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Published on December 24, 2020

30 Creative Date Night Ideas to Try At Home

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30 Creative Date Night Ideas to Try At Home

We all have it rough these days with a global pandemic across the world forcing people to stay indoors. Couples are especially feeling it in various ways. For one, there isn’t much time to be away from one another, but also there is another growing issue: date night.

Date nights are special as they’re an opportunity to show appreciation and take a break from things. They’re something beyond ordering take-out or going to a nice place and having dinner. They’re bold and creative and can rekindle passion for one another. But there is only so much that a couple can do for date nights before they get repetitive and that magic starts to disappear. On top of the restrictions of possibly kids, a busy schedule, and this pandemic amongst other things, you’ve probably exhausted every idea that you can think of.

In light of that, I wanted to give you some date night ideas that you might not have tried. These are perfect to try at home making it optimal for during the pandemic, but also after it too. Beyond that, these can save you a tonne of money and encourages you to be more resourceful with what you have, something I’m sure this pandemic has encouraged us all to do.

1. Movie Night With A Twist

Debating over what to watch is especially tough these days, however there are some ways that you can make this more exciting. Some ideas are making the movies more thematic like watching lots of holiday movies around Christmas time or horror films around Halloween. Here’re some ideas for you: The Best Date Night Movies That Guys Will Enjoy Just As Much As Girls

Some other ideas are closing your eyes and watch whatever you land on or flipping a coin to decide what to watch.

2. Cooking Night

Whether one or both of you have some cooking skills, there are all kinds of dishes that the two of you can make. You can stick to making favourite dishes, or maybe you can tackle a larger recipe together.

There are a tonne of recipes online to try out, however you can also look into owning a cookbook yourself. For starters, try out recipes from The Well Plated Cookbook, a bestseller that provides fast and healthy recipes.

3. Learning Something New

Stemming from the previous idea, maybe one of you isn’t that good with cooking. This provides an opportunity for one of you to teach the other. This doesn’t apply to cooking. It can apply to any skill such as learning to speak Spanish or another language.

4. Game Night

Board games are another good at home date night ideas to try out. It’s also fairly inexpensive as well. One good game to play together as a couple is Odin’s Ravens. Inspired by norse mythology, it’s easy to get into and is inexpensive price wise.

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5. Lounge Room Picnic

Picnics are usually designed to be outdoors, however there is something nice about having them indoors as well. Pandemic aside, having a picnic indoors is nice as it removes having the elements involved. Not to mention you don’t have to avoid the bugs while indoors. Naturally you’d want cheese for this picnic and I’d recommend picking up some nice gouda

6. Massages

This is another cheap and intimate experience as all you’ll need is a towel and some oil. Having your significant other give you a massage is far less awkward as well since you’re not paying a stranger to rub down your body. The Relax Therapeutic brand offers a tonne of different massage oils to pick from that are cheap and high quality.

7. Fondue Night

While we think of this as a group activity, it can be enjoyed as a couple. There is something so delightful about dipping items into chocolate and eating them. Fondue makers themselves are also pretty cheap to pick up as well. All you’ll need to bring after that is bread, cheese, chocolate and fruits.

8. Video Game Marathon

There are a plethora of video games these days that allow co-operative versions. Some games will make you compete against one another or the two of you work as a team. Nonetheless video games are a fun way to bond with another. There is bound to be a game out there that you and your partner will enjoy.

9. Cooking For Your Partner

For the busy couple, sometimes it’s nice to come back home – or finish a work session – and see that supper is already done. Another cookbook that is nice to pick up is the Cooking for Two cookbook. It has 650 recipes, making it one of the best cookbooks that you’ll ever need.

10. Take An Intro Yoga Or Fitness Class

For many folks during quarantine, they’ve probably gained a bit of weight and this is one way to ease back into exercise. With this pandemic going on, there has been a huge push for live training workouts but you can also find plenty of training regimens on YouTube.

My suggestion is to try out a regular workout routine first and maybe branch off into other forms of fitness be it high-intensity or yoga amongst others. Nevertheless, having a mat to workout on will be beneficial to you too.

11. Take Music Lessons Together

While this idea typically involves someone instructing the both of you, there is nothing wrong with one of you teaching the other. If you’ve been practicing an instrument – or even with signing – providing some lessons is a fun way to bond together.

The alternative is pulling up some Youtube videos that have tutorials that you can follow. Or if you want to improve your singing voice, you can try taking voice lessons via CD.

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12. Rom-Coms Marathon

While these movies are cheesy and so predictable, there is something about them that is entertaining to watch. Put together a nice little playlist and to create a nice romantic atmosphere at home to set the mood. From there you can order food, open a bottle of wine and cuddle up. If you’re not the type to get drunk, I’d suggest a non alcoholic wine to try out that still fits the mood.

13. Wine Taste At Home

There is a plethora of wine available to pick out and each one can deliver an all new experience. Even if you’re not someone who drinks that often, this can be an opportunity to experience something different. Not to mention wine is a good way of mustering up more courage to talk to one another. On the other hand, you could also indulge in a new trend of non alcoholic beverages. Here is a good quality non-alcoholic wine that you can try out.

14. Have A Bake Off

Provided the kitchen is big enough, you can recreate a mock “Cupcake Wars” situation and try to impress one another with various baked goods. Even if by the end the bake off doesn’t make Pinterest-worthy posts, it’s still fun to do. Plus you have food you get to enjoy. You can pull some recipes from the internet, or you can get a cookbook that can go into finer detail on baking other incredible dishes.

15. Or A Paint-Off

Or instead of baking you can look at painting. You don’t need to have a large amount of art supplies using things like markers, crayons, watercolors, or even random pens that you’ve got lying around. In terms of competition, have each other draw the same still-life scene – this could be a fruit bowl or maybe a simple landscape.

You could even try drawing one another’s portraits. If you’re doing that, I’d suggest having something more sophisticated than pen and paper.

16. Tackle A DIY Project

Whether the two of you are in an apartment or a home there is always some kind of project that could be done. Doesn’t always have to be something as big as renovating a part of a home or painting, but tackling it as a team makes it far more tolerable.

17. Clean Out The Closets

Organizing closets can be a struggle as we all have a tendency to hoard things over time. With not much else happening lately, one good project to do together is to go through one another closets and start cleaning things out, setting aside stuff you don’t need anymore while keeping some other things. And for the future, you could look into a closet organizer to ensure it stays organized for longer.

18. Make a Bucket List For the Next 10 Years

One great at home date night idea I love is making a bucket list for the next 10 years. For couples that have been together for even a short period of time or longer, outlining each other’s goals and desires is key to deepening the relationship. If you’re serious about the relationship, sharing each other’s goals is fantastic and what better way to share it than to have a bucket list for the next decade? Just don’t forget to write them down and have a spot to remind you of them.

19. Work On a Garden

While many associate a garden with something outdoors, you can set up an indoor greenhouse of your own. The only thing is you’ll be more limited in what you’re able to grow indoors and you’ll need some extra equipment to get it all working.

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Still, this is a fun activity for the two of you to do and can spark conversation since it is a mindless -yet relaxing – task. Here are some seeds to help you get started.

20. Play Some Drinking Games

While you won’t be able to really party like you used to, there are some pretty fun drinking games out there. Whether you want alcohol involved or not you can always play beer pong or flip cup on the kitchen table. Here’s a drinking game set that’s good to pick up.

If you’ve got kids – or want no alcohol involved – you can keep it tame by using fruit juice or water.

21. Play Some Classic Card Games

Another one of the great at home date night ideas to try out is playing some classic card games. Things like War, Rummy, Cribbage (provided you have a Cribbage board), Crazy 8, Old Maid, or Go Fish were fun as kids and still fun while you’re older. Of course you’ll need to pick up a deck of cards which are cheap to pick up and provide hours of entertainment.

22. Read Books Together

Whether it’s one person reading to the other or both of you reading in silence, there is something nice about curling up together and reading together in some fashion. While everyone has their own sense of taste in books, there are some books that are delightful to co-read.

One book that comes to mind is The Sense of an Ending. It’s the perfect length where it’s not quite a novel but longer than a novella. It’s a deep book that looks into responsibility without getting too depressing as the protagonist works through living on despite his closest friend committing suicide while he was away.

23. Stargaze

While this is technically an outdoor activity you may still have an opportunity in various ways. If you own a home, you can easily head out into the yard and do this. For apartments, there are balconies or going to a non-public area if possible. That aside, stargazing is always a delight and it’s just fun to be in each other’s company and look up at the stars.

24. Work On a Difficult And Large Puzzle

There are so many puzzles out there for adults to work on and complete. The idea with this date night is to find a puzzle that’s complex enough and will take a while to complete. One that I’d recommend is this 500 piece mosaic puzzle.

25. Have a Deep Conversation

Deep conversations can begin in all kinds of ways. One easy way to get into them is to play sleepover games like Never Have I Ever and Truth or Dare. The answers that can stem from these can lead to some organic and deep conversations, pulling you away from the typical conversations you’re used to having.

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26. Write Each Other Love Letters

Sitting down with some paper and pens and writing out the various things you appreciate about one another. Even though love is complicated, there are usually several reasons for why you love one another and expressing that creates a stronger sense of intimacy.

27. Bowling Indoors

Bowling is a fun sport that many can get behind, though it can be difficult to find a proper bowling alley in your area. Paired up with a pandemic, it’s almost impossible to do that. So why not bring it to your home? There are all kinds of bowling sets you can get to play a game of bowling indoors.

28. Plan Out Future Dates

This pandemic – while long – isn’t going to last forever. Soon enough things will open back up and we’ll all be able to get out of the house and enjoy date night in other ways. In light of this, why not make some plans right now so you can prepare in advance?

29. Build a Fort

As childish as it may seem, it’s another great at home date night idea to try out. Tapping into childhood fort building skills, you’ll probably be able to manage to build a better fort with the materials you have now.

30. DIY a Photo Booth

While they are a relic of the past, you can still create your very own photo booth. All you have to do is squeeze together in a tight space and snap away. You could use your phone to take burst shots, but for those really wanting to make it old fashion you could use a disposable camera.

Bottom Line

If you have such a busy life that you can’t do too many outdoor activities together, having a chance to do some fun stuff inside is always nice. I strongly encourage you to bookmark this article and refer back to it if you need a refresher. Better yet, try some of these this week!

Featured photo credit: Sinitta Leunen via unsplash.com

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Anna Chui

Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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