Last Monday, I was tired. Mentally and physically I knew I needed a break. So I took the day off. On this day off, I did absolutely nothing, for the first time during the week in a really long time. It’s been months since I’ve had a vacation and usually, by now I would have traveled somewhere with my fiancé so we could rest and recharge. But given the stay at home orders, we’ve just been plugging away since the year started. Now, I’m not burnt out–thankfully, but I feel in my heart it’s coming soon. That day off let me know that I need a longer staycation, so I’m taking one next week.
In a recent caption on my Instagram page, I wrote that I plan on taking a vacation soon and one of my followers asked:
And it actually got me thinking. In my mind, I was like I’ll just chill, but in all honesty, it never really goes like that when you’re at home. Something always comes up, so I decided to put together a plan of action. To not only have a staycation, but to make sure it’s truly effective in allowing me the space I need. So, here we go:
Set your intention.
What is it that you want to achieve from this staycation? We all have different needs, and for some, it may be more rest, sleeping, and completely unplugging from the world around you. For others, it may be catching up on some personal tasks and needs that have been pushed to the side by work. For me personally, I need some time outside in nature away from my desk, and to focus on my mind and body to help reignite my creativity.
Set a loose itinerary
You want to have a plan of action, but don’t completely book up your days. Write out (yes, write it out because simply thinking of it, things will fall to the wayside) some things that align with your intention. Some things I plan on doing are turning off my alarm, making a real breakfast in the mornings whenever I wake up, doing some sort of physical exercise at least once, going for a walk at least once, spending a day a the park at least once, pampering myself, and putting the phone away for a few hours each day.
For someone else, an itinerary may mean tasking yourself with writing in your journal. Doing a deep clean of your home. Meditating, practicing yoga, or having a long phone conversation with a good friend.
For each of these items, I suggest writing “at least once” because you don’t want to set too lofty of a goal to where you feel defeated before you even begin. This is all about taking it easy.
Set the mood
If you want to give yourself an at-home spa day, plan ahead and purchase a few items that’ll help you to execute it. Like an inexpensive robe, bath salts, candles, body butter, and so forth. Or if you want to get more rest, try purchasing an eye mask, blackout curtains, or a weighted blanket.
Now this, is what makes a staycation a little trickier than an actual vacation. We all have different circumstances, whether that’s a demanding boss, living with a significant other, or with children, so we have to work around it.
Boss/work: Tell your boss and colleagues ahead of time that you’ll be unplugging completely from work during this time and won’t be as available as usual. Tie up any loose ends at work to make sure you have nothing left pending once you’re out. Set an out of office and delete your work e-mail from your phone. Keep that laptop tucked away so you won’t be tempted!
Significant others: Tell them ahead of time too. Let them know that although they may still be working, you are taking time for yourself and may be sleeping in or spending more time outside. Come up with a plan for meals, chores, and so forth, so you don’t have too much on your plate during this time. It also may be fun to see if your significant other can take off as well, so you can spend quality time with one another.
Children/family: If you have a bigger family, have everyone join in on the staycation. Plan ahead by setting a theme. Maybe your week will be an at-home island getaway. Stock up on some decor items and food beforehand so everyone gets in the spirit. And set specific times for “family rest and relaxation” where you can lay down and unwind without being disturbed. Also, be a little more lenient on things like remote learning as well so everyone gets a break.
Treat your staycation like a normal vacation and take some pictures! Take selfies or family photos to make the experience even more memorable.