You don’t have to be single to want some alone time. Whether you are dating or in a relationship, you should always take time to take care of yourself. No matter what your relationship status is—single, married, in a relationship, it’s complicated, etc—the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself!
If you’re anything like me, you’re always busy “doing” for everyone else in your life. There’s work and your work responsibilities, maybe you have a work family and work events that happen after hours. So yeah, there’s that. And, well, because you’re a human being and you didn’t just land here out of thin air, you most likely have family obligations—birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, graduations—the list of family obligations can be endless! Now, let’s assume that you also have friends—there’s a whole slew of friendsibilities that come with having pals. Then of course you have your normal day-to-day adult responsibilities of paying bills and taking care of your living space, running erands etc, etc, etc…
Do you see where I’m going with this?
It’s so easy to get into a habit of doing everything for everyone else in your life that you forget to take care of one very important person—YOU! You should pick one day a week, or at least try to start with two days per month, for self-care. And don’t you dare feel guilty about it! Taking time for yourself is a great stress reliever, confidence booster, helps to recharge your internal “batteries” and is good for your overall health.
“But I feel bad telling someone who needs me that I’m busy when really I’m just hanging out by myself.”
I used to feel this way, a LOT! I have this innate instinct to help. Finally, one day, a good friend said to me, “Think of yourself as a bank account—I know it sounds silly, but just listen. Every time you do something for someone else you, or they, are making a withdrawal from the account. Just like with your checking account, if you don’t replenish the funds, there will be nothing left to give.” It made perfect sense when I thought about it that way, but I still had to train myself not to feel guilty for taking time out for myself.
Solo Date Ideas
So, you’ve said screw it and decided to throw caution to the wind and try this self-care thing. Now what? Well, first things first—turn off the cell phone! I know, I know, I’m just as attached to my
appendage cell phone as the next person, but did you know the average person looks at their phone over 100 times per day (according to one study it’s 110-150 times per day)?! Shutting it off for even an hour or two is a huge improvement. Baby steps!
Next step? Try one (and all) of these 10 solo date ideas!
- Have a spa day! This one is my favorite “me-time” activity. Every two weeks I go and get a mani-pedi. For those 2 hours it’s all about me. I relax in the massage chair, listen to the Zen-like music my salon plays in the pedi room and I just enjoy and de-stress. Before everyone jumps up saying, “But that’s girly,” I’ve seen plenty a guy in the salon getting waxed and pedicured, OK?! Don’t knock it until you try it!
- Movie Marathon! This one cost little to no money and can be enjoyed whether you are male or female. Do you have a favorite TV series on DVR that you have been dying to watch? Maybe your significant other likes RomCom (romantic comedies) and you prefer action or thriller. Whatever it is plan a day to just veg and have a tv/movie marathon.
- Take YOURSELF out to dinner! Or it could be breakfast, lunch, or brunch. The point is, take yourself out for a meal, relax and enjoy! I love people watching so I really enjoy taking myself out for lunch and just people watching.
- Coffee and a book! OK, I’m a book geek and I absolutely love book stores, especially used book stores. I also love combining my two favorite things—coffee and books! I can very easy grab a cup of my favorite brew, head to my favorite Downtown used book store and get lost for hours in the sites, smells and pages. Plus, other than the cost of a cup of coffee, it’s a pretty cheap date!
- Take a long drive! I love road trips and driving (most of the time). Why not hit the open road? Here in New England it’s early fall and the leaves are just starting to change color. Think about it—the wind in your hair, fabulous tunes blaring on the radio and the beautiful sites and scenery of the open road.
- Get Outdoors! I know summer is over and for those of us here in the Northeast it means piling on more layers of clothes rather than slathering on the sun tan lotion and SPF. Don’t let the weather stop you from heading outdoors. Nature has healing powers! So go ahead and take a walk in the woods, go for a hike, a walk along the beach one last time (if you live in a cooler climate), or just sit at your local park or green space and absorb the sun and fresh air.
- Take a Class! Maybe there’s a yoga class you’ve been meaning to join or you have always had an interest in cake decorating, but you’ve been “just too busy”. Whatever it is that interests you—fitness, art, music, dance, photography, a foreign language, an adult ed auto mechanics course—do it! Sign up and then go. Doing something that interests you or that you feel makes you better somehow is always an accomplishment—and a confidence booster!
- Get Organized! OK so this one doesn’t sound like it’s a solo date idea or like it has anything to do with self-care, but hear me out. I’m someone who puts off my own to-do list in order to do for others. All of this go, go, go and do, do do leaves my personal space a mess and my personal to-do list grows longer and longer. Things like cleaning out my closet, getting that home improvement project or re-decorating project completed, or making that awesome craft I saw on Pinterest all get pushed aside so that I can do (sometimes) more pressing tasks. I’m a list person and I love being able to physically and visually check things off my to-do list. I have found that taking one day or one weekend per month and focusing on my personal to-do list makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I know, it sounds like work and to some people it is, but to me, and maybe to you, it’s a small sort of accomplishment and that feeling is awesome!
- Explore your City! I’ve lived in Boston for my entire life and there are still places I’ve never been and things I haven’t explored. What better way to spend some alone time than having an adventure right in your own city? Do all of those things that we locals tend to dismiss as “touristy”. You never know what you might find.
- Take Yourself Away! Whether it’s just a day trip, an overnight or a weekend, take yourself on a mini-vacation and recharge your batteries.
All to often we show our friends and families that we care, but we forget to show ourselves. You should be the love of your life, the center of your world, but reality often gets in the way of that. Hopefully these solo date ideas will light a fire under your butt and spark you to indulge in a little self-care (or a lot).