Many military spouses could use a reminder to just stop and celebrate being amazing partners who are serving our country on the home front. And one fabulous way to do this is by planning an artist date.
Most of my readers know that I love artist and author Julia Cameron (she’s even listed on my newly-updated free resources page). Following her advice, I begin each day with my favorite form of meditation by writing my morning journal pages. However, another of her suggestions that I’ve also found helpful is what she calls an artist date.
What Are Artist Dates?
Artists dates are preplanned outings that you take alone to simply enrich and add some creativity to your life when you need it most. This month for my artist dates, I’m visiting journalist and author Anna Quindlen, as well as checking out a happiness club that I keep getting emails from.
It’s all about trying new things. And this can be anything from going to a museum in your hometown, to visiting a local bead store (that’s on my list too!), to simply dedicating a few hours once a week to unplugging and curling up with a favorite novel.
This week, it’s about treating yourself to a date with YOU.
The Benefit of Artist Dates
Last week, I, like so many military spouses, had a million things to do. However, after seeing that there were no in-person clients on my long daily schedule, I decided to save the errands and gym for another day and instead head home to curl up in my unmade bed for a couple hours until my kids came home from school. I simply popped some kettle corn, put on my pajamas, and watched the movie Hidden Figures: a perfect cost-free date with me, myself, and I.
Later that afternoon when I was coaching field hockey, I thought about how refreshed I felt. This reflection made me curious as to why I don’t give myself and my clients permission to go on more ‘me’ dates—to simply be with ourselves.
So, this week, I’m asking you to take this time for self-care. I promise you, the “to do” list will still get done, but if you just keep going, going, going, there will come a point at which you’ll need to ask yourself: who are you really serving? After all, being relaxed and peaceful not only serves us better but is better for those around us as well.
While I love setting seasonal goals and taking baby steps toward improving health, wealth, and relationships, it’s important to keep the ultimate lifestyle we want to achieve in mind as well. We don’t want to work so hard toward obtaining ideal health, a higher paying job, and a perfect marriage that it means we never have any time to just do something we enjoy for a few hours once a week!
To make sure that I always remember to schedule some me time, I scope out new ideas for artist dates each season. And October is the perfect time of year for embracing this new habit.
- Are there any local parks you haven’t been to?
- Are there any upcoming plays in town that you would like to see?
- When was the last time you went to the public library?
- Do you know what military discounts are available at local museums that you’ve always been interested in but “too busy” to visit?
- Or, could you just use a few hours off to curl up and watch an inspiring movie?
The possibilities are literally endless. There’s even an artist date idea e-book with fifty-two new ideas. Please share your artist dates below to give each other some fresh suggestions. And don’t forget to continue celebrating being your own awesome selves all month long.