What to do on a day at the museum – your guide for a great date you can create for yourself, to help you build a stronger self-connection and relationship.
Now hear me out, I know that museums aren’t for everyone, and I can understand why some people can find it boring, or not exciting enough. But it is a great opportunity to get outside of your box and your norm. You can even get creative and find a place that is unique, a museum that you won’t find boring. Also, I’m always for trying new things, you just never know, you may surprise yourself and actually discover something new. Plus, trying new things, especially something cultural and educational like a museum, can stimulate your brain and curiosity.
Part of learning how to embrace yourself and your singleness, is finding new and creative ways to fill your life. Make it feel fulfilled and productive, adding substance and added value. This is the best time to experiment with yourself, try new things and just go out and explore life. See where it may take you, you never know what wonderful places you may get to. And yes, museums can be educational, they can help you develop your curious mind and knowledge. They can also help you open up your mind and start to think differently.
Tips to go all out:
- Venture out – If possible, maybe try to travel to a different city in your country, or while travelling abroad. This will help you create a completely different experience than what you’re used to. It will certainly challenge you, and get you out of your comfort zone.
- Don’t be stingy – I know that not everyone can afford to spend a lot of money, but if you can, I recommend you try investing a bit into this. You don’t have to go somewhere expensive, but many times you need to purchase a ticket to some of the best museums. So if you want to really go somewhere special, try to do what you can to make it happen.
- Make a day of it – If you have some time and you can take a day, or even just half a day, try to make a whole day of it. This will give it that extra oomph, and if you’re doing it in your own home country, will give you more of a feel of being on vacation.
Take your time
Speaking of making a day of it, try to also not rush through it. And I don’t mean you have to spend the whole day there, but you also don’t need to speed past everything. Take it as slow as you can, not only so it doesn’t end quickly… But also so you experience where you are, and yourself, with yourself. It’s also a great practice of being patient, of not stressing yourself out over time, or of not chasing the clock. Many times, I find myself stressing over getting things done, and not wasting my time. I even need to remind myself to take a deep breath and slow my pace, because rushing things is never good, and only adds pressure. It also makes me just feel more stressed and worse about myself.
Taking your time on your date, and using it to learn how to slow down… Can actually help you improve your patience and stress levels on your day to day as well, with your work and regular tasks. Especially in museums where the frequency is already much calmer and quieter than any other place. It can help rub off on you as well. In addition to all that, taking your time on a self-date is a great method of imprinting in yourself that your alone time is precious. That you never have to rush through your time with yourself, and cherish every moment of it.
Don’t just pass by
On the same line of thought, don’t just pass by all of the exhibits, without pausing a moment to take it all in. Whether it be a gallery, a history museum, a special exhibit, or anything else you choose… Make sure to pause, appreciate and take in the different pieces. Of course, you don’t have to pause and check out every single one of them. From experience, if you do that, you’ll be there all day. It can be very therapeutic, to look at the pieces and analyse a bit how they make you feel. Or even make up a story about it, or imagine how and where it was created. This is also a great way to train your imagination, or practice enjoying your own thoughts and adding some colour and substance to them.
I know that not everyone enjoys reading, and it may not always be very interesting… But to enrich the experience, I recommended reading the explanations about the exhibits. Or at least the ones that interest you most. You don’t even have to read the whole thing, you can also just skim through it. But I do think it will add a lot of substance, and value… Both to your date and time with yourself, and to the experience at the museum. And of course, you can learn new things and expand your knowledge and horizons. You never know, you may learn interesting new things. Which not only expands your general knowledge, but may also give you some new topics to talk about with friends, family and on dates.
Ask yourself questions
As you’re checking out the different exhibits, try to take some time to also ask yourself some thoughtful questions. This is another great way to connect with yourself, to ask yourself some questions that help you get to know yourself better. That helps you uncover new thoughts and feelings you may have, and perhaps didn’t even know about before. Just like when you get to know others better, they become closer to you, so you can also do the same with yourself. Asking yourself different questions, and having this inner discussion with yourself can also teach you more about how to appreciate and be interested in your own thoughts and opinions. As well as develop your imagination and the quality of the time you spend with yourself. And what better way to do that than use the exhibits as prompts?
Here are some great questions to ask yourself:
- What emotions and feelings does this piece stir in me? Why?
- What is the story behind this piece?
- If there’s a person in it – who is he? Where is he from?
- What do I think the artist’s intentions were?
- What were they trying to say?
- What do you think the piece conveys?
- What would you have done differently? Why?
Get a booklet or audio guide
Another great way to enrich your experience and add some substance and value to it, is by picking up a guide or booklet. Some exhibitions have a special brochure with all of the pieces in it and some more information about them. This can give you a bit more of a background as well as explanations about what it is you’re actually seeing. It helps you be more curious and learn new things, as well as not passing it all by without understanding anything. For me, it helps immerse better into the date, but also into the whole experience, because I’m not just letting things fly over my head. It also forces me to slow down, read and take the time to really understand what it is I’m looking at.
If you can afford it, maybe even purchase an audio guide, to add even more value. Some museums and exhibitions even have built in audios that you don’t have to pay for, which is great. This is especially good for those of you who find it difficult to read or just to focus on it, and when you listen, it can be much easier. In these audio guides there is also usually more information that isn’t in any of the explanations about the exhibits. And for those of you who aren’t so used to being alone, with the silence, especially at a museum… It gives you a chance to also take a break from your own thoughts. Which doesn’t mean you’re escaping them, just taking a short breather.
This is the one self-date component that makes every single one of my ‘Dating Yourself’ posts, as it is also one of the most crucial ones. If you’re constantly on your phone, you won’t be present in the moment. And if you’re not present in the moment, you won’t be able to enjoy it, nor would you be able to connect with yourself properly. It’s even a form of disrespect, showing yourself that you’re not good enough, not worthy or just someone to avoid. It cheapens yourself and decreases your value. If you’re not focused on you and on the date, you won’t remember it fondly and you’ll feel like it failed or wasn’t worth it. So you won’t do it again, which will hinder the progress of growing closer to yourself and building a strong self-relationship.
Imagine you’re on a date, or out with a friend, and they spend the whole time on their phone, how would that make you feel? I can’t imagine anyone could ever possibly like that, and it may even make you feel like the person doesn’t care. So you should feel the same towards yourself, as well. Also, if you’re on your phone, you won’t be able to focus on the museum or any of the new things you’re seeing and learning. And that will also hinder the development of your knowledge as well as learning to enjoy new things. If you’re trying museums for the first time, or if it’s something you usually don’t enjoy… Being on the phone the whole time will prevent you from ever liking it.
While a museum or gallery may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is one of the greatest dates to test your limits and challenge yourself. By growing closer to you, trying new things, and by learning how to enjoy things you never liked. It’s also very educational and can expand your general knowledge and give you more topics for discussions with friends, family and on dates. Which is especially great if you’re someone who struggles in conversations, or if you just want to sound more clever. Meaning, this is an all around great date that, if done correctly, can help you achieve many personal goals. As well as help you develop in many different aspects, which can definitely give you a huge push towards embracing yourself and your singleness.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
All my best,