“A person sitting on a picnic table next to his bicycle at the University of Alberta” by Ezra Jeffrey on Unsplash

Most days, I’m surrounded by human beings. Whether it’s at home- with my three roommates, on the subway- heading downtown, or at work-bartending for large parties, I’m constantly around others. It brings me comfort, I love connecting with people every day. However, it can also be exhausting, at times.

I can usually sense when I need a break from all the chatter and constant stimulation. I can sense it because I find myself getting snippy with people, I become easily agitated, and I know it’s time to step out for a moment. The easiest way for me to get back to that grounded, happy place, is to schedule a “Me-Day” somewhere in my calendar. This is a day where I have no work, no appointments, no dates, and if I do, I kindly reschedule them. As much as I love seeing friends on my days off, sometimes I just need a day to focus purely on my own health and well-being.

“Me-Days” might only happen once or twice a month, if I’m lucky. Sometimes I’ll compromise and take a “half- me-day”, if I really need to squeeze in a visit with a friend I haven’t seen in ages. Either way, I always make sure to take some time away from everyone, to just check-in with myself. I also like to treat myself on “Me Days”, it might be sleeping in an extra hour, going for lunch at my favourite ramen place, taking a blanket to the park and reading a good book for a few hours, it can be anything, as long as I’m alone!

In order to be a better roommate, friend, co-worker, bartender, son, or whatever role I’m playing on any given day, I need to take care of myself first! If I don’t take the time to sort out my own thoughts and emotions, I’m not going to be fully present when you need to talk to me about your troubles. This is something I didn’t understand for a long time, and it put a strain on my relationships. I actually used to feel guilty about taking “me time”, but now I’m totally unapologetic about it, because I understand that it serves not only me, but the people in my life.

My current obsession is going to the movies alone! I know, some of you are thinking… “no way, you’d never catch me at the theatre by myself, how embarrassing! What if someone saw me?!” Listen, it’s all about strategy! I always aim to go to the early show, hardly anyone goes to the movies at 4 in the afternoon. If I have to go to a later show, I always roll in a few minutes late, the lights are already turned down, nobody’s gonna see you! I’m telling you, solo movie dates are the best! First of all, I don’t have to share my popcorn with anyone! Secondly…hell do I even need to keep going?! Not having to share my big ole’ bag of popcorn is reason enough for me to enjoy even the worst of films!

When’s the last day you took time for yourself? Time to be present and available in your own life, no one else’s? I get it, you love to be there for everyone at the drop of a hat. We all have a desire to be the best friend we can be for the people in our lives. But I’m telling you, the easiest way to do that, is to take better care of yourself. I promise it will take less effort to commit yourself to others when you’ve taken the time to treat yourself to a “me-day” every now and then. Give it a try, and let me know how you like to spend your “me-days” in the comment section below! :)

31, Toronto-Canada, LGBTQ+, Actor, Singer, Writer, Lover!❤