Thinking of skipping vacations this year because of ongoing social restrictions? Think again. Taking time off—even without straying far from home—helps counter burnout, boosting your moods and productivity. So make a purposeful plan for an “escape staycation,” have fun, and recharge! Here’s how:
Keep the benefits in mind. Staycations can mean fewer planning decisions (and less spending) on travel/lodging arrangements, and often less worry about the weather and pet care, while finding refreshing ways to feel invigorated, bond with your kids or partner, and even support local and regional businesses, like those offering socially-distanced activities/events.
Create an itinerary of how to spend your time. It can be something different planned for each day, or the same activity over a span of days.
Check out resources such as:
- Community event calendars for drive-in movies, pop-up concerts and outdoor markets
- Local, state and national park service websites for hikes, trails, tours
- The National Wildlife Federation for interesting outdoor activities
- Museums, zoos, theme parks, botanical gardens and archaeological sites, for virtual tours around the world
- Classcentral.com for free online courses at leading universities
- Free language learning sources: Open University
Make the ordinary extraordinary. Add a novel twist to a family backyard campout or nature walk, for instance, by having a scavenger hunt to collect rocks for painting, leaves to make rubbings, etc.
Take care of your chores in advance. Pay your bills ahead of time, for example, and attend to any scheduled home maintenance. Figure out eat-in or take-out food outside of the usual fare, or stock up on supplies for new recipes you want to try.
Plan activities to keep you occupied during your downtime. Some ideas: Line up books or TV series to catch up on, movies you’ve always wanted to see, or a hobby you’ve always wanted to try.
Get into vacation mode. Create a playlist and listen to it frequently to keep up the relaxing vibes.
And don’t forget to disconnect once it’s vacation time. Avoid responding to any non-crucial texts, phone calls and emails during your staycation. Be sure to let friends and family know in advance that your responses may be delayed so they don’t worry about you!