The act of dining is traditionally a social activity.
So when you’re suddenly forced to do it independently, it can be daunting.
It’s one thing if you dine occasionally by yourself due to your partner being away or because you have to take a business trip. But it’s another altogether when you’re eating by yourself due to the death of your companion.
Instead of looking at dining alone in a negative way, try to embrace this opportunity for self-care and enjoyment. Here’s how!
#1) Complete a Meal Schedule
Oftentimes when people live alone, it can be easy to fall into the habit of eating a bowl of cereal for dinner – or skipping a meal altogether. Not only is this unhealthy, but your overall health can be negatively affected.
That’s when completing a weekly (or monthly) meal planning schedule can be helpful.
When your meals are planned in advance, one of the biggest hurdles – coming up with a meal idea – is already accomplished. Plus, meal planning actually ends up saving you financially since there will be less waste at the end of each month and fewer impulse purchases at the grocery store!
Whether you use an online template or a piece of note paper, keep your meal schedule posted somewhere within easy view. Choose proteins, veggies, fruits and grains that you love. That way, you have fewer excuses to cook a wholesome meal when sorting through your fridge!
#2) Treat Yourself to Something Special
You may not be ready to dine by yourself outside your home, but why should that stop you from enjoying your favourite restaurant?
Choose at least one day a week to treat yourself to takeout or delivery. Maybe you really miss your favourite Chinese food place, or you have been craving pub food from the local restaurant. Whatever it may be, choose a meal that will give you something to look forward to throughout the week – and allow you to enjoy a break from cooking duties for a night!
#3) Invite a Friend
Friends are great support systems during times like these, so why not invite one over for a meal?
Besides the social aspect, hosting a guest provides an opportunity to cook dishes that create larger portions than you could handle on your own.
It also provides a chance to sit down at a table that’s set with nice dishes instead of a TV table!
You could even consider making this a regular event. For example, schedule the first Sunday of every month to alternate hosting duties with a close friend.
#4) Establish a Routine
When you’re sitting alone with your thoughts, it doesn’t take long to start feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
Instead, use this time for some self-care. Why not enjoy your dinner while writing in your daily journal, perusing the newspaper, or scheduling a phone call with another family member?
When you’re used to dining with a companion, it can be difficult to embrace dining alone. But besides being able to tailor your cooking to your food preferences, it can also be a great opportunity for self-care.
For more tips on grief and healing, check out our website.