Three hours of free time have just “fallen” into your lap. What would you do?
This happened to me last weekend and my first thought was, “A movie sounds good, but that’s not happening.” After sitting on the couch for a while reflecting on what I truly need, it came to me. A walk around the lake (I love fish and turtle watching) and a peach/mango smoothie from the local food co-op, yes!
While there’s nothing wrong with going shopping or catching a flick, I challenge you to think about what would really nourish –and sustain you–when you get precious time alone (think a handful of potato chips vs. black beans and rice)?
Most of us are moving so fast we’re disconnected from our true needs and desires. In fact, many mental health professionals believe this “disconnect from self” is the root cause of depression and anxiety for many. While solo dates may feel weird if they’re new to you, they’re ideal opportunities to slow down and reconnect with your essence and what matters most.
The next time you find an unscheduled expanse of alone time, consider the following soul-nurturing ideas.
My five favorite self-care solo dates:
- BEAUTY DATE: Pack a delicious picnic and visit your local botanical, wildflower or sculpture gardens and enjoy a leisurely lunch.
- MOVEMENT DATE: Try a new dance or yoga class (many are outside now), then treat yourself to an exotic fruit smoothie.
- NATURE DATE: Enjoy a dip at a nearby spring-fed pool, river or lake, then put out a blanket for some lazy cloud gazing.
- CULTURE DATE: Explore your local museum or an interesting gallery exhibit, then discover a new ethnic restaurant.
- JOURNALING DATE: Browse your local independent bookstore, pick out a beautiful, inspiring journal and head to a new coffee shop to journal/reflect on what you’re grateful for.
You can find more of my favorite solo dates, exercises for reconnecting with who you are and mini-retreats in my award-winning self-care primer, The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life or check out my TV interview for additional ideas on solo dates. I’d love to hear how it goes!
SEEKING SELF-CARE SUPPORT FOR MAY? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- I’m booking 2021-2022 workshops and presentations now (only a couple of spots left for 2021): Consider hiring me to create an online balanced living experience to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations like Women in Conservation, Merrill Lynch, Women in Technology, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Whether it’s a workshop, keynote or custom retreat via Zoom, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
- Two opportunities in May for Mother’s Day: REBIRTH: A Soulful Self-Renewal Retreat is now available for download (only $59). Learn more. On Friday, May 7th from 4-5:30 p.m. I’ll be offering a Rest & Renew Deep Relaxation Yoga Nidra Session in Brevard, North Carolina (this is a community offering). Learn more/register.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Austin, Texas and are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.