Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Learning to Date Yourself

This past weekend the world was swept up in love for Valentine's Day!

I'm a pretty lucky lady. The mister is my Prince Charming (even when he's annoying me from my nose to my toes, I love him to pieces). While love is important, and I wouldn't trade him for the world, lately I've been taking some time to date myself.

Because, ultimately, a girl needs to wield her own happiness.

This all started from a point of stress; lots of work stuff, lots of family stuff, lots of general life stuff... I needed to start doing more to take care of myself.

And so project "Date Myself" began.

Dating yourself is really important. Mentally, emotionally, psychically; whatever you need to feel like your best self and unwind is vital. While this approach is different for everyone, here's what I've been doing lately to Date Myself:

1) Reading

I've recently started reading veraciously. I have about 4 different books on the go right now. Cheesy, educational, funny, soul searching. Depending on how I'm feeling I pick a different one up. 

It's been so great, I'm letting myself get lost in my books, learning, laughing and sighing along with sappy moments. It's emotionally healing in a way that is hard to describe; there is nothing better than a good book, except for LOTS of good books.

2) Bi Weekly Manicures

This happened by mistake. I had a particularly bad week in mid January with some health-related scares (plural.)

That Friday after work, I decided I needed to just do something to relax for an hour, so I booked a last minute manicure. I was about half way through, enjoying the spa atmosphere and sipping my latte, when I realized there is no reason for me NOT to do this every other week.

My manicurist is great, it only costs me $20, and I get to just relax and feel pampered for an hour. I'm pretty good with not spending money (which I'll talk more about in #4) so saving less than $2 a day so I can have a completely relaxing hour every two weeks seems like a no brainier to me.

And then on the alternate Friday? I do my nails myself at home! Usually after...

3) Bubble Baths

... a bubble bath! Is there anything more relaxing then sinking into a tub for an hour? Grab a book, some water, tea or wine, and just soak away your troubles.

Sometimes I'll watch a movie on my iPad, or throw on some tunes. Most often I light some candles and listen to this Soft Rain and Morning Birds track on YouTube. Then I just let my mind drift away to the woods and my troubles melt away.

Follow it up with a good moisturizer routine and a plushy robe, and you'll be feeling like a million bucks.

4) Having Breakfast Out

Like I said in #2, I don't spend a lot of money on non-essentials (other than the occasional shoe shopping splurge, but I'm only human).

I eat home made breakfast, lunch and dinner almost every day. Kris and I don't eat out more than once a week (and not even that often), and I try to keep my weakness for brie cheese in check at the grocery store.

But, since I'm dating myself, sometimes I need a treat. So every other Friday (opposite manicure day) I go to Starbucks on the way to work and get a cappuccino and a breakfast sandwich.

This is two fold: I get a delicious breakfast that I don't have to make AND I generally get to work earlier, which is great because I'm WAY more effective in the morning and that puts me in a great mood. Win-Win!

5) Working Out

Working out has always been important to me, but I often find myself hurrying out of the gym to get home to complete some kind of domestic task. Or I'll find myself skipping it all together because I'm tired, frustrated after the work day, or just plain don't want to go.

Here's the thing: If I actually GET there, I love it. I LOVE it. Spending an hour or so away from my phone while focused on getting stronger and faster; mentally 100% on task rather than distracted by any number of things. The gym is more therapeutic than time on the couch in front of the TV.

So I've been trying to go at least 5 or 6 times a week for at least 45 minutes.

Reminding myself that dinner can be pushed back 30 minutes, that plans with friends can be made later, that binge watching  Netflix is less important, helps put my needs into the forefront of my mind. Which is what Dating Myself is really all about.

How do you date yourself? Do you take enough time to put yourself first every now and then? Let me know!

Remember, love yourself: happiness with others will follow!