By you, for you: A guide to me-dates
Me-dates are the ultimate in me-time. A time of rest. A time of acceptance. A time of total loving attention to the most important person in your life: you.
They became a part of my life last year as I was exploring ways to be more kind to myself. Working as an au pair, I decided to take time out from the kindergarten schedule to spend time with me, and only me. Now I have come to realise how important they are in my life.
As a single woman, I felt I did not have the ‘excuse’ to treat myself. It was for those who were in relationships to be showered with adoration, not me. Then I started to wonder... Who said I needed other people to treat me? Couldn’t I do that?
I therefore feel moved to share this idea with you, so that you too may develop a more loving relationship with yourself, above all others.
Victoria's me-date: "I prefer to save money by cooking for myself. Plus I’m a good cook (95% of the time). And there’s something ‘date like’ about eating by candle light. I love it.”
I would first like to revise a common misconception: treating ourselves doesn’t need to be expensive, or sophisticated. Yes, of course, we all like to give ourselves that cute dress we’ve had our eyes on, or a chance to visit our favourite restaurant on an un-birthday.
What I would like to say is that a me-date can simply be a walk in the park, or an afternoon cosied up at home. Whatever form self-care takes for you. Do what you want to do. Not what others would have you do.
Bonnie's me-date: “These Snow Dogs are just so cute! It gives me an opportunity to walk around areas of Brighton that I don't always go to. It's always nice to spend time outdoors as well.”
These are simple:
1. No distractions
Just think: would you check your emails halfway through a date-date or excuse yourself briefly to message a friend No. So why do it on a me-date? The focus is on you. So although the temptation may be high, resist it. And look to you, only you.
2. Speak loving words to yourself
Would you go through a date-date criticising your partner, or picking up on their mistakes (past or present)? No! You want to seduce them, caress their soul, see past all that.
Me-dates are an opportunity to do yourself the same honour. Spend an hour a week speaking kind words to yourself and watch the impact it has on your life. It’s really quite incredible.
Sammy’s me-date: “I like Cafe Plenty because it is a really relaxing environment to spend some time, whether reading and having lunch by myself or working on my blog. Places with good coffee and good food are a must for me!”
Selfish or selfless?
My dream is to live in a world where there is no guilt attached to taking time for ourselves. Where it is perfectly natural to miss a call because we are on a me-date. Where we don’t jump to our phone’s every beck and call. I believe it would be a better world.
I have found the kinder I have been with myself, the softer I have been to others in turn. I have become more respectful and less impatient. I carry inside a great love for myself which I can now share with others. The fact is: We need to have love to spread love.
And love begins on a me-date. Because love begins with you.
Written by Victoria Hodder.