With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting nearly every country in the world, this year has forced us to adjust plans and engage in creative problem-solving like never before. While some of this problem solving has been dedicated to everyday tasks like going to the grocery store, some of it has gone towards figuring out how to enjoy the little luxuries of life during a global pandemic. If you had planned a vacation before shelter-in-place orders went into effect and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended avoiding unnecessary travel, you may currently be in the tough spot of figuring out what to do with those plans.
You may not be able to jet off to another country, but you can still get the relaxing and recharging feeling of going on vacation right in your own home. The key is to inject some fun and relaxation into your home. Not only will this give you a memorable staycation, but it can help wash away any stressful associations you may have developed with your home over the course of the pandemic as it became your one place for working, schooling, and living. Let’s take a look at a few ideas to create a staycation that will wash away all stress and leave you feeling refreshed.
Bring Your Vacation Spot to Your Home
If you had to cancel your big trip to Greece this year because of the pandemic, bring Greece to you. About 37% of families say that vacations make them happy, so why should you lose out on this happiness just because you can’t physically go to your vacation destination? Order Greek food, play Greek music, and watch a movie or show based in Greece. A major reason why people find vacations so refreshing is that you get a change of environment and new stimuli to engage your brain. By re-creating the environment of your vacation destination as closely as possible, you can still get that feeling of hitting refresh on your life.
Be a Tourist in Your Town
Your own community probably holds a lot more entertainment than you think. If your town has started opening up again, try to plan some fun activities you can do as a family. You could visit local businesses, parks, beaches, and tourist attractions while wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Doing activities in your community will also help boost your local economy. The arts alone are a strong force in the economy, with 113,000 nonprofit arts organizations employing over 2 million artists in the workforce. You could support your local art community while experiencing culture by visiting a museum or art gallery in your town.
Set Boundaries During Your Time Off
For many people, the best part of going on vacation is being able to disconnect from work emails, phone calls, and texts. If you’re taking vacation time but staying home, your colleagues or clients might think that means you can still respond to the occasional email or take a quick phone call. However, this negates the purpose of taking time off of work. About 92% of employees say that vacation time is important to them and you need to honor this importance by letting people know that you’re unavailable for anything work-related, even if you are just relaxing at home. Block off your vacation time on your calendar and set up automatic email responses, just as you would if you were flying to a tropical destination for your vacation.
These are just a few ideas for planning a rewarding and relaxing staycation. You could also go camping in your backyard or living room, have a movie night with your family that recreates the experience of going to a movie theatre, or set up a spa in your home. Whatever you choose to do, be sure that it relaxes you and gives you a chance to recharge from your normal responsibilities and stresses. After all, that’s what a staycation is all about.