I’m sure it’s not news to anyone that our current media landscape perpetuates an epidemic of toxic positivity/wellness culture. Listen to Mood Ring by Lorde; you’ll get the idea. So I want to be clear in saying that I am not trying to encourage blatant denial or maladaptive daydreaming tendencies with this post. However, I want to make the point that almost every problem in anyone’s life is a matter of perspective, and most of us can take control of our own narrative and change it for the better. As you can guess from the title, my go-to method of doing this is by romanticising every little thing in my life.
There are plenty of ways to practice optimism, gratitude and mindfulness, but if we’re honest, most of those methods are boring and/or commercialised. I don’t love the idea of journaling – ironic since you’re reading this piece on my blog, I know, but it’s just never been my thing. Luckily, I’ve found some tricks and methods that are less boring but bring me the same benefits.
Romanticising little random things in your life is a fun way to produce positive thoughts and actions and deal with some of the more negative things. In a world overrun with creative content, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t view your life as some gorgeous colourful movie scene. Obviously, regarding photography, I have trained my brain to focus on whatever looks good or interesting, and I’m automatically looking for capturable moments. At some point, I started carrying that energy through my daily life, camera in hand or otherwise.
I make my little ‘weekly reel’ on a Saturday or Sunday, where I basically just compile all of the videos I took throughout the week and post them. It’s a rewarding process in more than one way. It reminds me to look out for moments that make me happy throughout my week. It also acts as a reassuring little recap when I get to the end of the week feeling like I’ve done nothing exciting or productive. It’s also just fun.
I think social media and Instagram especially get some criticism for being an unrealistic representation of life. Unless you’re some huge celebrity or influencer, I doubt the validity of that statement. I think there are wonderful moments in life that go entirely unappreciated a lot of the time.
If there’s a chore or task that I don’t want to do, I wind up having to trick myself into thinking that it’s fun. If I’m cleaning, doing my groceries, or washing, I’ve got to make it seem fun and special. Usually, a decent playlist, someone to talk to, or some sort of reward does the job. Pretending it’s some exciting moment in my life is a great backup plan. This was actually more achievable during lockdown because grocery shopping was possibly my only outing of the week.
This could be my Venusian influence coming through, but I think that even inconvenience can be pretty. Are you stuck in traffic? What an excellent opportunity to develop patience and stare longingly into the distance. You’re at the bus stop? You’re the most mysterious and cool person at the bus stop. Sick? Imagine the tissue-build up montage. Sad? Put some dramatic music on and let it out. Art imitates life which is excellent because it’s actually very achievable to act like it’s all a movie.
There’s this little trick to stop yourself procrastinating that I love. Say you have an essay due at 10 pm Sunday – you’ve known about it for three weeks, but you haven’t brought yourself to begin writing because you hate the topic. Familiar, right? Set up your phone and film yourself doing it. Not only does it keep you off your phone, but the idea that you are being perceived keeps you on task. It’s really the same energy – if you’re able to picture yourself and your life from an adoring outside perspective – the way you’d view a dear friend or significant other – everything is more enticing.
I’ve seen this mindset slowly creep into social media settings. The idea is that if you mess up, that’s okay; it’s “for the plot” or “character development”. You’re in your “garlic bread era”, your “drunk aunt era”, your “villain era”. Every part of your life and your personality can be imagined as some form of artful content. Whether or not that’s healthy for us – I don’t know. What i do know is it’s fun, and it helps me do my washing.
Featured Image: Head in the clouds by Jessica Patel