Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Properly Staycate

In just a few hours I will embark on a proper vacation. What that means is that I am taking a full week off to recharge my battery. However, due to funds and general lack of options, my vacation has turned into a staycation of sorts. 

Over the years, I have become the expert on a proper staycation. Believe it or not, it takes a little bit of planning, or  you will simply watch an entire week just fade away into the distance. 

With that being said, here is my fail-proof way to Staycate:

1. Start with a clean slate. What I mean by that is, it is important to get your affairs in order. Pay your bills, make those payment arrangements (in other words, you don't want annoying bill collector phone calls.) Set your "out of office" notice at work. Buy all of the necessities (toilet paper, basic essential groceries, etc.) and most importantly, spend one full day organizing. That way, after the first day or so, you can truly unplug and unwind. 

2. Plan, but don't plan. I'm sure my roommate would argue that true relaxation would require zero plans - but for me, that just stresses me out and I end up not doing all of the things I really wanted to do. I suggest making a list of activities/stuff you would like to try/accomplish (if laying around and doing nothing is one of them, then by all means list that!) That way, you have options. Options = less time trying to figure things out.

3. Don't over commit. Once you announce to everyone that you are going to be on vacation, suddenly friends from out of town, or even in town, begin to try and make plans with you. Hear them out, but don't over commit. It's best to select one or two activities, and leave the rest up to "maybe."

4. Groom. What I mean by this - take the time to take care of yourself. Need to get your hair trimmed and colored? Go do that. Need your nails done? Get that done also. Need to get a facial, massage, or wax? Then make those appointments. Treat them like opportunities to unwind. This will add to that "just got back from vacay" glow.

5. Read. I do read a little every night, but not enough to really make a dent in any of my books. Pick out at least one good book, and take some time to just be transported to another place. 

6. Stay up late. Sleep in. Granted, I probably do this more often than not, but this time, do it without guilt. Let yourself rest. You do realize that when you are sleeping, the body begins to heal itself. Make sure to heal - physically, mentally, and spiritually. That's the whole point of vacation.

7. Day Trip. Just because you aren't staying in a hotel somewhere does not mean you can't have any adventures. Choose to go antiquing down some old country roads. Visit a local animal sanctuary. Go pick blueberries. Just do something. 

8. Watch movies and daytime TV. I know this is probably a big part of the sloth factor for me. I plan to pick out a few movies to devour and definitely finish a season or two of old television series. 

9. Cook something new. I'm always saving recipes I want to try someday. But because I am constantly busy or too tired after work, I end up just avoiding it all. Why not give it a go?

10. Check in with old friends and family. Through out the work week, and even on the weekends, the last thing I want to do (for the most part,) is try the whole catching up thing. I'm usually just too mentally exhausted. Give it a few days, then make those phone calls because you can relax and pay attention. Trust me, it's good for the soul. 

What would you add to this list? 

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