6 Ways to Spark More Joy in the Kitchen When You’ve Grown Tired of the Same Ol’ Same

published Jan 22, 2023
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I spend hours in the kitchen every day, just like many of us do. While I do enjoy making food for my family and I definitely appreciate my kitchen, the prep, cleanup, and never-done organizing and cleaning that happen in the kitchen can sometimes feel like drudgery. 

As much as I try to maintain a positive perspective (this is one way to show love to my family, I’ll be so happy in the morning to have a freshly vacuumed kitchen, thank goodness for dishwashers!), being in the same room so often and for such long stretches of time can also get tiresome. 

One antidote to this is to make the kitchen a place you enjoy being in. Doing things that bring delight or that make the room more pleasant can go a long way in how you feel while you’re washing dishes or dicing onions. It’s the little things, right? And you deserve them. 

Here are a few fun ways to make yourself happy in the kitchen.

1. Bring music into the space.

Nothing sets a mood quite like your favorite sounds filling the room. Tell Alexa (or Google) to play whatever you’re in the mood to hear and let yourself get lost in the music. It’s scientifically proven that singing along to your favorite songs can make you happier, so create a special playlist with your top picks to help you find your kitchen groove. You might just forget where you are, and what you have to do. Try it!

2. Listen to a new audiobook or podcast.

Sometimes when I’m in the kitchen cooking or cleaning up on my own, I feel a little lonely, especially when it’s too quiet. Exploring a new podcast or diving back in to an audiobook that I’m really into helps me to get lost in a good story or docuseries and completely lose track of time. I also feel a bit more productive, as I’m checking two things off my list, instead of just one.

3. Light those candles.

When I know I’m going to be in the kitchen for a while, I light my candles early. Sometimes we can be guilty of buying pretty candles just to look at, and forgetting to light them and enjoy. The warm glow always makes me feel cozy and good inside and the fragrances make my senses happy too. Talk about an instant mood lifter.

4. Keep it clean-ish.

Stepping into a dirty kitchen to make dinner, after a very long day, does not foster the best feelings. Who wants to kick off their evening routine feeling uninspired? Consider making some adjustments in the habits and routines around your kitchen maintenance so that it’s regularly reset and ready for you to work with a clean slate. To me, a nightly kitchen shut-down routine is most important and really goes a long way. Of course, it doesn’t have to be perfect to start, but a neater, cleaner kitchen is a great starting point to spark joy.

5. Encourage yourself with uplifting decor.

Sometimes just staring at the same four walls and corners can make time feel like it’s slowing down. Consider finding little ways to decorate with quotes or decor element that inspire you. The right art piece or motivational mantra displayed where we can enjoy it can sometimes instantly make us smile or evoke fond memories. (I have a friend who taped a handwritten note of Scripture that speaks to them right on the window above their sink.) I myself have a small carved decor piece resting on the window ledge that says “Be still.” It reminds me to breathe, rest and be present in the moment. Now, remember not to go too overboard here or you could create new clutter in your space, which could cause more negative emotions, like anxiety or stress.

6. Bring the outside in.

Need an immediate mood boost to help your kitchen feel more refreshed? Fresh cut flowers from your local grocery store or nursery will help, every time. Grab your favorite vase — or treat yourself to a new one — and pick them up on your next store run. (I like alstroemeria because they tend to last a long time.) Depending on the season, you can also snip some lush greens and blooms from your own yard too.