In this world of perpetual distance and conference calls, the boundaries between work and play and all the other miscellaneous pieces of life have blurred together. It’s difficult to settle into a routine when there are no events to mark on the calendar and no weekly rotation of activities. This nowhere to go and no one to see mentality can lead to a general lack of urgency and efficiency in nearly all other tasks.
In an attempt to keep myself on track, I’ve started planning regular date nights once every couple of weeks and I highly recommend it. This absolutely does not mean that you must find a person or a group to hang out with. Rather, find ways to enjoy yourself and your own company regardless of who else might be there, preferably ones that take you outside of your cozy home for a few hours. Here are a few date night ideas that can be shared with a group or enjoyed as a solo experience.
- Picnic in the park – If you’re taking the time to hunt down the perfect picnic spot make sure you pack something you’ll enjoy, fresh pasta salad or a loaded sandwich from your local deli. Take your time. Savor every bite and the feeling of the open air.
- Live Music – While many venues are still closed, some outdoor summer concerts have started dotting the calendar once again. Make sure you know how and when to buy tickets. With social distancing requirements they go very quickly. Arrive early with a book and your most comfortable lawn chair and enjoy the show.
- Take a hike – You will never regret this for so many reasons. Hikers tend to be some of the happiest and most friendly. Don’t be shy to wave at those you come across along the trail and make sure to always have your camera at the ready. Nature is incredibly photogenic.
- Sunbath – Go park yourself on the beach, again with your favorite lawn chair and a good book, and bury your toes in the sand. Sit back and listen to the waves crash against the shore. Even if you don’t have a beach where you live, set aside some time to soak up the Sun, with plenty of sunscreen of course.
- Dinner out (or stay in and cook) – The point of this exercise is to relax and recharge. Whether you are a home chef or not, make a night of it. Pick something special and stop worrying about what others might think about you showing up to dinner for a party of one. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying your own company.