Interested in Self-Care?
So you should be. If you don’t look after your beautiful self, who will?
I recently released a podcast episode highlighting a fantastic way to give yourself some self-care, wrapped in a beautiful mindfulness experience and outing… you can listen to it here - and I just had to share with you in a blog.
You’ll love the concept.
As you may know, in GROW this month, my personal growth / book club, we’re reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. There are two things that I love above all else in her book, and I’ve implemented both as habits in my own life.
Morning Pages, which I’ve spoken about before… and Julia’s concept of ‘The Artist Date’.
For anyone who doesn’t relate to the word ‘artist’, you can take that out and call it a date with yourself …or a self-care date.
Here’s how it works…
What is a Self-Care Date?
The self-care date is a once-weekly solo expedition to explore something that interests you. It doesn’t have to be artistic – but something that you love doing and will give you space for yourself.
It’s been a routine of mine for quite a few years, and I believe you’ll love it!
"Just like they tell you on aeroplanes, you need to put your oxygen mask on first before you can help others."
When choosing a self-care date, it’s good to ask yourself ‘what sounds fun?’ but also ‘what will give me energy, peace and a good sense of taking care of me?'
When I started doing self-care dates, I did them monthly and took a whole day to myself. I was in the middle of starting my first business back then and worked a lot - and with no kids it was something I really looked forward to. There’s no doubt it helped me avoid getting burnt out.
Being an introvert, I get significant energy from taking time for myself. More so than from seeing or spending time with other people. But lately I’ve been doing self-care dates weekly and it’s much more manageable as I just go for a couple of hours. If that sounds too much for you, start with just 30 minutes.
Planning a Self-Care Date is Key
The most important part of the artist date is that you pre-plan it, so that when you actually do it, you feel relaxed and happy to take the time.
For some of you it will be better on the weekend and for some of you it will be midweek when the kids are at school. Just find a time that suits you. And as always, to get started, make it simple and short so you actually do it.
And it’s really important that you do this solo, not with a friend.
There’s something magic about spending time with yourself. It will bring out that inner voice you may have silenced and it’ll help you get in touch with yourself. Channelling a sense of mindfulness.
And there is something wonderful about the freedom to just be on your own, not having to do something for anyone else. No questions to be answered. Just time with yourself.
It’s been so inspiring to hear what the lovely people in GROW have been doing – going to art exhibitions, visiting places they used to love when they were younger, spending time in nature or visiting a new café.
My Favourite Self-Care Dates
My favourite artist or self-care dates are walking in nature. In silence.
This is when I take the time to just be with my thoughts and listen to my inner voice. And it’s often when I get clear on what I really want. What my top dreams are. What I want my future to look like. What I want to focus on habit wise, and health & wellness wise.
Sometimes I walk for a couple of hours and just feel incredibly grateful. So so nice. I often look for new walks that I haven’t been to before. It’s a wonderful way of seeing other parks or forests in your area.
I made a little video of a short drive I took in Sweden recently - out into the forest for a Self-Care Date - with my journal if you're interested, have a quick look here...
Other favourite artist dates are to go to a new café – sometimes at the other side of the city. I walk there with my journal – have a coffee and sit and journal. I love the walking there. I love visiting a new café as its often inspiring interior wise, often has great coffee and food and there’s something really nice about sitting on your own with your journal and watching people around you doing their thing.
"I know this is not for everyone and a lot of people tell me they are uncomfortable sitting in a café, restaurant or bar on their own – but maybe try it. It’s good to get out of our comfort zones. I love it and maybe you will too."
Other favourite self-care dates are to visit a gallery. We’re very spoiled having the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne where I live most of the year, but I also like to go to smaller ones.
Regardless of if you like the art or the artist, there is something special about galleries. It’s often quiet if you go during the week in the middle of the day and it just gets me inspired being in the space.
And just a couple more to share, and I assume this will not surprise you if you've followed me. I love visiting bookstores. I have my favourites, but I love visiting new ones, and especially in other cities and when I’m traveling. There is something amazing about bookstores. The smell. The wisdom. The entertainment. The variety and the quietness of bookstores. Love it!
Free Download of Ideas for Self-Care Dates
I could go on and on with my favourites, but instead I’ve compiled a list of different artist or self-care date ideas that you can download and refer to when you need. Just follow this link to download it for free…
I hope it inspires you!
Use a Special Journal
I recommend you use a dedicated journal for your artist or Self-Care dates to document them. I use a bullet journal (the journals that have dots in them instead of lines like the pic below) because they're more suited to drawing as well if you prefer.
All of our Dream Life journals have the internal paper options of dots, grids, lines or plain when you personalise them.
I hope you’re inspired to go on an artist or self-care date. If you do, I would LOVE to hear about it. So please share in the comment section below how it was for you. It's inspiring for us all to hear from each other.
Have a wonderful day - and pull out your diary now to make time for a self-care date! It's one thing to be inspired, it's another to take action on that inspiration. Go on...
Oh, and by the way, our beautiful 2023 Diaries have now landed. Browse the collection here…
Dream Life Founder