Mama, you should date yourself. No, I’m not talking about wearing big mall bangs or whatever fashion fad you were once a slave to. I’m talking about taking yourself out on a date. Just you. Alone. By yourself.
Does the idea excite you or do you feel intimidated by the idea? Taking yourself out on a routine date can be one of the best forms of self care that you can participate in. A time to just get away from kids and spouses and all the people to be alone with your thoughts is a great way to get to know yourself. And what better time than Valentine’s Day to nurture your most important relationship; the one you have with yourself!
Taking yourself out on a date is an intentional practice.
It probably requires more intentionality than going out on a date with your sweetie pie. But it’s definitely worth the effort. Just like all relationships early on, it might be a little bit awkward dating yourself at first. Where will you go? What will you do the whole time you’re out? Will people think you’re weird? My advice is to start off slow.
First Date: Go for a walk or a hike by yourself. Don’t listen to music or podcasts. Just be with your thoughts and observations with the world around you. Stop for coffee on the way home and actually park the car, go inside to order and sit there while you caffeinate. Bring a journal and jot down some thoughts and/or observations that came to you on your walk.
Second Date: Treat yourself to dinner and sit at a table. It’s a bigger commitment to yourself than sitting at the bar. At the bar you’d likely strike up a conversation with somebody but you’d just be ignoring yourself. At a table, you have to focus on YOU. Leave your phone in your purse. Order dessert. After dinner, find a cozy spot to sit and jot down your experience in your journal.
Third Date: Things are getting serious. Ready for the big step? Go to a movie by yourself. GASP! I know. It will be ok. Maybe you start off by grabbing a drink first to ease into it. The good news is that you can see whatever movie you like! It doesn’t have to be animated or have an explosion. You can sit in the dark and eat popcorn and candy and not have to get up 100 times to take somebody to the potty. A solo movie date is very serious business. Nobody thinks you’re weird. They actually envy you. You’re the coolest person in the theater.
Fourth Date: The romantic overnight date in a fantasy suite. Sorry, I watch too much of The Bachelor. But seriously, go on a staycation overnight and get away with just yourself. A friend of mine and mama of two makes it a ritual once a year to take a private wellness retreat at the Franciscan Renewal Center and comes back changed every single time. Of course there are so many incredible resorts in the valley or a relatively short drive away. The idea is to just get away from all the busyness and chaos of daily life. Even if it’s only for 24 hours. Use this time to meditate, pray, journal, knit, read, swim, practice yoga, eat, sleep, watch Netflix, or whatever it is that is needed to refresh your soul.
Fifth Date: This one is big! Introduce your family! What have you learned about yourself that you want to share with your family? I bet after taking this time to date yourself, you’re able to see your family with a whole new set of grateful eyes. And I would also bet that they see you differently, too. A happy and relaxed mama makes for happy and relaxed families.