For many of us, summer is traditionally the time of year to take that long-deserved mid-year break, the one we saved and planned for with so much anticipation – to literally “get away”. Whether your idea of rest, fun, and relaxation is an island beach, a mountain lake, flying to some exotic locale, or exploring some old world hideaway, there is something about the alchemy of time, travel, and distance that seems to be an inherent part of what our idea of a vacation should be.
But let’s face it, “going away” many not be in the cards for some of us. What do we do if time, financials, jobs, or personal circumstances don’t allow us to climb aboard, fly away, or book passage to experience a traditional vacation?
Welcome to the staycation!
This is an idea becoming increasingly popular in our hard-driven, high-tech, and time-oriented lives. A staycation is much more than just time spent at home catching up on things, projects, and chores that we hope to get around to with some time off. A true staycation is an intentional time of fun and relaxation for your own self or with family and friends.
While there is seemingly an endless array of ideas and activities that you can plan and enjoy, here are a few tips that may be helpful in getting started:
- Mentally give yourself permission to “take a break”. Get into vacation mode. It’s ok to disconnect from the routine and get off the grid. You’ve earned it!
- Put out an “out of the office” email and voicemail message, and turn off your phone. Would you be answering your phone on a traditional vacation?
- Cut off routine distractions. Skip the news. Let laundry and mail alone for a few days, and help get rid of reminders of time by draping the clocks in your house. If you were on vacation you wouldn’t be reaching your mail anyway.
Now that you’re in a staycation mindset, you could…
- Be a tourist in your own town. Take the hop-on/hop-off type of transit. Plan a local trip each day.
- Cash in on deals and promotions from museums to sporting events and movie tickets. Grab some alone time or invite your friends to join.
- Hang out at home with friends or family, especially the ones who have a sense of humor.
- Dig out that stack of menus you’ve been sitting on, and have a different type of dinner delivered every night. Better yet, add candlelight to your table, yard, balcony, or deck, and enjoy the added ambiance with your meal.
- Create a vacation soundtrack. Music always sets the mood.
- Stay up through the night with a do-it-yourself film festival.
- Pamper yourself, and take the down time you deserve with a relaxing spa treatment.
We get so immersed in our day to day routines that we often lose our awareness of the incredible amount of resources in people, places, and experiences that surround us every day. At the end of the day we just may find that it’s within our own four walls or backyard that may just be the best place to explore, enjoy and unwind!