Whatever you like to call them; dates, hang outs, meetups, coffee with a friend, I am a big believer in dates.
They’re an important in any relationship, romantic or otherwise, to bond, get to know and enjoy company. We go on dates when we are looking for romantic partners, we go on dates to coffee with friends to catch up and unwind, and many go on parent/child dates to get some one on one time and create a stronger bond.
But what about you?
In the loud, busy bustle of life, can you honestly say you spend enough time focusing on yourself? Bonding and really getting to know you?
You do dates with everyone else of significance in your life, why not date you?
Taking yourself on a date is one of the ultimate forms of self care, both doing something you enjoy and making an experience out of the time you are spending alone. This isn’t including general self care such as getting a wax (if you’re so inclined), having a shower or doing a skin care routine as, although they are forms of self care they are also basic hygiene that usually blend into a routine.
So here are my 5 Dates to take Yourself on…
Go to the Movies
Choose that awesome new chick flick coming out, or a movie you wouldn’t get the chance to see otherwise, and get to the cinema. There is something about sitting in a dark quiet theatre with your own popcorn your own space. Hey, if you’re not worried about the extra expense go Gold Class! Treat yourself, you deserve it too.
This is one of my favourite suggestions, especially as a mother. Going to the movies by myself means that I get to go and see whatever I want, un-swayed by my husband wanting to see action and superheroes or going to a kids movie. The best part? Aside from the movie playing, cinemas are generally quiet. No one asking for juice, crying or the constant barrage of ‘mummy’.
I recently went to the movies by myself for the first time to see Bad Moms 2 (see what I thought of the film here). I had been excited in the lead up however had also expected it to be lonely but ultimately it was therapeutic. I got to see the sequel to a movie I had wanted to see in Theatres because I didn’t make it a priority to do so and I’m honestly glad I did.
Have Coffee with Yourself
New cafe opened in town? Really feeling a hot coffee but need some you time? Find a seat and relax. Take time to reflect and just be with yourself. Unlike the movies, this one is a little more confronting, there is less to focus on and less cover of darkness. Try to spend some time thinking, really being in the moment. Enjoying the sounds, smells, tastes, sights, and feelings of that very moment. There is no set amount of time, you can be there for as long or as short as you want. Bring along a book, if you’d prefer, just take the time to relax.
The whole idea of this scared me. I was one of the people who would pretend they had some important thing they were doing on their phone or that I was waiting for a friend whenever I was in public alone. But honestly, when you get past the paranoia of people watching and silently judging, it’s a worthy experience. Especially if you can’t get much quiet time at home and your coffee or tea is always cold before you actually get to drink it.
Take a Class
Doing something for yourself is the basis of self-care, and generally make a pretty fun date. Find a class for something you’re interested in, a hobby that you may have always wanted to experience and do the thing! Cooking, art, candle making, yoga, pottery, make up… there are classes for just about every interest out there. This one generally ends with some feeling of accomplishment too, which is always an extra boost.
This I’m still working on, the premise of it is great and there are classes I do want to take but I overwhelm myself with wanting to do so many things that I end up doing nothing.
Spa Day – At home!
If you aren’t necessarily able to leave the house but your stressed out and just need some you time. Take a bath. Put in some nice body wash, get some bubbles going, put on a face mask, some relaxing music, and unwind.
Sometimes easier said than done. Even if I wait until the kids are in bed, I have a pretty loud husband who is pretty vocal when he’s gaming. This of course ruins the experience, so I have to have a talk to him beforehand, husbands are usually better listeners than kids, but it’s the end result of a quiet soak that matters!
Netflix and Actually Chill
Microwave some popcorn, sequester away into your room or anywhere you’re going to be able to get some uninterrupted minutes, even just an episode’s worth. Catch up on that show everyone finished months ago, watch a Hallmark movie (cause as corny as they are some of them are a pretty good watch), or watch that movie your kid heard the F word in last time you tried to watch it and has repeated ever since…
Again, not the easiest to achieve until the kids are down for a nap or down for night, if I want to watch something uninterrupted but it can be done. I generally take the lounge room downstairs, grab some junky snacks that I don’t want my 3-year-old to know about and relax.
BONUS – Take a nap!
You’re not sleeping well at night; the kids are down for their nap or out of the house for a little while. There is nothing wrong with letting the dishes wait, lying down and getting that much needed rest. After all, the better you feel the better you’ll deal with life.
Mummy, wife or neither, whatever roles you fill, treating yourself and taking time to be you is so important for mental wellbeing and general prosperity.
If you are having more serious problems with depressions, anxiety, obsessive compulsive, or stress disorders, talk to your doctor, ask for help because you are important and the help you need is out there.