How to Find Joy in Your Day-to-Day Routine (Really!)

It’s time to dial up your optimism meter.

By Brandy Joy Smith
Brandy Joy Smith cooking_full body detox

On a recent coaching call with one of my clients, we were discussing the seemingly endless list of things she “has” to do as a motherMost of us can relate. It sometimes feels like our to-do list is never complete: the laundry pile is always stacking up, and every day brings a dishwasher full of dishes I need to unload. And often, these are the tasks that go unnoticed by your partner or children and leave you feeling drained. Is it me, or does it seem like everyone thinks some fairy came through and magically made all those dishes and dirty clothes disappear? I often end my day rushing through my evening routine so that I can get into bed quicker. 

I asked my client what it might look like for her if we reframed that narrative. Her answer?

“I’m going to choose to enjoy the mundane task of everyday life.”

I loved that! What a perfect and straightforward idea. Let’s face it; these tasks aren’t going anywhere, so how can we make them more enjoyable? From brushing your teeth to tackling the laundry, here are my ideas for finding joy in the mundane tasks of life.

photo by Zachary Gray

Turn Your Shower Into a Spa

Recently my sister-in-law gifted me eucalyptus to hang in my shower (so simple but so rewarding.) By hanging eucalyptus in the shower, my bathroom smells terrific and gives me a full spa-moment! Plus, eucalyptus is perfect for alleviating any winter colds and sniffles you may be fighting. Build your own “self-care shower” routine with a subscription of fresh eucalyptus right to your door monthly and some herbaceous shampoos and conditioners. My five-minute shower routine is now 15 minutes, and they are giving me the spa vibes I’ve been missing.

Incorporate Breathwork

Lately, I’ve been trying to get into breathwork. I’ve noticed the immediate effects it can have on my mood and fighting anxiety. Recently, before I put my body moisturizer on, I’ve been rubbing my body oil in my hands, cupping them over my face and mouth, and taking a deep breath. I’m obsessed with the smell of Klur’s body oil. It creates a small moment for me to recenter and gives me an instant recharge.

camille's bedside table beauty products

Make the Bed—Together!

Making the bed was one of my most dreaded tasks. But, ever since we got a king-size bed, I’ve tasked my husband to help me make it. It’s turned into an adorable moment for us to catch up, talk about what we have coming up for the day, and connect quickly. We also had our interior designer and stylist Jessie Tate show us how she styles out our bed. Now we go all out to recreate the look. You can use Pinterest too. It makes the bed look super dreamy, and getting into it even better.

Ally Walsh, Canyon Coffee in the kitchen in Santa Monica

Upgrade Your Morning Coffee

Since we’re not going out for our favorite latte anymore, we splurged on an espresso maker so we can treat ourselves to fancy coffee at home. I even steam a little milk for my son for breakfast. We “cheers” to the morning, off to a good start, fully caffeinated. Another cute hack is giving yourself a coffee shop experience by trying out stencils for your latte. They bring a smile to your face and make you feel extra indulgent. If you’re not an espresso machine person, try a pour-over or french press! Turn the task into a ritual, and I promise you will enjoy it so much more.

Rethink Your Approach

Oh, the dreaded mound of laundry. Folding the laundry is now my time to listen to my favorite podcast or book on tape. I close the laundry room door (yes, I’m hiding from my family) and put my earphones in. Right now I love Unlocking Us by Brene Brown.  

Ally Walsh at home with incense, how to take up space for yourself

Turn Your Workout Into an Experience

Midday is when I try to get my work-out in. I’m always looking for things to keep me inspired and motivated to enjoy my workout, from a new piece of workout clothes to a pretty incense burner Palo Santo to burn after the session. (It’s honestly one of my new must-haves.) I’ve always been an essential oil woman during my stretching routine, but this Palo Santo is seriously changing the energy in our home.

jen pinkston home tour

Make Midweek Cooking Fun

I’ll admit I’m not the cook in my house, and I know how daunting figuring out what to make the family every night must be like. I wanted to try and improve this task for my husband. Back when we were dating, we used to crack open a bottle of wine, and I would hang out with him in the kitchen. We would listen to music, sip wine, and hang. Now that we have two kids, it’s not as romantic, but we still try to ensure that making dinner is a blast.

Now, all the phones go away, and the kids and I join him in the kitchen. We play music, which always turns into a dance party (if you follow me on Insta, you may have seen one of these epic family dance sessions). It’s a lot of laughs and an excellent way for the kids to burn energy before starting the wind-down process. 

how to organize your bathroom drawers and cabinets

Sit Down to Brush Your Teeth

Once the kids go down and I get to start my routine, I’ve made an effort to enjoy my steps before bed. I got an electric toothbrush that has a timer so I can force myself to take two mins and get a solid brushing in. Instead of standing, I sit in my vanity chair; the ledge of the tub works too. It’s so luxurious to just take a second to sit. Then I apply my teeth whitening system and give it time to dry—I’m obsessed with the results I’ve been getting from Vardis.

camille styles skincare routine bathroom

Take an Extra 5 Minutes for Yourself

After I wash my face, I try to give myself one more spa moment by brushing my hair and doing a mini scalp treatment. I upgraded this process with a little splurge on a fancy brush from Crown Affair and oil from My Ceremonia.

Now that you’ve heard so many of my ideas for making everyday mundane tasks more enjoyable, I want to hear from you! Comment below, how are you making the most of your mundane tasks?