How to Take a Staycation the Right Way
By: Brian Acton
Taking time off from work to spend at home – commonly known as the “staycation” – can be an effective way to unwind without the stress, hassle, or expense of travel. But without a focused effort to make the most of your staycation, you could just end up doing chores and sitting in front of the TV all day. This defeats the purpose of taking time off from work: recharging, relaxing, and changing up your routine.
With that in mind, we have a few tips on how you can achieve vacation-level relaxation without any travel necessary.
Disconnect from Work
This is an important one. It’s easier to step away from work when you’re travelling – you can ignore your laptop and emails when exploring a new city or lounging on the beach. But if you’re taking time off at home, it may become tempting to log on to keep up with emails.
You should resist this urge. Vacations are important to disconnect from stress, which in most office jobs comes in the form of digital communication. Shut off your laptop and turn off smartphone notifications for work email and work-related apps. You can catch up when you’re back in the office and refreshed from your break. Before you leave, set an email responder that notifies everyone that you will not be checking emails until you return.
Turn off the Chatter
Television, social media, and the Internet are all clamoring for your attention. Even though they may not be related to work, these distractions can keep you from reaching your relaxation potential during your time off. Turn these distractions off if you can – they’ll still be there in a week, and in the meantime you can avoid getting fired up over politics or reflexively checking social media sites.
If you must have your news, try reading the paper – digesting information at a slower rate that allows more contemplation.
Switch Up Your Relaxation Routine
During your typical workweek, your relaxation time may be restricted to what is simply convenient. After you have worked a full day, commuted, and taken care of responsibilities such as errands or child-rearing, you may only have the energy to flop on the couch for a few hours of TV before bedtime.
With a staycation, you have more time to get in some quality relaxation time that’s more fulfilling. Yoga classes, a long bath, a good book, or a long walk – all of these activities take extra time, but most importantly are quiet and allow us to truly lose ourselves in the activity or our thoughts. You can even kick back for a few drinks on your balcony or in the backyard – not a bad replacement for poolside cocktails.
You don’t have to go to the beach or visit a new city to indulge. If you have a local spa, yoga studio, or fancy restaurant, you can enjoy the good life locally. You’re saving money by staying at home, so indulging yourself in treats like these shouldn’t leave you with too much guilt.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Neighborhood
Whether you live in the country, the city, or the suburbs, your area probably has some dynamite attractions. Plan some excursions from the viewpoint of a tourist: if someone was visiting your area, what would you tell them to check out?
Bonus points if you can find some new attractions that are outside your recreational routine. Whether it’s a different hiking trail, a new museum, or a restaurant with cuisine you’ve never tried, you can experience some new regional attractions. You’ll gain a new appreciation for your area, potentially find a new fun spot to take your friends or family, and have a new experience while you’re at it.
With a little creativity you can turn a staycation into an epic week to remember. You can also recharge your batteries, de-stress, and gain a new appreciation for staying close to home. You don’t have to travel to have a break from work – with the right motivation you’ll be achieving beach-level relaxation, even if you live in a crowded metropolis.