The thought of doing an activity alone can sound like complete paradise or torture. Well, at least depending on who you ask. Doing things by yourself—and enjoying it at the same time—is something everyone needs to practice.
Human beings don’t stay exactly the same for too long. Preferences, styles, and tastes change over time. It’s one of the reasons we catch up with friends, and it’s also why you should take yourself out on dates.
Some people try to reflect and get a better understanding of themselves through meditation or just thinking, but going out and doing something by yourself is a friendlier and potentially more enjoyable approach.
Taking myself out on dates has been extremely therapeutic. While I used to be the type of person to take myself out on dates when I was younger, that has changed with age. Now, I’m usually the type of person to do everything with friends, but rediscovering dating myself has shown me some sides I didn’t know existed inside of me.
This whole thing is just an extension of self care, but instead of framing it as an indulgence I grant myself, I view it as pushing myself (not too far) outside of my comfort zone and really putting in the effort to be present with myself.
Which is something we all deserve.
When taking myself out for a fun day or an evening out, there’s one thing I try to do. I always try to treat it as an actual date. We’re usually comfortable enough with ourselves to make concessions, like not dressing up too much or skimping on a meal. I try my best to fully commit to the experience by getting dolled up and ordering the extra appetizer.
If you wouldn’t dream of going out with friends dressed a little schlubby or tell them no if they want to order that other dish, you should treat yourself the same.
You should also pick something that genuinely interests and excites you. Some of these things could be trying a new restaurant, going to a gallery opening, attending a gig, or visiting the coffee shop you’ve been putting off for months.
This is also a good opportunity to pursue interests that other people in your life might not share. Maybe your friends don’t like outdoor activities, or they’re not very interested in a specific type of cuisine—taking yourself out on a date opens yourself up to possibilities that you may not even have considered.
Literally, try to impress yourself.
A fancy meal
Eating is one of my passions—especially if the meal is insanely good. If you’ve always wanted to have a fancy meal, doing it by yourself is a great experience. Degustation restaurants like Helm and 12/10 are some of the places I really enjoy. The service is always impeccable and the food is mind blowing.
@nolisoli.ph The 12/10 daytime dessert omakase is mindblowing to say the LEAST #finediningph #foodtokph #restaurantsph #foodietokph #desserttiktok ♬ Jazz-funk with jazzy saxophone(1018767) – Sugar Kay
For the afternoon crowd, 12/10’s daytime omakase full of desserts is nothing short of a revelation. It’s also quite quiet at the restaurant during afternoon hours, which is a plus if you’re trying to really enjoy all the flavors.
Making things with your bare hands
Pottery, rug making, and other crafty activities are gaining popularity as of late, and for good reason. These tactile hobbies involve your other senses and moving around. It also gives you a sense of fulfillment after seeing something you made with your own two hands.
Pottery studios like Bumi and Ashe hold workshops for pottery making and rug tufting from time to time. The Art of Yarn also regularly teaches weaving classes for people who want to learn, well, the art of yarn.
Being physically tense is part of the living in Manila package. The constant rush of the city leaves everyone stressed and (physically) pained all over. If the at-home acupressure techniques stop cutting it, it might be time to seek some professional help.
I recently visited a Korean spa in Makati that does massages and has a full wet room with hot tubs. It was nothing short of a religious experience, and truly worth its weight in gold. After spending the day there, my back has never felt lighter.
If you don’t have the budget to visit other places (for now), how about playing tourist in your own city? Exploring the place you grew up in or the place you currently call home through more touristy eyes is often an eye-opening experience.
Most of us never feel the need to discover our own cities, because we’ve “seen it all.” While that may be true to a certain extent, playing tourist is still a fun way to see where you live through a different lens. It’s also a reflection of what it is to date yourself: getting to know something you think you already know and possibly gaining a new perspective.