Stepping Out

September 20, 2018

You used to go out more. Then what happened? As we get older, we have less and less time to get out and enjoy ourselves. We have jobs, responsibilities, and, perhaps, families: do we really have time to cut loose and step out for the night?

We should make time. What may seem like frivolous fun is, in fact, vital to our mental health, physical health, and relationships. Here is the how and why of restoring your habit of going out on the town:

Why go out?

We like to think of ourselves as responsible adults. Maybe that does not mean that we think going out is foolish or embarrassing, but it often means that we think of going out as optional: a luxury, and perhaps one that we cannot afford.

But we are wrong. If you do not get out and have fun, you will find your mental health suffers. Taking breaks from work is key to productivity and mental health, but our homes can be stressful places, too. Changing your environment can change your mindset, and that is important.

Going out gives us a chance to blow off a little steam and reduce our stress. That is healthy, because stress can have effects on our physical healthas well as our mental health. So, when people ask how you have time to get out, tell them you always make time for your health.

Going out is also key to relationships. Study after study has proven that regular “date nights” are essential to maintaining closeness and compatibility in a relationship. When we are trapped in our routine lives, we suffer — and our relationships do, too.

Getting back to going out

You know by now that you need to get out to date night, girls’ or guys’ night, or just by yourself. But if you have not been out on the town in a while, it can be intimidating. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Treat yourself: Make a budget for your night out ahead of time, but once you have that budget, relax: pretend that you’ve received a gift from yourself and that considering the cost after the fact would be rude. So, take yourself out to a boutique (or shop at an online boutique) for new outfits, head to the spa, and then take a night out on the town. If it helps you budget, you could buy gift cards for yourself in advance.

Have it all in one: Tourism pros who advise people on the best things to do in North Bend, OR say they tend to recommend the local casino. No doubt there are tourism experts all around the country who do the same thing in their town. Why? It is not just gambling: it is that casinos bring together tons of attractions, including resort accommodations, shows, and, yes, the gambling. That is a nice way to keep from being bored.

Stage it in your space: If you are not quite ready to go out, consider hosting a party in your space. Depending on what factors make you anxious about the idea of socializing, it could be that staying in your own space will make you feel more secure. Just be sure to prepare a nice spread: a little food and booze will go a long way toward creating the party atmosphere. If you do not know anything about booze, just ask the pros at your local liquor store.

Have a plan: You do not need to plan out every stage of your night, but it helps to have an idea of where you are going and what you will be doing. Of particular importance is knowing how you will get home: make sure to get a ride if you are going to be drinking.

Going out is not out of style. In fact, it is important to your health, social life, and peace of mind. So, make time to have fun! You will be better off for it.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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