On day 102 of my 366-day self-care challenge, I explored dining alone as an act of self-care. (Introverts, you get this right?)
For some people, the idea of dining alone may not sound all that appealing, but it can provide a few moments of quiet solitude on life’s busiest days.
My grandmother used to go out to lunch by herself frequently, and I remember feeling sorry for her when I was younger – that is, until I realized it wasn’t because she didn’t have any friends. It was because she wanted to spend time alone, and I understand that now.
During a short visit to Austin, TX, I was excited to have an afternoon to myself, so I ventured into one of my old favorites: Le Madeleine’s. When I used to live in the area, I spent many hours enjoying coffee or lunch (or a divine lemon tart) while I worked away on various projects. I loved the atmosphere: a few clinking dishes here and there, the aroma of coffee, hints of conversations from other tables and a warm fireplace. Distractions were minimal. The food was good. And I cranked out a lot of work.
Dining alone gives us a chance to slow down and enjoy a meal without the obligation of engaging in conversation or feeling rushed to get to our next task. For introverts, this is bliss; for extroverts, not so much. Spending time in quiet can be easily incorporated into any self-care practice.