DY Ideas

now browsing by category


Join a book group

Book group. Photo @stevebaty

A date with a book is sometimes the best adventure/romance/escape/travel/learning money can buy. Joining a book group is like getting the ear of a best friend who won’t tire of all the details of the date.

So, look to your local newspaper, meetup, bookshop or library for a book group. Or, consider gathering your far-flung friends once every two months to discuss.

A book group can, of course, be a group of people all reading and discussing the same book. But, you can get adventurous too. Maybe this is a book meetup where everyone brings their favorite book, discusses it, you let the wine flow, and, at the end, it becomes a book swap.

Read on!


Have you heard of St. Catherine’s Day?

St. Catherine's Day

I recently learned about St. Catherine’s Day and a particular way of celebrating in France. I would encourage you to flip the tradition and have a little fun with it.

St. Catherine was a princess and scholar in the early 4th century. She became a Christian and denounced the pagan emperor Maxentius. He then burned 50 of her fellow converts to death. She refused redemption through a royal marriage and, once in prison, proceeded to convert the emperor’s wife and 200 of his soldiers.

A powerful woman!

In France, St. Catherine’s Day…well, let me just include this fun excerpt from Wikipedia:

On St. Catherine’s Day, it is customary for unmarried women to pray for husbands, and to honour women who’ve reached 25 years of age but haven’t married—called “Catherinettes” in France. Catherinettes send postcards to each other, and friends of the Catherinettes make hats for them—traditionally using the colours yellow (faith) and green (wisdom), often outrageous—and crown them for the day. Pilgrimage is made to St. Catherine’s statue, and she is asked to intercede in finding husbands for the unmarried lest they “don St. Catherine’s bonnet” and become spinsters. The Catherinettes are supposed to wear the hat all day long, and they are usually feted with a meal among friends. Because of this hat-wearing custom, French milliners have big parades to show off their wares on this day.

The French say that before a girl reaches 25, she prays: “Lord, give me a well-situated husband. Let him be gentle, rich, generous, and pleasant!” After 25, she prays: “Lord, one who’s bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!” And when she’s pushing 30: “Send whatever you want, Lord; I’ll take it!”

You can see we’re going to have fun with this, right?

St. Catherine’s Day is traditionally November 25th, which either makes it a convenient excuse to have another holiday party or a reason to pick your own date.

Build your own St. Catherine’s Day. Gather your friends, build some crazy hats – or go hat shopping! – tell crazy dating stories, and celebrate your single lives.

Write letters to your single friends and tell them how fabulous they are. Reach out to the younger women in your life – daughters, nieces, cousins, etc. – and share this fun French tradition (with a twist).

Happy St. Catherine’s Day!

Take care of the everyday things

Everyday things

Take care of the everyday things: replace ill-fitting underwear, iron or lint brush clothes as needed, wash the dishes (my personal weakness!), change your Brita filter, and water the plants.

These tiny acts send signals to yourself that you are important and cared for.

Play Hookie, Take a Weekday Brunch

Brunch. Photo courtesy of @basheertome

Why do we save brunch for Sunday?

I can’t come up with a good reason, so give this a try: call in to work, use a personal day, and take yourself to brunch on a weekday.

Read the rest of this page »

Love an animal

Love an animal. Photo courtesy of @tearstone

I grew up with dogs, so I know how enriching it can be to love an animal. (Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats so I never got to love them too much.)

Just check out this Google search on the benefits of volunteering with animals.

Besides the obvious facts that you’re helping out the critters, the organization you’re working with, and your whole community – those would be reasons enough! – other benefits include:

  • “Helper’s High,” a feeling of euphoria and energy from volunteering
  • An increase in oxytocin, which buffers stress and improves feelings of love and empathy
  • Improved resilience through times of crisis

Read the rest of this page »

Create a list of mini adventures

Adventure. Photo courtesy of @janet_dancer

Take out a sheet of paper, or start a list on your phone, of all of the little adventures you can possibly think of within a one hour drive from home. The “adventures” don’t have to be expensive or extravagant, but they do have to be a little out of the ordinary for your normal daily or weekly life.

Consider including:

Read the rest of this page »

An Annual Letter to Yourself

Letter to Yourself

Since 2003, I’ve written a letter to myself that I don’t open until 12 months later. In the letter, I reflect on the previous letter, the previous year, and what I hope for the next year.

The letters are always personal: I’m literally addressing a future version of myself who is both the same as who I am now and also very different. It’s awkward that first year, but it’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done for myself.

Read the rest of this page »

Christmas for singles

Christmas for singles

Christmas for singles can be wonderfully fun, tortuously sad or both on any given day.

The day after a big holiday can be difficult if you’re flying solo, whether you celebrate or not and whether you’re surrounded by family or not.

So, this DY Friday, focus on taking care of yourself.

What do you want to do today and this weekend? What would feel exquisite, luxurious and fun? What does your body, mind or spirit need in the next three days?

Give yourself the gift of care today.

Go to the Hardware Store

Hardware store

This may be one of my strangest suggestions for a DY Friday yet, but bear with me.

Today, or this weekend, take yourself to the nearest hardware store. When the salesperson asks if you need help, just say “No thank you” or “I’m just looking.”

Then, wander every aisle.

Read the rest of this page »

A Stroll at Sunset

Stroll at Sunset

A quintessential, even stereotypical, date activity is taking a stroll at sunset. It’s seen as the height of romance with a loved one, but today I encourage you to find the romance in this activity on your own.

Think about a place to take a sunset walk (lake shores, bike paths, any place with a long view toward the west is a good option). Prepare a little pack with appropriate clothing, some hot cocoa (or a cold tea), maybe a blanket and a book.

Read the rest of this page »