Back in June, when I read The Artist's Way, I became impressed with Julia Cameron's concept of daily journal writing and developing a periodical practice of artist dates.
Sometimes, there just isn't someone available to vent in a safe manner about something that is troubling us. By writing things out as we feel them, or remember them, daily in a journal, we are able to have an honest conversation with ourselves. What made us feel bad and why? How did we handle a bad situation? How would we have handled it differently? What patterns do we see? How can we make a small change? We may see patterns or find peace as soon as we write things down, or as we re-read them later.
I haven't been able to make this a daily practice, but the couple of times a week I'm able to make a difference.
Artist dates are also a great option for those of us having to spend a lot of time on our own. Rather than worry about oging out and doing something we'd enjoy, we just go and do it as part of our practice of doing something nourishing spiritually and intellectually. A sort of disciplined fearlessness practice that I actually need more of.
I always take note of interesting things to do in my area, paid or unpaid, to potentially do on my own or with the significant-other unit. Since his work schedule has been very long and erratic lately, I really need to get back into the practice of my artist dates. I don't really remember when my last artist date was, so I had to look up photos I took that day on my Flickr account. It was all the way back in September! Definitely time for more and soon.
Having a disciplined schedule and set times to do things on my own helps me feel refreshed and energized without that tense, hectic feeling that I pretty much feel the rest of the time. Even a movie theater night by myself during the week can do wonders.