5 ideas for self-dates and why to do it
I’ll get straight to the point: go on weekly dates with yourself. When I say date, I don’t mean cleaning your space, reading an article or a few pages from a book you’ve started 3 months ago, taking a shower, or a nap. I mention this because I’ve often seen daily activities listed as time spent with yourself only because you do them alone.
But not any activity that you do alone is time spent with yourself. While we are just one entity, our thoughts are split as if we are living with at least 2 personalities in our head: the mean one and the distracted one. Using chores as a way to ground yourself and listen to your mind is great, but how many of us actually treat them like this? We usually rush to take them off the task list.
I’ve been going on dates with myself for a long while, but I never called them dates, for me, it was a needed practice in order to feel good. I had circumstances that helped me do this such as living in a new country where I didn’t have so many social engagements as home and a lot to explore. But this can be done anywhere with a bit of planning. I’ve heard more and more often about dating yourself from psychologists to coaches, and I’ve realized I was already doing it but not so often as I should. I’ve committed to a short date with myself every week now.
A date with yourself should be treated like you would treat a date with your partner or friend. It really doesn’t matter if you have a significant other or not, this is for everyone. It can be 10 mins or a few hours. If you are totally new to this idea I’d start with 10–15 mins.
Ok, now why do this?
When was the last time you truly listen to yourself? Spending intentional time alone helps you get to know yourself better. All kinds of thoughts will arise, some that probably you weren’t even aware of. You will unlock your creativity as well. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself an artist or not, we all have creativity in ourselves that we can use. This self-date practice is also recommended by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way as a first step to getting in touch with your creative flow.
By going regularly on these dates you will become more present as you will have to notice your surroundings, your feelings and thoughts patters. The more you do it the more in touch with yourself you will be. Since you are always going to live with yourself you’d better start to nourish that relationship and know yourself.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to dates so there is no fixed formula. But, as I mentioned already chores and covering your basic needs, are not dates. Start by allocating 10 to 20 mins for your date once a week. Ideally, you will get out of the house the same as you would do on a first date with someone new (after a few dates you may have dates at home too). You don’t need to explain to others what are you doing. This is your sacred time and it’s a nice feeling to do something only you know what its real meaning is. You create a promise with yourself in this way. You can simply say you have something to do without other explanations. After a while you might want to share with close people this practice because of its benefits, don’t take it personally if they won’t jump on it or if they judge this, they need to discover it by themselves. If you are starting to feel selfish for doing this, that’s old patterns in motion. You are not selfish for spending time with yourself, no matter what anyone tries to make you think. If you are not caring for your inner self, you won’t be able to care for others properly.
Here are some self-date ideas:
Keep in mind that alone time does mean lonely, far from it. As you practice getting comfortable with yourself and knowing yourself you will see that you are more likely to feel lonely when spending time with the wrong people rather than by yourself.