Self date?? That's probably your first thought and the second might be 'corny'. Wouldn't blame your thoughts specially in the pop culture world that we live in--always reaching to meet the expectations of others and be in that continuous need to be surrounded by others. Highschool groupies anyone? Although it is healthy to have a sense of belonging, it is also healthy to have a sense of self independence making the concept of self-dating go beyond what might be perceived as corny or indulging the self at some spa(which seems to be one of the only times 'approved' by society to be as alone time). A self-date digs into the self-dependency which will vary depending where in the world you live and your life circumstances. Yes, it might seem easy you say, but the struggle is very real--the many dependent and independent roles a women plays in her life have taken the last 100 years at least to change in many urban areas in the U.S. Although, we are not there yet, the woman role has balanced somewhat from being primarily the homemaker in the 1950's to now excelling in her studies and business. But, we know the truth of the matter is that we still have a way to go and that within American subcultures, the women still is fighting for her share of rights. We, women learn independence in different ways, sometimes it is taught by our parents, sometimes it's about survival and sometimes it's innate, but whichever way, it does a character good!
So, what does self-dependency and/or independence have to do with a self date? Well, having self-time visually conceptualizes in an actual time and place and celebrates the independence and confidence of your own skin! A very important characteristic, we would say. It also reinforces our own strengths, accomplishments, helps work on our weaknesses among some. It can be a way of building a firm you by knowing who you are, being comfortable alone and with company--the wind can blow and you won't fall, maybe just sway. Just like we spend time at a spa to rejuvenate the body and maintain it, a set aside time for the self that includes other activities can help in rejuvenating our character and maintaining a healthy mind because we are taking time out of the crowd to center ourselves. We personally believe that the better we know ourselves, the more grounding decisions we can make.
So, what do you do on a self-date? Well, for starters, the sky is the limit and the key and result will vary on how well you know yourself! By the way, it is also a good way to find out how you like your eggs(get to know yourself)--to avoid a 'Runaway Bride' moment. Some of us are already on top of who we are, which can mean exploring new challenging interests within our lifestyle that reinforce or explore new parts of ourselves. You will also notice how mind-clearing it can be too. Yes, at the beginning for some, it might be awkward to eat out alone(again, seems the only 'approved' time for that is during lunch) It also means being committed and consistent to set time aside for yourself. It really digs into the question of: what do I want to do for myself today? What activities identify me? What activities would build on my character. Some self-dates might be as simple as trying out a pottery class, making yourself a special dinner to making a full on day of spiritual fulfillment acts. Here are some more thoughts and suggestions:
1. Make your intention that this alone time is to do something beneficial and rewarding to your character.
2. If you have a dependency problem(you need someone to hold your hand to everything you do) You need to face it, train yourself and start lessening your dependency slowly by doing things on your own.
3. Plan ahead! Most of us have other people depending on us like a husband, parents, and children. You can plan an all day or just a few hours. Whatever your schedule allows. Not only does this make time for yourself but also indirectly teaches your loved ones to make time for themselves too. Hopefully!
4. If your self-date includes just trying to relax from the stresses of our human counterparts or your environment--this in itself takes some training. One way to learn to relax is to chase out thoughts once your 'self' time begins.
5. Just as you would put your cell phone away in a date with other people, respect your self time and minimize to maybe just a one capture of the moment, but avoid during this time resolving issues or talking with others on the phone or text. Otherwise, it sort of just counteracts the concept. This time is to center yourself.
6. Remember self time is beyond doing pleasurable things, it is about recognizing who you are inside with activities you identify with, but of course, they should be at the same time fun.
7. If you are just starting on this self time path, one way is to make a list of the things you always wanted to do. Keep the guideline to be something that can benefit you internally.
8. Remember, the key is consistency.
These are opinionated suggestions from experience in life. Have a happy #selfdate!
Written by Mariana Aguilera,
Editor + Founder The Demureist
Small Business Consultant
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"...creating my world on my terms."