With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’m sure that we’re all making fun plans. Maybe you’re setting up a hot date, planning to stay home with your cats (hello!), or organizing the most epic girls’ night out. No judgement on what you plans actually are. But I think we should all plan a Valentine’s celebration in one form or another!
I admit that I’m a Valentine’s Day sucker. I don’t see any reason to be a cynic around the holidays. They’re the perfect opportunity for us to break free from the daily grind and have a little fun with life. Plus, I’ll gladly take up any opportunity to show my love and affection for my favorite people!
In my book, Valentine’s Day is definitely not exclusive to celebrating romantic love. It’s a time to appreciate love of friends, family, that barista who always writes encouraging notes on your coffee, and YOU. I mean, if we are celebrating love, self-love definitely counts!
This Valentine’s Week, let’s plan self dates with ourselves. Let’s take a little time to celebrate our self-love. It’s the perfect opportunity to find some me time, practice a little self-indulgence, and love on your beautiful, incredible, and capable self. Self love isn’t selfish; it’s necessary!
Note: Self dates certainly aren’t exclusive to Valentine’s Day. They’re a great practice to implement year round!
Why a Self Date?
I know so many beautiful women who constantly work and take care of other people. You give, give, give until your heart bleeds love. And while it’s an incredible quality to be so generous, it can also be detrimental to your wellbeing if you don’t have boundaries or take care of yourself properly.
You deserve time to yourself. You deserve time to recharge and simply enjoy your own company. And not only do you deserve it, but you actually need it. We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first. Self dates provide the white space that we need to recharge, unwind, and reconnect with who we are.
If you’re not convinced that self love is worth it, I highly recommend my article on why self love is more than just a cliche.
How to Plan the Perfect Self Date
Set a time
Like any date, you need a time meet. Schedule a specific time during the week to have your self date. Maybe you can wake up early on the weekend before the kids wake up, stay out after work on Friday night, or squeeze in an hour elsewhere. This self date will only happen if you prioritize and schedule the time for it.
Decide on a place + activity
Where would you like to go for your date? What you like to do? Maybe you want to pamper yourself with a mani pedi. Perhaps take yourself to that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Or you could go for a hike to immerse yourself in nature. Whatever your activity is, make sure it will refresh you and it’s something that you’ll genuinely love. All that matters is that the activity is something for YOU.
Make any necessary arrangements
If your self date requires any reservations or appointments, be sure to make those ahead of time. You also might need to call a babysitter or ask your family/friends/partner to watch the kids. If you know another mom who needs a self date herself, try trade babysitting nights so that you can both schedule some necessary me time. With some creativity and determination, I fully believe that you can make this happen for you!
Write a goal/affirmation
Before you go on your date, set a goal for yourself and write it as an affirmation. This affirmation will help keep your mind centered, resist distractions, and make the experience more meaningful to you. It will be especially important once you’re on your self date.
How to Have the Perfect Self Date
Ok, this is a bit obvious. But you have to actually show up in order to have your date. Don’t stand yourself up! If something comes up and you need to cancel, reschedule with yourself. Don’t indefinitely put off your date saying you can do it sometime next week. Without scheduled time, it’ll never happen. So show up when you plan or reschedule until you do.
As much as you need to physically show up for you date, you also need to be mentally and emotionally present. If you’re sitting there scrolling through Facebook the whole time or worrying about your grocery shopping for the week (guilty of this 100%), you’re not going to find the experience refreshing and meaningful. I know you certainly wouldn’t do this on a date with someone else. So you should extend the same courtesy to yourself! You deserve it.
This is the time to remember your affirmation and be mindful of the experience. You’ll get so much more meaning from your date if you’re present and thoughtful. If possible, I highly recommend turning your phone off or at the least avoiding social media and texting/calling anyone you don’t have to (emergencies and a few babysitting check-ins are of course an exception).
After you get back from your self-date, reflect on the experience. You might want to write this down (journal it) or simply think about it before you go to bed. But reflection is your chance to digest the experience and extract even more meaning from it.
Maybe you loved the restaurant and would love to take a friend there sometime. Or you just felt totally awkward sitting there alone. That’s ok! Just reflect on why that might be and if there’s something you can do to help with that next time (although I think the more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll get). Maybe you felt like you needed more time and will make sure to adjust for that in the future. Take note of what you liked, didn’t like, what you would change, and ideas for your next date! But you have to reflect if you want to learn from the experience.
After you go on your self date and you’ve had a chance to reflect, spread the self love! Share a photo of your affirmation card or from your self date on Instagram and tag me with @besimplyit and #selfloveisntselfish.
I can’t wait to see the incredible ways you put yourself first. Let’s be a part of the self love revolution together! I know that I’ll be sharing pictures from my self date experience. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for extra self love motivation!