As the cooler weather sets in, devoting time to our well-being is going to be super beneficial for our mental health. If you’re looking to up your self-care game this Autumn, it’s time to start wining and dining yourself.
Before I started taking myself out on dates, I’ll admit, I’d been letting those pesky, anxiety-fuelled thoughts hold me back for too long. As a true introvert at heart, I’ve always valued my alone time. But dates were different. Because surely I’d look a little lost at the cinema, surrounded by the couples and groups of teenagers. And eating a sit-down meal by myself sounded uncomfortable unless I was planning on staring at my phone the whole time for company.
The first time I indulged in a solo date was in France. I was studying at university and had started pushing myself into various solo activities to improve my language skills and escape the dreaded Comfort Zone. I read my book as I waited for my lunch, enjoyed my galette, (a tasty French savoury pancake), and then I realised; literally nobody was giving a second thought to me and my aloneness. It’s really a humbling realisation.
And so, after more solo dates – art galleries, coffee & cake in Waterstones, veggie brunches in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, I soon learnt there is so much joy and satisfaction in enjoying these things by yourself. Firstly, it does wonders for your main character complex. Look at you! Looking all hot and mysterious in your local indie café, a Virginia Woolf novel in hand. Plus, dating yourself is a great exercise for self-love, trying new things and reconnecting with your own hobbies and desires. Whether living your best single life or blissfully loved up, learning the skill of making yourself happy is priceless. And taking yourself out is a wonderful confidence and self-esteem builder, too.
Your date could be anything you want it to be, and that’s the beauty of it. Be as selfish as you wish when choosing a film at the cinema. Take your AirPods and a dreamy playlist to your local art gallery and romanticise the whole thing. If a new exhibition has caught your eye but your partner isn’t into museums, go along anyway! Or if being pampered is your thing, treat yourself to a fresh set of acrylics and a Pornstar Martini afterwards. (I promise – nobody will bat an eyelid.)
I hope you enjoy some well-deserved you-time ❤
Image courtesy of Wyron A