In the dull moments, where life gets repetitive and things are just not exciting, like quarantine right now, it’s easy to wish time away and hope it would all end. However, considering how we would all love for our friends and family to remain safe and healthy, the possibility of a lifted quarantine will remain low for a while. In the mornings of work from home or summer without an internship or classes, life gets boring.
If you want to enjoy these days stuck inside, romanticize your life. The most boring parts of life can be the most beautiful with the right perspective. You and your family all live in the same place but you each experience that place differently everyday. If a friend were to visit you from another country, they would envision your town a little bit differently than you do. Their eyes fill with wonder, drinking in something new. Make a choice to consciously view your life in a mindful lens.
How to romanticize your life
Step 1. Your life is a movie and you are the main character.
When you’re on a long drive, whether it’s a road trip or ride across town, you look out the window and your mind creates different scenarios about your life and the people around you. Internalize some of that energy in quarantine. Wake up and slowly make your bed, taking time to tuck the corners in and fold the comforter perfectly. Rushing in the morning makes you feel hurried and inattentive to your space. As the star of your life, you always want to feel good, and your first feeling can be of accomplishment as soon as you wake up and make your bed.
Step 2. Compartmentalize and look for the quiet corners.
Your life won’t always look like a vintage Polaroid filled with the cleanest, minimalist room. Times are busy and your room might become a mess. There may be dishes in the sink and even your favorite crafting project can end up pieces of scrap paper all across your home. Your life won’t be picture perfect 95% of the time. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t aesthetically pleasing. Your made up bed. Your cup of coffee. Your bookshelf. These are parts of your home that are beautiful. You have a place to rest. You are given nourishment and energy. You gain knowledge and wisdom. When we look at our lives as boring or plain, wishing away parts of our existence, we devalue the parts of our lives that are ultimately joyful, even if they aren’t the first things that come to mind. You may want to travel the whole world, but a trip to your bedroom still has worth. You just have to find the quiet corners that fill you with joy.
Step 3. Notice the world around you.
You are tired of being inside all day, so you step outside for a walk. Put away your phone. Turn off the podcast or the Spotify playlist. Listen to the birds around you. Breathe and feel the way your feet move on the ground below you. If you’re in New York City, you can stop and feel the train roll beneath you. Open your eyes to the flowers blossoming. The greenery above you, reminding you of the changing seasons.
Inside of our brains, we get locked into our own ways of seeing the world, without stepping outside of ourselves and opening up to the ways the world presents itself to us. Be open to what nature has in store. Maybe you’re still inside because instead of sunshine, rain has made itself a new home. Sit by the window and listen as the rain patters down. As the rain finishes, take a smell outside of the beautiful earthy smell it leaves behind. The rain was here for a moment, yet it is not forgotten in the way it helps the plants grow. In your boredom, there is a moment perfect for a mindful look at the world around you.
Step 4. Move slow
The idea of hustle and grind has changed the way we move. Because of technological advances, things move faster. We don’t need to wait for information, we have Google. We don’t need to write a letter, we can text a friend. We don’t need to hire a painter, we have our iPhone camera. The level of patience has disintegrated. Our attention spans grow smaller and smaller with each passing year. When we take time to move throughout our days slowly, we are more likely to see the world around us as romantic. We wake up and make our beds, smiling at its neatness. We go through the process of making tea or coffee, boiling water, adding milk, adding sugar, stirring. We bring our drink of our choice to our lips and swallow, while its sweet taste lingers. Enjoy your life by taking part in simple joys. Move slow so you don’t miss the small moments.
We have the power to change the perspective of our situation. In quarantine, we can be miserable at the lack of control and variation our lives currently possess, or we can use this time to fall in love with simple pleasures and to rest in a slower pace of life. Look at each moment as new, feeling grateful for the breath of air you have to breathe. Your life is special when you take the time to make it so.
What are some simple pleasures you have found in quarantine? What are the ways you romanticize your life?