Mind-Body Health

How to Create a Splendid Staycation During a Pandemic

chinese woman preparing food at home
chinese woman preparing food at home

A staycation might not sound so enticing during the time of a pandemic. Staying at home certainly means something much different than it did just six months ago. Where you previously may have craved some downtime to relax on the couch for a long weekend, now, depending on your unique circumstances, that may feel like just another day. Or perhaps you were energized about making the best of this stay-at-home time at the beginning of the pandemic but now you’re losing steam. Time to spice it up!

Staying at home due to personal health concerns, state or local orders, or general necessity does not mean you can’t take time to rest, recharge, or even adventure. In fact, as summer winds down, as many transitions to school from home, and working remotely continues, it is essential to consider creative ways to strike a work-life balance.

One way to do that is to create a special stay-at-home vacation: a staycation.

A staycation is an at-home vacation where you do not go out of town but instead plan to stay in your own home or neighborhood. You will not work or have any of your regular responsibilities. So it will be like you are vacationing on a tropical island far, far away, but with all the creature comforts of your home.

As you create your COVID-safe staycation, make sure to adhere to safety measures put forward by your country, state, county, and city and do only that which feels completely comfortable for you and your family.

Paradise Is a State of Mind

There are several ways to make your staycation satisfying and successful. And if “home” is not a safe or comfortable place for you, consider a staycation in a trusted friend’s spare room, renting a nearby Airbnb for the weekend, or taking a camping trip to a local nature park.

Here are some extra tips to help you commit to vacationing from the comfort of your home. Do this for yourself!

  • Tell friends and family you will be going on vacation, just as you would if you were excitedly heading out of town.
  • Remind those who need to know that you are, therefore, unreachable except in case of an emergency. If you were heading out of town, it would mean you were unavailable for lunch dates and catching up on to-do list items. Just because you are “home” does not mean you are available.
  • Delegate any necessary tasks and give up your regular roles.
  • Set your email away message. Even if only for a day, set aside your work or personal emailing responsibilities.
  • Set an intention for your staycation. How do you hope to feel during and after your vacation at home? What is your purpose for taking this time off? What positive characteristics are you hoping to cultivate during your reset? What goals are you working toward in your life that this vacation allows you to manifest?

Whether you’re discouraged about missing a planned weekend getaway, craving an overseas adventure, or already relishing your time at home, allow these creative ideas to inspire you. Mix and match to make your own vacation sublimely rejuvenating!

Abroad from Home

Do you wish you were exploring art museums, taking a guided architecture tour, immersing yourself in a new language, or sampling local cuisine in a different country? Though there is nothing like traveling abroad, you can get creative and enjoy many of the benefits that an international trip offers right from home. Whether for a day, a few days, or a whole week, pick a place you would like to “visit” and explore from home.

  • Order takeout from a local restaurant offering cuisine from the region you’re “visiting.”
  • Watch a documentary about the indigenous people who live in the region you’re “visiting.”
  • Watch a documentary about the natural environment of the region you’re “visiting.”
  • Watch a film or read a book produced or created by someone from the region you’re “visiting.”
  • Enroll in an online cooking course to learn to cook the cuisine from the region you’re “visiting.”
  • Purchase a cookbook written by someone from the region you are “visiting” and try out a new recipe.
  • Enroll in an online language course to learn a bit of the language spoken in the area.
  • Check out an online offering from an art museum in the region. Many museums offer virtual tours on their websites.
  • Research ways to donate or offer support to NGOs or relief organizations in the region you’re “visiting.”
  • Send postcards to friends and family as if you were on holiday! Tell them about something you learned in the documentary or the recipe you tried.

Selfless Service

Did you know that sometimes people take a vacation as part of a service trip? That’s right, sometimes people take a “vacation” that involves building trails, building houses, or teaching yoga! Choose a cause that is close to your heart, such as Black Lives Matter, voting rights, LGBTQIA+ issues, reproductive justice, access to clean water, access to fresh food, access to education, anti-gun activism, support for new mothers, resources for children in the foster care system, or animal welfare. Consider how you can serve your local community in much the same way you would if you were traveling elsewhere.

  • Research projects that your local community organizations are working on. See what is already being done and how you can become involved. There is likely a local chapter of a national or international organization you already support. If there is not, start one!
  • Ask those who are already leading and working on the projects what is needed.
  • Donate to organizations working for the cause you’ve chosen.
  • Practice a 10-20-minute meditation dedicated to those impacted by the cause you’ve chosen.
  • Write a letter of support to an individual impacted by the cause you’ve chosen.
  • Write a letter of support to an individual who works for the cause you’ve chosen.
  • Write a letter to the editor, create a YouTube video, or share on social media expressing your opinion about the cause. Your voice matters.
  • Create care packages, make home-cooked meals, or offer gift cards to those working for the cause you’ve chosen.
  • Consider other creative ways you can do a service trip from home: talk to friends and family, host a Zoom meeting about the cause with trusted colleagues, watch a film about the issues, or attend a chapter meeting of your local community organization.

Film Festival

Do you miss going to the movies? The thrill of seeing a flick on the big screen with a big bucket of popcorn? Creating your own at-home film festival is the next best thing! Choose a genre, a few films or TV series. Consider inviting others who might also be interested to synchronize watching from their homes as you do. Many films and series are available through subscription services such as Netflix or Hulu. Also, several film festivals are actually online this year.

  • Get crafty-create and send an online invitation to others who may want to join in on the film festival fun.
  • Create a schedule for the film start times so everyone knows when to press “play” and begin viewing.
  • Have fun with homemade popcorn recipes!
  • Dress up in costumes related to the films, genres, regions, or eras you’re viewing.
  • Set up a Zoom date with others to discuss the films.

There are many other ways to enjoy a perfect staycation, even during COVID-19. Perhaps you’d like to create an at-home retreat or spa day or spend a day exploring local trails. Get creative and get relaxed! Now, more than ever, it is important to focus on work-life balance and to nurture your own well-being, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Though there may be limitations to where you can go and how you can interact, there are so many benefits to taking time out to rest and restore. Happy holiday!

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