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Date Night

RWC tutor Paula Rawlings lists some ways to practice self-love and self-care this holiday season.

Are you one of many who find the holidays a lonely time? Do you fear your Christmas break will be one of bursting forlornness unappeased by hard-to-swallow fruitcake? (Do people really eat that stuff?) Will your attempts at decorating reindeer sugar cookies fail to the max? Well, that is unfortunate, to say the least. Television shows the common misconception that being around others eradicates loneliness, but that's not always true. Loneliness can persist even among a cheerful crowd or in the company of a single close individual. If this is you, take yourself out on a date. Treat it like any other date. Ask yourself out , get dressed up, plan the event(s), get nervous, sweat, cover that with copious amounts of Axe Body Spray, get out of your comfort zone, and get to know yourself a little better. Christmas break is a perfect time to reconnect with yourself.

As a forewarning, play it safe. First, don’t give out your address or phone number because if you find that you really enjoy your company, you might end up stalking yourself. That tends to get confusing and hard to maintain, like paying bills. Second, don’t drink alcohol. You don’t want to get pulled over or crash on a first date. Those are turn-offs, and you’re trying to like yourself. Third, and most importantly, inform a friend (not an imaginary one) about this outing. There’s no telling what could happen, like your date promising to pay but “forgets” money, and you spend the last of your allowance on fuel for your car.

In all seriousness (we’ll see about that), if you choose to communicate with yourself on this date, you may deter others from kidnapping you, which is super awesome. I hear that’s no fun. Bear in mind that having a lengthy conversation with yourself at any checkout stand is socially unacceptable.

At this point, you might be wondering what in the whole wide world of make-believe can I do on a date with myself—lots of things. You can do the typical activities like going out to a movie, snake wrestling, eating in a building with a roof, hiking outside without a roof, stargazing, geocaching, forklift racing in reverse, or jumping in a trampoline park to see how high you can make some little kid go. These solo outings might feel daunting, but they can be incredibly liberating. For example, attending a movie or restaurant alone allows complete control over your experience. You pick where to sit in a theater, which movie to watch and when, and where you will eat. If you’re brave enough to go hiking, stargazing, or geocaching alone, I suggest some safety measures. First, take some pepper spray, a taser, nun chucks, or throwing stars to fight off any unwanted animal or human foes. If you cannot acquire any of these items for your safety, and you can’t bring a dog because that’s not taking yourself on a date, just bark at squirrels on occasion. People will stay away. I’m not so sure about the animals. If you get lost, that’s on you. You shouldn’t have chased the squirrels. Also, if you take yourself forklift racing or out to a trampoline park, you don’t have to politely let your date win, and you don’t have to constantly talk and bounce with someone else.

In conclusion, if, at the end of your date, loneliness reigns supreme, please watch a Hallmark movie with 100% predictable events, but hopefully, you will be filled with the joy other’s project and be happy for their happiness. Even if loneliness doesn't entirely fade, embracing the joy others project and celebrating their happiness might bring you solace. Happiness isn't solely about oneself; it's found in appreciating and rejoicing in others' joy. Remember, happiness can often be found in reconnecting with oneself, especially amidst the overwhelming stimulation of the holiday season.

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