Summer is finally here, bringing sunshine, warm weather, and opportunities to explore the world. However, if you are rich in vacation time but light in your pocketbook, don’t despair! There’s no need to languish at your desk during the summer months when you can take your vacation at home. How can you make sure that your time is truly restorative? Check out my tips below.
TURN OFF YOUR EMAIL:
Just because you are at home does NOT mean that you are on-call. Tell the office that you are on vacation and will not be reachable during that time. And then make sure that you turn off any alerts and reduce your access to any work communications.
BAN THE CHORES:
You know how you always leave your chores to the weekend? (Um, that’s not just me, right?) Your staycation shouldn’t be any different. Use the weekends to take care of what you always do—but don’t waste your break stretching out dull activities that you resent.
YOU DO YOU:
That said, if the idea of cleaning the bathroom sounds like a grand idea to you, go for it! Who cares if your friends think it’s crazy? It’s your staycation, so whatever relaxes or excites you or makes you feel like you’re leading a full life is fair game. I personally like organizing my closets and cooking big meals (which is something this single gal rarely gets to do). If you love watching movies, consider hosting your own personal film festival. If you’re a beer lover, tour a local brewery or invite some folks over for a tasting.
CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE:
Maybe you’ve gotten into the habit of racing to that 6:30 spin class after work every Wednesday. Well, this Wednesday, make sure to miss it. Take the morning class instead, or a Friday afternoon. By shaking up your routine, you’re more likely to really get the rest and relaxation you deserve. Who knows, maybe you’ll even figure out a better way of balancing your everyday life.
PLAY TOURIST AT HOME:
I’m sure that your hometown is full of treasures that you never get a chance to appreciate. We get so caught up in the day-to-day grind that we don’t get to visit that national landmark or art museum or new restaurant that was just written up in the papers. Explore a new neighborhood. Buy a map and still get lost (just like a real tourist!).
It wouldn’t be a GoodGal post without a reminder about the needy, would it? For my last staycation, I took just one morning to volunteer with high school girls preparing for college applications. I met two really sweet girls and got to talk to them about their hopes for the future, their part-time jobs, their hobbies, and their family lives. When I left, I was walking on air, buzzing with the excitement of having met lovely people and feeling like I truly helped them.
Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and relax. You deserve it!