Self-care is all I hear about nowadays. I thought I was doing it accordingly until I realized it started to feel like everything else on my To-Do List. Then it got lost in the day-to-day. Once I was feeling good and burned out, I started to think about self-care again. What is it? How do I set aside enough time for it? What should I do during this self-care? And what’s the difference between self-care and hiding in the bathroom with a book and/or a snack?
Well thanks to my husband forcing me to have alone time, I discovered solo dates!
At first, I didn’t know what to do. I grew increasingly annoyed trying to make a plan. Then I remembered seeing a trailer for The Photograph. I knew hubby didn’t want to see it so I decided I’d go see it by myself. Normally I’m not a romantic movie kind of person but this looked interesting and I liked both actors. On Saturday, I got dressed and ran out the house like a little kid leaving on the last day of school before summer vacation (do they still have that?).
I decided to treat my city as a day trip. I took pictures as I normally would while in a new city. I intended on taking pictures of my movie ticket, food and beverage as well as of myself but I was too busy enjoying myself and only took pictures afterwards. The movie theater only had six other people and they were all couples. Everyone was spread out so I was in the row by myself which felt like having a giant home movie room. The movie was good and I’d recommend it if you want a romantic movie that doesn’t feel too cheesy or painful to watch. Next on my solo day trip was exploring the city; yes still my own city. I Googled nearby introvert friendly places but nothing seemed to catch my attention. I drove around aimlessly until it hit me. The LIBRARY!! It was quiet, introvert friendly and best of all free. I looked for the book I started reading during our cruise; it came from the cruise ship library. Once I got a new library card and asked some questions, I ordered the book and looked for two more. With books in hand and renewed energy, I went to a local chain restaurant, ate then headed home.
My second solo date was easier to plan and a little fancier. I knew I’d be going to an early movie because the ticket is cheaper and the theater is usually 90% empty. I got slightly dressed up, threw my stuff into my purse (no diaper bag for me) and left. I was running late so still no pictures before the movie. This time The Call of the Wild was my movie of choice. It was better than expected and focused on the dog so for me it was perfect. Since I skipped breakfast and popcorn doesn’t fill me up, I decided to go eat. I continued the tourist theme and looked for small independent looking places to go. The first was a restaurant I wanted to go to for a while but they didn’t have any parking available. I defaulted to a small coffee shop instead.
Espresso Metro is the cafe I ended up at. I’d driven by it many times before but never stopped as I was usually looking for something. This time I decided it would be my last stop on my solo date. I went in, told the barista it was my first time there. She recommended food (chicken tamale) and a beverage (custom latte) based on my preferences. The place was quiet but not empty like the theater. I took out my book and began reading. After a few minutes, which turned out to actually be over an hour, I noticed the customers coming and going. It had a pleasant buzz of noise but not too much that I couldn’t ignore. I continued reading until I wanted another drink. This is when I realized the actual time elapsed was a few hours so I concluded it was only right to make another purchase.
I purchased a chai and made small talk with the new barista as the previous one was done for the day. We chatted, I picked up my drink, went back to my table and continued reading. After another hour, I decided to head home. Upon my return, we were able to go out to dinner with just the two of us so it turned into a date night. Dinner and hanging out was the perfect way to end my solo date.
My solo self-care dates won’t always be the same but for now leaving the house with a book, phone charger and an explorers mindset has worked out great<3