While you’ve surely been having fun toasting your friends’ nuptials this wedding season, if the champagne has started to lose a little of that fizz, and you’re lamenting the fact that you haven’t had a single weekend to yourself this summer, now’s the time to throw a solo celebration.
Remember the Sex and the City episode where Carrie’s Manolos are stolen from a baby shower? She reacts by sending the hostess a voicemail: “I wanted to let you know that I’m getting married. To myself. I’m registered at Manolo Blahnik.”
Whether you’re single or married, the first person you should choose to celebrate is YOU. I’ve started implementing “Marry Yourself Mondays” as a day of self-care after the weekend. Make a point to book a date with yourself. Here are 7 ideas for what you can do:
1. Enjoy an outdoor concert.
Being outdoors and listening to live music is a great way to lift your spirits. For one, boogying to your favorite music can be a good form of exercise. Also, live music gives that uplifting, living-in-the-moment feeling that is good for both physical and emotional wellbeing.
Take advantage of the last warm days of the season, and catch a concert at your area amphitheater or local park. Just pack a simple picnic (wine, cheese, grapes, prosciutto, etc.) and a blanket, and commit to going no matter what.
2. Turn off your phone.
The average person checks their phone between 110-150 times a day. That’s a lot of energy and attention flitting back and forth, which can leave you feeling stressed and distracted.
Pick a day or a length of time and shut your phone off completely. If you can, leave it at home and go do something (Facebook and Instagram will still be there when you get back).
Look up! Take in the sights around you. Reacquaint yourself with your senses.
3. Take a dance class.
How many times have you heard a song on the radio and you started to dance around, only to realize you are stuck in traffic, behind the wheel of your car? A bit confining, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it feel great to get on the dance floor with other people enjoying the music around you?
But if you don’t have the desire to go to a bar or nightclub on your own, then take a dance class! You’ll benefit from learning some new moves and so much more, including:
Improved physical health
Dancing is a low -impact aerobic activity, good for your joints and cardiovascular system. It improves posture, flexibility, agility, balance and body alignment. It’s a great way to burn calories, stay fit and improve your coordination!
Improved mental health
Dancing integrates rational, emotional, kinesthetic and problem-solving skills, improving our overall mental processing. It’s memory with physical movement (better than doing a crossword puzzle or other sedentary memory tasks). The changes and patterns of dancing make our brains work more quickly.
It’s a chance to meet new friends who share similar interests. It’s great for getting out of our head, playing, and bringing out the child and the lover in all of us. It’s a way for couples to flirt with each other and singles to meet new partners. Dancing spurs creativity, motivation and overall energy.
4. Book a photo shoot.
You should be proud of your inner and outer beauty. And who can bring out your beauty better than a talented portrait photographer? (Besides, it’s much more fun than a selfie.)
Maybe you want to update your professional headshot, or have photographic evidence of how hot your body looks — another Sex and the City reference.
A healthy dose of each "pride quality" listed, is actually necessary to embody a fulfilled sense of self — as a woman, and as anybody.
5. Take a yoga class.
Yoga is an easy activity to do on your own, and so necessary for balancing our day-to-day stress. Cortisol and adrenalin are hormones that are released in the body as a result of stress. Sustained high levels of these “stress hormones” destroy healthy muscle and bone. Over a prolonged period, it can even lead to a host of diseases.
Yoga reduces cortisol and adrenalin levels by returning the body to a physically stress-free state, making it less susceptible to illness and more prone to resiliency and vitality. Yoga does not have to be pretzel poses. It includes a practice of centering, meditative grounding, deep breathing, and poses to help align your chakras.
When you practice yoga, your entire muscular system becomes stronger and more elastic and therefore, less susceptible to injury. Standing and balancing postures strengthen and lengthen the big muscle groups, and floor postures strengthen the muscles that support the spine and head.
As a physical therapist, I call it “cheap” physical therapy.
6. Enjoy sensual pleasures.
Turn on your favorite music, wear your favorite scent and lingerie, or put on a silly costume, get your hair done, and wear that red lipstick. Just turn off your judgmental mind for a few hours. What do you taste, hear, touch, see and smell?
Get present: A sensual person experiences each moment completely — and knows that a simple, fully present, deep inhale can evoke as much ecstasy as anything.
Find the sensual energy in everything: sipping champagne, tasting strawberries, touching yourself. No action is too small to ignite your senses and live out your inner diva.
7. Write your own happy ending.
Is your idea of “getting married” still influenced by the Disney princesses you watched as a kid? Why does every princess need to have a prince? Think you are not enough without one? Time to rethink! Women are warriors, lovers, mothers and sages. We can be the hero in our own story.
Create a vision board for what you want your life to look like and then start living it.