Five Things You Can Do When Having a Me-Day
By Piotr Golinski
Whether you are primarily an introvert or extrovert, I think that you can agree about the importance of taking days to yourself. Depending on your personality type, being alone with your thoughts can seem like heaven or hell, but I promise the benefits in the long run are worth it. Scheduling a day to check in with yourself once or twice a month can have tremendous psychological benefits in terms of reducing stress and dealing with any lingering emotions or thoughts from the past few weeks. So be selfish because today is about you and if you’re not sure how to spend your valuable, keep reading for some ideas that always make me feel perfectly self-centred.
1. Read a New Reality
It’s no secret I love reading and you should too! With so many topics and types of material, it really seems like there are no limits to what can be imagined. Why not use your me-day to research a topic that you’ve always been interested in like the Salem Witch Trials or Existentialism versus Stoicism? Ever wonder how pigment is made? You’ll never guess where some of the colours you see around the world come from. Trust me when I say it’s better than watching national geographic because it’s personalized to whatever topic you are interested in. We are in an age of information, learn it and now you have some interesting information to talk about on your next Tinder date!
Sometimes, the real world doesn’t seem like much of an escape though, and if escape is what you crave, then the world of fiction books has a home carved out in the shape of you. From suspenseful mysteries that make you second guess every character’s motive to a feel good romance that gives you a warm internal hug, there’s a topic for what you want. Don’t be shy about exploring books that are labelled for “kids” or “teens” either. If you want to get lost in a vampire romance series, then who’s to stop you? And if you’re interested in some recommendations from yours truly, check out my last blog post where I talk about some of my favourite recent reads.
2. Write/Paint/Knit/Crochet – Make Something!
Everyone is born an artist. You just have to put it to practise. We already know good and bad art is subjective so I won’t harp on that idea but I will try to remind you about that time in elementary school when you happily glued sequins on a costume for halloween, spent 4 hours making a lego masterpiece, wrote an angsty poetry or short story about “angels of death” or made turkeys out of your handprint for thanksgiving. No? Just me? Point is, there’s someone in you that made things and enjoyed doing it without caring too much about the outcome. Go to Dollarama or Michaels, explore your options and let out that inner artist. I bet they’ve been itching to try out crocheting ever since they saw someone on Tik Tok crochet a little sweater for their dog. Your dog needs a handmade sweater as well and what the heck, so does your mom, sister, and your cousin’s hamster. You could be the Oprah of handmade sweaters, if only you learned to crochet or knit!
3. Have a Spa Day
This is a top tier activity during me-days. Definitely don’t skip this one because it simply makes you feel good inside and out. First, play music for whatever mood you’re in; it can be relaxing or energetic, the song that’s been stuck in your head for the past day or the artist that was recommended to you by your best friend. A podcast or audio book work just as well. Then pull out all of your beauty products and just play! This is your chance to try out that goth inspired eyeshadow look and curl your hair into tight ringlets like the daughter of a wealthy family in 1700’s England. If you have the clothes for a fun look, put those on too and have an impromptu photo shoot with your phone and the self timer. Don’t worry about posting them, just enjoy being Kate Moss for the day!
Alternatively, now’s your chance to finally use those face/lips/eye/foot masks that have been waiting for you under the bathroom sink. Maybe you’ve been neglecting your eyebrows and want to even them out or have been meaning to shave/wax your legs, armpits, down there, wherever! Or you have never had time to try out those bath bombs you received as a gift from your birthday. Bring a bag of sour cream and onion chips, a glass of wine, and the princess diaries movie and I think you’ll find paradise pretty quickly. You have all day and the vocal stylings of Haley Williams and Taylor Swift cheering you on so pamper yourself and take care of your body.
If you’re the type to hate staying home all day, then that’s fine too! Or maybe you gotta stop by the grocery store or post office anyway, you can still go out and spend time with yourself for a part of your day. Plan ahead and try exploring nearby neighbourhoods that you have never been to. Become a tourist in your own city and take the long scenic route along lakeshore to get to your destination and hey you’ve got an extra couple of hours, why not get a cappuccino and walk around humber bay park? Or look at google maps and just see what’s nearby that you haven’t seen before, you never know you might just come across a new favourite reading spot or breakfast place. When I do this kind of exploring, I also enjoy removing my head/ear phones and listening to the sound of the people and things around me too. Immerse yourself in this “new frontier” so to speak and you’d be surprised by how much catches your eye or what you might stumble upon. I recently saw an otter (or similar type of animal) jump out of lake Ontario and in between some rocks on an “exploration” and it made the trip totally worth it!
5. Call Your Mom/Dad/Aunt/Sibling/Friend etc.
There’s no reason you can’t share some of the magic of your me-day with others close to you. Is there someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while that you want to catch up with? Now’s your chance. Send them a polite text asking if they would like to have a chat or if they’re not the texting type, just call them! As grim as it may seem, there may be a time in the future when you wished you had reached out more often when you could. When you think about life with this kind of foresight, you realize that scheduling these off days can really be a gift to yourself and others around you as well.
Now that we are (hopefully) moving forward and coming out of this pandemic, the idea of staying in may seem less attractive to some, or more attractive to others who have grown accustomed to it. Whatever your case is, taking a day occasionally to disengage from your life has been proven to have wonderful benefits emotionally, physically, and mentally. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to spend the whole day rewatching Modern Family, but if you would like to switch things up, try out one of these activities to break up your routine. I’m sure you’re brain will be happy to be thinking about anything other than what to make for dinner. You can figure that out later, heck maybe even order in if that’s something you don’t do very often!
The world’s your oyster!