Life can take a toll on anyone. Whether due to the daily routine of balancing family, work and personal wellness, or simply because unexpected issues arise, life can be tough at times. Vacations end up providing a much-desired escape from the norm that can easily assist in improving your mental health.
However, there are many people who do not have the time, resources or energy to take or plan a vacation. But, what about a staycation?
A staycation is a concept that has developed over the past decade that involves someone staying in his or her home state or city, rather than planning something out of the country. A staycation can involve day trips to local attractions, short road trips in and around the nearby areas or even staying at home and indulging in some much-needed rest and relaxation. Here are a few staycation ideas to consider the next time you need a mental health boost.
Stay in Your Neighborhood
Just because you’re staying within your hometown or city doesn’t mean you can’t get out and explore. Sometimes day-to-day life doesn’t allow us to adventure through our own neighborhoods the way that we should. Do some research before your staycation, and come up with a list of places you love, or places you’ve never been that you would want to explore.
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If it is easier to create a radius from your home base, for instance 20 miles, 50 miles, or even 100 miles, then find places within that radius that you might like. This can allow for you to see and enjoy new things, while saving money and learning more about your town or city.
Consider a Home-Based Escape
One of the best ways in which you can maximize your staycation is by staying at home and enjoying some much-needed personal time. While this may seem like a strange choice – staying at home when you need a mental break – but, sometimes, we forget just how nice and comfortable our homes can be when we’re not running around or overwhelmed by the day-to-day life. When you consider a staycation at home, a few ideas of how you can get the most out of your break include:
- Switching up your routine – Rather than waking up to an alarm and snapping into go-mode, try to wake up without an alarm, or perhaps set the alarm for later than normal.
- Indulging a little bit – maybe you’re the type of person who eats a healthy breakfast every morning, or packs a simple lunch every day. If so, then during your staycation, try indulging a little bit. Consider ditching the oatmeal or fruit smoothie and making some pancakes from scratch, or taking yourself out to lunch at that place you’ve never tried before.
- Losing the shame and guilt – Oftentimes, we end up feeling guilty when our plates aren’t overflowing with things to do or items on our daily list. During your staycation, lose all the shame and guilt of having to stay busy and simply just exist. Try listening to more of what you want to do rather than what you have to do.
- Not being afraid to just stay in – If your staycation involves holing up in bed for a few days, binge-watching your favorite movies or TV shows and ordering takeout – then, so be it. There are no rules for how unwinding works for everyone.
- Scheduling an at-home massage – Just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little bit of pampering. Schedule a massage therapist to come to your house, once, if not twice during your staycation, and enjoy being in your own space and having someone work through your aches and pains.
Take Time to Reorganize
One of the biggest sources of stress for most of us involves disorganization and an unclean environment. Your mental health can improve in just a few short days by taking time to stay at home and spring clean or reorganize your space. Getting organized can be exactly what you needed to boost your mental health and get rid of some physical baggage that has been building up for a while. Deep-clean spaces in your home, which can include the following:
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Sometimes, even tackling one project in your home that has been on your list for a while can feel like a huge weight being lifted off your shoulders.
Reconnect With Things That Matter to You
When we stay busy during regular life, we often lose touch with things that once mattered. When it comes to nature, friends, family, or even just with ourselves, things end up on the back burner, which can make us feel burnt out. During your staycation, try to reconnect with things that make you happy. Whether it be catching up with an old friend over a good bottle of wine, or hiking through your local forest preserve and spending some time outdoors. Find things that truly bring you joy, and plan them so that you can indulge and feel reconnected to what matters most to you.
Book a Hotel
By not leaving the state or the country, you’ll be saving plenty of money during this staycation. So that ultimately means that you have some definite wiggle room when it comes to throwing in some added luxury. Book a hotel in a nearby town, or maybe the closest big city, and enjoy not having to worry about doing dishes, laundry, cleaning, making the bed and all the other annoyances that become your responsibility at home. Finding a hotel with a gym, spa, restaurant and nearby activities can be just what you need to recharge.
Disconnect From Social Media
A truly great way to improve your mental health during your staycation is to disconnect from social media, altogether. Rather than feeling obligated to check in and see what everyone else is doing, take a little technology break. It can be extremely freeing to disconnect as much as possible and enjoy the extra time you will have for yourself. Even if you log out of everything but your email, or just keep your cell phone handy for emergencies, enjoy a little bit of seclusion and solitude by being less accessible than usual.
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