Hanging with friends or family, enjoying a romantic evening, and bonding with coworkers after hours are all fine ways to fill your leisure time. But maybe your loved ones are busy or live far away. Or perhaps you’re extremely single, or, frankly, not in the mood to talk to anyone and craving some “me time.”

No matter why you’re looking to have fun by yourself, the options for solo date ideas may seem pretty limited. Aside from rotting in bed or reserving a table at your favorite restaurant (which might sound awkward), what else can you really do?

First, you might need a perspective shift. Many of us are turned off by the idea of venturing out on our own and fear that we’ll look (and feel) like, well, unlovable losers. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, dating yourself can actually help you become a more well-rounded, confident, and attractive person, Cassie Ekstrom, LCSW-C, a therapist at Baltimore Therapy Group specializing in anxiety and life transitions, tells SELF.

“Spending time alone is one of the best ways to really figure out our true selves, because other people’s thoughts or opinions won’t influence us,” Ekstrom says. In other words, you can connect with what you really want to do—or see, or eat, or experience. And solitary excursions are also ”a great way to decompress and become more independent when it comes to satisfying your needs and managing your emotions,” she adds. (You know, since you won’t be relying on another person to make you feel happier, say, or less bored.)

Ultimately, the best way to overcome any negative misconceptions you have about solo dating is to tune out those doubts and give it a try. And if you’re not sure what to do, exactly, or how to actually enjoy yourself (yes, even without someone else to talk to), we’ve got eight beginner-friendly activities to help you go it alone—without feeling lonely.

Go on a nature walk or scenic hike.

For those of you who feel self-conscious about being by yourself in public settings, taking a casual daytime stroll on a trail near you or embarking on a (safe) outdoor hike is a great place to start, Ekstrom says. Not only can the novelty of a change of scenery inspire you to appreciate the sights and sounds around you, but you probably won’t feel as on display out in nature as you might at, say, a packed taqueria. Plus, going at your own pace can be liberating—you don’t have to worry about matching your much more athletic pal’s pace, for example. (Another perk: Research shows that any form of physical exercise can help with stress relief, as can spending time outdoors.)

If you’re thinking that trotting along in silence sounds kind of, um, boring, know that tuning into your senses can make being one with nature more enjoyable—this grounding technique can help with that, by getting you out of your head and into the moment. But if mindfulness exercises don’t speak to you, consider diving into an audiobook as you explore a park, say, or listening to your current favorite workout playlist to enhance your experience. That way, you’re not just alone with your (anxious) thoughts.

If seeing a movie in a packed theater intimidates you, try a matinee.

We fully support solo movie dates at any hour, but the thought of sitting all by yourself at a Friday night showing of Barbie, surrounded by tons of gal pals and hand-holding couples, might make you cringe. In that case, a matinee is probably more your scene.

Source link

You May Also Like

How returning to competitive sport after 25 years taught me resilience – and the joy of new friends

When I was 17, my rowing coach announced that taking a day…

Face your anger and let it out. It’s the only way to stay healthy

I have wanted to write about anger for some time. As I…

How I found bliss cycling along the coast of Estonia

I was barely out of Pärnu on the first morning when it…

My former friends and housemates are ghosting or ignoring me | Ask Annalisa Barbieri

Recently, I have become very upset about past colleagues who were once…