin to curiosity, following and tracking the thoughts and opinions that float in and out of my mind from moment to moment. (And if I had to pick a theme song, any upbeat jam would do.) During the pandemic, as IRL interactions between myself and others ebbed and flowed, I made the conscious decision to spend more intentional time with myself. From that experience, I amassed a range of rituals and routines that all led to this: a go-to guide for how to romanticize your life.
As far as values go, we’ve been taught to direct our love outward. Altruism is prioritized above self-love, and we often assume that a person spending time alone is lonely. (PSA: they’re two different things entirely). And on the topic of self-love, despite the word’s wide and sweeping use, it remains an elusive, hard-to-pin-down concept.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
50 Ways to Romanticize Your Life
An older iteration of Instagram had us believe that bubble baths and a marathon of spa treatments were the answer to a healthier relationship with yourself. But as social media evolves, a new trend is taking place. Influencers are touting small, simple, and oftentimes free ways to incorporate a little romance into your day—and I’m totally, wholeheartedly on board.
Long story a little bit longer: Each day gives you countless opportunities to romanticize your life. What I’ve learned from befriending myself—and falling in love with the person I’ve uncovered—is that it comes down to a matter of perspective. I’ve shifted my mindset and actively create space to make my life a little more awe-inspiring, a bit more beautiful, and filled with so much more love for myself.
It’s a strange idea, isn’t it—the possibility that we can fall deeply and compassionately in love with who we are?
Inspiring readers with ideas that help us all elevate the everyday has long been our goal at Camille Styles. From mindfully sipping your morning beverage to cooking by candlelight, today we’re sharing our favorite easy, accessible, and game-changing tips for making the most of your life, from sunup to sundown.
1. Infuse your routines with mindfulness. Some people can commit to a daily meditation ritual. I’m not one of them. Whatever the case, despite trying to carve out precious time to spend a few minutes with my thoughts, I just… can’t. Solution? Bringing patience and compassion to my already honed-in habits. When I’m working out, I actively feel the parts of my body that are supporting my movement. When I’m writing an email, I express gratitude for the opportunity to work with so many inspiring individuals. This small little shift has the power to make even the most mundane tasks magical.
2. Dress up your morning beverage. Supercharge your morning drink with something that’ll take the flavor and health benefits to the next level. Get inspired with our favorite ways to level up our morning cuppa.
3. Explore therapy. While it might not be top of mind when it comes to romanticizing your life, therapy can be a powerful tool to unlock new discoveries about yourself and transform your mental health. And if working with a therapist isn’t accessible for you at this time, give writing therapy a shot. It’s free and can make a world of difference.
4. Take your time (and give yourself the grace to do so). Rushing is never fun. In fact, I can actively feel my cortisol levels rising when I’m in a hurry. If something has to get done or I need to be somewhere, I proactively carve out enough time so that I can slowly and mindfully enjoy the transition.
5. Plan a picnic. Further proof that the French are onto something. Plan a romantic picnic with your partner, friends, or all by yourself. Get our tips for perfecting the picnic aesthetic.
6. Create a curated life playlist. Music is a powerful way to shift your mood. I love belting my heart out in the car and I take my tunes with me when I want to add a little pep to my step. Spend a little time on Spotify creating the soundtrack of your life.
7. Date yourself. Newsflash: You don’t need an excuse to treat yourself to a drink or dinner. While we’ve been told to reserve evenings out for romantic connections only, putting on your favorite outfit and enjoying a little mood lighting is an activity that can be fully enjoyed with yourself and yourself alone.
8. Create a go-to podcast playlist. When I’m not sure what I want to listen to, I’m grateful for my go-to playlist of podcasts that expand my mind and immerse me in new perspectives. Mine includes Tara Brach, On Being with Krista Tippett, and The Greg McKeown Podcast.
9. Switch up your space. There’s a reason so many rom-com movie montages highlight the protagonist shifting around her furniture. Whether it’s updating a bookshelf or totally overhauling your space, finding new homes for your favorite pieces will invigorate your home with new energy.
10. Plan your best day ever. Every once in a while, I’ll reserve a weeknight for planning out my perfect Saturday. This might look like getting up early, treating myself to coffee and a doughnut, and driving out to the (beautiful!) Oregon coast for a walk on the beach. Spend a little time with your journal reflecting on what a perfect day looks like for you—and then go out and do exactly that.
11. Throw a party just because. The summer is a season to celebrate! Invite your people over for a casual weekend hang. Decorate your home, put together a menu, and make some fun drinks. Who says you have to romanticize your life alone?
12. Find inspiration through art. I love love love setting aside a weekend afternoon for a trip to a museum. Immersing myself in an art movement or the work of a single artist is the perfect escape. Nothing beats surrounding yourself with beauty.
13. Thank yourself aloud. Set aside a day where you actively pay attention to how you speak to yourself. Dedicate your self-talk to saying “thank you” (yes, to yourself!). Examples: “Thank you for working out and giving your body the stretch it needed.” “Thank you for nourishing me with colorful, vibrant food.” “Thank you for going to bed early and waking up refreshed.” The possibilities are endless.
14. Make a list of simple pleasures. I keep a go-to list of easily accessible ways to lift my mood on my refrigerator. Whether that’s going for a walk, reading a chapter of my book, stretching my body, or petting my cat—sometimes, we just need a reminder to soak up the present moment and enjoy our everyday life.
15. Go analog with your communication. When it comes to staying in touch with friends and family, in a pinch, texting and DM’s get the job done. But as someone who values her relationships above all else, I love taking my time to mindfully interact with loved ones. Arm yourself with beautiful stationary and put your thoughts and gratitude on the page. I also love calling someone out of the blue for what often ends up being an hours-long catch-up. You never know how much it might mean to someone.
16. Savor a glass of wine. Zero-ABV or otherwise! If you’ve gotten in the habit of mindlessly pouring yourself a glass at the end of a workday, take the time to light a candle, turn on some music, and enjoy a sip from your favorite bottle. Remember: pleasure is meant to be savored slowly.
17. Cook by candlelight. This is one of my favorite ways to take my weeknight cooking routine from a chore to something I look forward to at the end of the workday. Turn down the lights, turn up the music, and sprinkle your space with tea lights. Tuesday night, transformed.
18. Dance it out. Because it feels good—no matter what it looks like.
19. Surround yourself with scent. I love engaging all of my senses with beauty, but one of the most overlooked is the power of scent. Find your go-to fragrance and don’t hold back. I’ve shared all of my favorite candles that I rotate between for this exact purpose.
20. Unplug. Instead of looking outward for the answers, disconnect and spend your time looking within.
21. Dress up for no reason. If you work from home, then you’re familiar with the temptation to spend all day in your sweats. And while that’s certainly welcome on some days, there’s much to be said for the boost of energy and inspiration that comes with putting on your favorite outfit. Take your time getting ready and enjoying the boost of confidence it’ll bring.
22. Try single-tasking. Multi-tasking isn’t meant to be put on a pedestal. Instead, take your tasks one by one, enjoying the clarity that comes with focusing your attention on one thing at a time.
23. Take a drive. Is there anything more relaxing than leaving the city, playing your favorite album, and taking it all in? Of course, this might not be available to all of us, but if you have the opportunity to leave town for a bit and drive without an agenda, this is a great way to connect with your surroundings.
24. Take a detox bath. I may have knocked the idea of bubble baths being a one-and-done solution, but leaning into the soothing magic of a warm, nourishing bath is pure bliss. Get our tips for taking a relaxing detox bath.
25. Do your makeup. While I’m more of a minimalist gal in this realm, I can’t argue that putting in a little more effort totally transforms my mood. Keep it simple if you’d like or swipe on a red lip just because. Remember: this is for you, not anyone else.
26. Pick up a new hobby. Hobbies remind us that we’re more than our work. In fact, we’re humans with our own deep, complex, and personal interior lives. Hobbies keep us curious and growing, and they let us continue to expand and know ourselves better at any age.
27. Appreciate yourself. Try seeing yourself in a new light. Instead of wishing you could run faster, marvel at the fact that met your daily step goal. If you’re having a bad body image day, focus on all the hard work your body does for you. The next time you’re tempted to tear yourself down because of a perceived mistake, try seeing the growth and progress you’re making every step of the way.
28. Sleep on your satin sheets. It’s the easiest way to transform your sleep routine. This simple shift gives your entire bedroom a luxe, hotel vibe, and—bonus!—it’s great for your skin and hair. Browse our favorite satin pillowcases.
29. Send someone a positive note. Via text, Slack, or snail mail—send someone a message that you’re thinking of them. Tell them how you appreciate the way they do X. A simple compliment can transform someone’s day.
30. Start in quiet. Before you reach for your phone, talk to your partner, or dive into work, start your morning with silence. Breathe in, ground into your body, and feel the sheets on your legs. There’s no better way to begin romanticizing your day.
31. Ditch your phone—and pick up your book instead. I read about 40-50 books a year. But despite being an English major, I’m perhaps one of the slowest readers in the game. My secret? Whether it’s waiting in line for coffee, sitting in my doctor’s office before an appointment, or taking a five-minute break between tasks, I’ll forgo the temptation to scroll and instead read a page or two at a time. It’s the best way to energize every moment with a little written inspiration.
32. Take a hike. Whether it’s a full-on mountain or simply a stroll in the park, soak up the good vibes a little time in nature brings.
33. Journal about your favorite everyday moments. This is one of my favorite journaling prompts. Notice the not-so-small things that uplifted your day. It could be the unexpected smile from a neighbor on your morning walk, the way your cat snuggled up with you in bed, or the compliment on a project you received at work. Sometimes, the small things aren’t so small—it just takes us noticing them.
34. Design your dream morning routine. Whether that’s going all out for breakfast, kicking things off with movement, or writing down your intentions for the day, follow this one simple rule: do what feels best.
35. Make your meals vibrant. There’s something about a bright-green avocado, colorful grain bowl, or bold smoothie that makes the meal taste all the butter. Challenge yourself to incorporate as many different (natural) colors in your dishes as possible. Not-so-natural works, too—cotton candy ice cream is my weakness.
36. Have fun with flowers. My local market is an overlooked treasure trove of colorful stems. Every few weeks, I’ll spend a little time perusing the in-season options, pick out something I personally find pretty, and bring my bundles back home for a little creative fun. The process itself is enjoyable, and I can enjoy my blooms for days to come.
37. Go to the movies. One of the most surprising things I discovered when I lived in Paris is that the French are obsessed with the movies. They make a weekend ritual of going to the matinee and discussing the film over a glass of wine afterwards. And while I love going to the cinema with a friend, if I’m dying to see a new obscure foreign film (which is oftentimes the case), I’ll happily sit through the whole thing solo. There’s nothing like reemerging into the sunlight with a fresh perspective and a new narrative to consider.
38. Host an apéro. An elevated happy hour, if you will (but just as easy). Learn everything about practicing the French art of the apéro.
39. Do a face mask. Because it feels good! Plus, it’s a great way to ground yourself in mindfulness and kick back while you watch a show or read. Shop our favorite hydrating face masks.
40. Own your ambition. Despite having a long-standing writing practice, it took me years before I finally felt comfortable calling myself a writer. But here’s the thing, (and I’m about to get technical on you): the definition of a writer? Someone who writes. The definition of a painter? Someone who paints. Whether it’s a hobby or a career, start practicing and getting comfortable with owning what you do. And always, always, always give yourself the credit you deserve.
41. Burn the candles. Yes—even the nice ones! I find it fascinating how many of us are hesitant to use the things that’ll bring us joy. When I write, read, and spend a little time indoors (even during the daytime), I’ll let a lit candle contribute to the ambiance. This same principle applies to everything else you reserve for special occasions. Break out the nice dishes. Fall in love with the way you look in your favorite dress. Repeat.
42. Wear actual pajamas. While this isn’t true for everyone, I’ve certainly been guilty about going to bed in a pair of leggings, sweatpants, or athletic shorts. I know, kinda cringe. But I’ve since seen the light and learned to take my bedtime routine seriously. Nowadays, I love changing into soft silk sets or linen pajamas. Nightgowns are even better.
43. Write letters. I keep a stack of my favorite, beautiful stationery in my bedroom and frequently pull out cards to send to friends and family whenever I’m thinking of them. Not only is the act of letter writing a slow-living delight, but the joy your recipient will feel when getting their mail is unmatched.
44. Embrace the essence of cottagecore. The aesthetic and lifestyle might just be the ultimate way to romanticize your life.
45. Use your favorite mug. I think we’re all guilty of hoarding far more coffee mugs than we need. Pick your favorite and make sure it’s clean nearly every day of the week. It’s a simple way to brighten up your morning.
46. Surround yourself with plants. It’s science-backed and personally proven: keeping plants in your home is an inspiring way to stay connected to nature, boost your mood, and purify the air in your home. Plants are a delight to take care of, making you feel responsible for something outside of yourself. Browse our recommendations for the best beginner plants and the best plants for pet owners.
47. Practice positive affirmations. I know you’ve heard this one before and I can say with certainty that you’ve probably rolled your eyes at the advice in the past. And though it might sound cheesy, the practice has become one of my favorite forms of self-care. These are our favorite positive affirmations for women.
48. Shop your closet. You don’t need an entirely new wardrobe to find inspiration in your everyday outfits. While you’re completing your closet clean-out (see tip above), pick out a few pieces you haven’t worn in a while and look for new ways to incorporate them into your daily uniform.
49. Surround yourself with things that make you smile. It can be a picture of your cats, a trinket you picked up from your last trip, or even an inspiring quote you pin up at your desk. Doing so helps you get in the habit of looking up every so often and expressing gratitude for all the good in your life.
50. Cozy up your home. Practicing hygge is the ultimate way to romanticize your life. Drape a blanket over your favorite chair as an invitation to cozy up. Keep the candles lit throughout the day. Play music that makes you happy. It’s not just a trend—it’s a mood-boosting lifestyle.
This post was originally published on February 28, 2022, and has since been updated.