Health Advocate Blog

Recharge with a relaxing staycation

With summer just around the corner, many of us are dreaming of getting away for a relaxing vacation. No matter where you go, taking time off can help counter burnout, boosting your mood and productivity. However, vacations aren’t always relaxing, plus the costs and hassles can sometimes outweigh the benefits.

Whether you have a vacation planned or not, you may also want to consider schedule a staycation for yourself. Staycations are when you take the time to purposely unwind and spend time at home and in your community. They allow you to relax, recharge, and explore your local area—all without the stress and expense of traveling!

Plan the perfect staycation with these tips:

Designate the time. Similar to how you would allot time for traveling, block off a weekend, long weekend or even a week for your staycation. Request off from work; inform family members, friends and neighbors that you’ll be “on vacation,” just as you would if you were traveling to a different locale.

Disconnect to reconnect. Unplug from work and daily stressors. Set up an away message for your emails, silence non-essential notifications, and commit to putting away your devices for periods of time. Be sure to let friends and family know in advance that your responses may be delayed so they don’t worry about you!

Plan your meals. One of the highlights of a vacation is cooking less and trying new foods. You can do that in your community, too! Choose restaurants you may want to eat in or take out from outside of the normal places you may go. Or if you want to spend part of your staycation whipping up some new recipes, grocery shop ahead of time so you don’t have to spend your staycation at the store! (Need a new recipe to try? You can browse our collection of healthy recipes here.)

Choose–and plan for–your downtime activities. Are you planning to binge-read, catch up on your favorite TV series, or watch the movies you’ve missed throughout the year? Stock up on the essentials to ensure that you have plenty to keep you occupied in your downtime.

Create a playlist. Select music that will help you get into vacation mode. Play it frequently to keep up the relaxing vibes!

Create an itinerary. Decide how you would like to spend your time to make the most of the rest of your summer. Maybe there is a local park you’ve wanted to explore, a book you want to read, or a new movie or show you’ve been anxious to stream. Whatever you choose, make sure it is fun, makes you happy, and is something outside of your day-to-day routine. It can be something different planned for each day, or the same activity over a span of days.

Consider adding some of these activities to your itinerary:

  • Take a day trip. Explore your own hometown and some of the surrounding areas. Perhaps check out a zoo or museum; go to a concert, show or movie; peruse a market or shopping area; go for a hike or get on the water at a nearby park or lake; and much, much more.
  • Try a new sport. Hit the driving range or give pickleball a try! Even taking your bike out for a spin is a great way to stay active and have fun.
  • Enjoy a spa day. Grab your robe, scented candles and relax at home in your tub or comfortable lounge chair! Or visit a local business for a massage, pedicure, or other relaxing treatment.
  • Make a DIY fort for the whole family. Gather pillows, blankets and maybe even some small string lights to hang in your fort.
  • Plan a movie marathon. Pop some popcorn, or make brownies, and get settled in for the night in your PJs. Pick a theme and choose movies that fit the theme.
  • Schedule a game night. Dig out the board games, teach yourself a new card game, or put together a puzzle. Or play online trivia with friends or family virtually.
  • Explore your city. Make a list of local attractions, parks, museums, or neighborhoods that you’ve been meaning to check out and be a tourist in your own city! You may be surprised by all of the hidden gems around you.

With a bit of planning and commitment to relaxation, a staycation allows you to hit the reset button on your mental and physical health without going very far at all. You may even find yourself returning to work feeling more rested and recharged than after a traditional vacation!