Sometimes we’re so concerned with finding a way to fill every single minute of every day interacting with people that we forget to take a step back and give ourselves some quality “me” time. Spending time alone is a way to recharge your mental batteries and regroup — everybody needs to do it now and then! So get over your fear of missing out or your reservations about being seen somewhere solo, and embark on a mission to treat yourself to these 19 dates with yourself.
1 Go to the matinee of a sad or embarrassingly bad movie.
Feel no shame as you cry or swoon alone in the corner. Who cares? No one is there to see you!
2 Travel somewhere new.
When you travel with other people, you always end up making compromises on what sights to see, where to eat, and what activities to do. Traveling alone — even if it’s just to the next town over — gives you the luxury of going at your own pace so that you’re able to soak up everything about the trip that you want to.
3 Take yourself on a dinner date.
Bring along a book that you can’t put down, and immerse yourself in good eats and good reads — really, what’s better than that? Try to resist the urge to look at your phone and take your time as you enjoy ordering anything you want without anyone else asking for a bite.
4 Tour a museum.
Let’s face it, a lot of your museum experiences probably involve a teacher, a tour guide, and a pack of rowdy kids. Set out to see every piece of art or history a local museum has, and spend time interpreting them exactly how you want to — not how the little paper pamphlet tells you to.
5 Have a spa day, or get a massage.
It’s probably best for you to take on the steam room solo, anyway.
6 Go to a bookstore and get lost.
Spend hours exploring every genre of book known to the world. Better still, snag one off the shelf and plop down in a comfy chair. Close down the store trying to finish that book (hey, you’ll save some cash), and leave only when the employees start giving you the side-eye.
7 Binge on a TV show.
There is always another show to catch up on or rewatch, and there’s no one better to do it with then the one person who you know is just as excited as you are to plow through an entire series in a day.
8 Go to a free concert.
Find a band that you like playing in your area, or seek out someone new with a sound you like. You never know — they may be the next big thing, and you found them first. When you go to a concert alone, you spend more time listening to the music and less time worrying about everything else going on around you.
9 Sing karaoke.
Be bold! Pick a spot you never go to (that way you won’t miss it if you can’t show your face there again), and sing your heart out to a bunch of strangers. If you can do this, you can do pretty much anything.
10 People watch.
Go to a public place, like a park or the mall, sit back, and enjoy the show. People watching is always interesting, often hilarious, sometimes sweet, and every once in a while, it can even make you give some of the stuff you do a second thought, too.
11 Indulge in some selfies.
OK, as a general rule selfies should probably be taken sparingly, but every once in a while, it’s healthy to get dressed in an outfit you love and shamelessly take photos of yourself that you actually like. Let yourself keep clicking until you get it right. No one is there to judge you, except maybe your dog.
12 Complete a project you’ve been putting off.
Make yourself go to a coffee shop, buckle down, and work. Update your résumé, put together a portfolio, finish your great American novel, apply to a new job or grad school, whatever. Just do it!
13 Challenge your mind.
Complete a crossword, sudoku, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, a Rubik’s Cube. If you finish them all by yourself, you get total bragging rights instead of having to share them with a partner.
14 Take a hike.
Spend some time with mother nature and see how the two of you get along when no one else is around. Stop and smell the roses, watch the sun set, embrace the quiet.
15 Get experimental in the kitchen.
If you try out new recipes on your own and mess up, the only hungry, disappointed person you have to deal with is yourself. You can work on perfecting the dish until it’s just right — then serve up a flawless result the next time you’re with friends, and act like it was your first try.
Lay on your back and marvel at your complete and utter smallness in comparison to the rest of the universe.
17 Try a new workout.
Sometimes certain workouts (read: Zumba, Booty Barre, anything dance-related) can be a little bit embarrassing to learn in front of other people. Master one of these fitness skills alone, or at least work on them enough so that when you’re in a class or doing it in front of your significant other, you look like you know what you’re doing . . . sort of.
18 Go shopping.
Sometimes when you’re on a shopping mission, having other people with you can slow you down or make you feel rushed. It’s the worst when you’re trying to be thorough to find the best deal or the perfect pair of jeans, while the person you’re with is tapping their foot by the door.
19 Take the longest, hottest bath of your life.
Turn on some soothing music and enjoy a long soak with no fear of unwelcome interruptions.