First things first: a staycation is NOT a vacation. You should not compare your staycation to any vacation, and you should never substitute a staycation for a true vacation. Staycations stand alone, and because of that, you can enjoy your staycation to the fullest without feeling sad that it’s not a true vacation. Accept your staycation for what it is: a chance to relax, recharge your batteries and unplug from the rollercoaster of life for a few days.
Vacations aren’t always a possibility, and when a break is farthest away is usually the time that you need it the most. Plan on a staycation to help keep your sanity until your next real vacation. Staycation the right way, and you’ll emerge on the other side refreshed and relaxed.
1. Put it on the calendar. If you are not committed to your staycation, other duties of life will creep in and sully it. Whether you have a day to yourself or a week, write it on the calendar. Often we feel that if we stop being productive or taking care of others for a moment, the world will fall apart. It won’t. Scheduling your staycation will help assuage any guilt you feel about taking a break. Clear your calendar of any obligations during the time you have set aside.
2. Stimulation or relaxation? Party time or “me” time? Depending on your personality and age, when you envision happiness, it either comes alongside a shot of adrenaline or a dose of relaxation. Know what makes you happy, and don’t be forced out of it by well-meaning friends who feel the opposite way and think you should too. If your idea of total bliss is staying home with the dog and watching a black-and-white documentary while you paint your nails blue – do it. If that sounds like torture and you’d rather spend your break going out with friends and seeing new places around town – do it. Know what makes you happy, and don’t compromise. This is your staycation!
3.Check-out. Let friends, family and business partners know that you’ll be out of pocket for the next day or several days. Today we are expected to be plugged in and available around the clock. If you don’t respond to an email, text or message within a short amount of time, you risk pissing off the person who sent it. But being “on” like that all the time is exhausting. A staycation is a good time to reestablish boundaries, for example you do not have to answer your phone when you are eating, driving, sleeping, working or just don’t feel like it. Really. Tell your loved ones that unless it’s a true emergency, you’ll get back to them once you’ve returned from your staycation.
4. Stock up on easy-to-make groceries. Running errands is not part of a staycation, and you need to be vigilant to make sure that your break doesn’t get taken up with “to-do’s” – otherwise you won’t get the “resetting” of energy that you need. Stock your pantry and fridge with healthy, organic food and drinks.
5. Shut off social media. If just reading that sentence gave you anxiety, you don’t have to log off from Facebook. Maybe you want to use your staycation to catch up on social media, and that’s fine too. But remember: there was a time in your life when you could go an entire day without updating your status or reading anyone else’s. More and more studies show that using social media makes you sad, as you falsely compare your life to others. Give yourself a break from updates and log off for a few days.
6. Pamper yourself. Plan on at least one spa night, and treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, face mask, hair wrap, exfoliation or anything else that makes you feel fantastic.
7. Let go. For some people, life is a staycation. For others, taking time to do nothing can be extremely difficult. But forcing yourself to rest gives your brain the freedom it needs to creatively craft your life’s path. When your mind is full of work schedules, nutritional information and online passwords, it can be hard to contemplate more important matters, like what you want in life. Your staycation is a chance for your brain to have a break from the crushing amount of information it usually encounters.