Maybe you’re saving up for your dream home. Or, maybe you just can’t stand the thought of being stuck in “get-out-of-town” traffic. Whatever the reason, sometimes, a staycation is exactly what the doctor…er…real estate agent ordered.
So, how does one “staycate?” The options are truly endless, but you probably didn’t come to this blog for that, so let’s brainstorm.
A key to staycationing is to recreate the feeling of being completely relaxed. So, it’s important to recreate a few things that (should) exist on a “real” vacation. First, you must unplug from work. If you have work email, throw up that, “I’ll be away from the office” email and temporarily turn off notifications on your phone. If work means taking care of kids, then consider a day-program or camp that they might just enjoy – away from you. Whatever feels like work has to – for the time being – go away.
Now that we’re unplugged, it’s time to relax. Although it’s not always practical, I have to advise that step one should be hanging a hammock. Even if it’s a free-standing hammock on your balcony, or in your living room, a hammock changes the way you lounge. And, lounging is a staycation must. Especially now that the sun is shining and the weather is nice, a hammock is just barely this side of non-negotiable.
Now, before you get in, it’s crucial that you consider how annoying it is to get out. This is not a bug in the design of the hammock; I would go so far as to say this is a key feature that endears it to me. But it is important to think about what might force you to get out when you aren’t ready to leave its sweet, sweet cocoon. So, prep your drinks, snacks, and books beforehand, and have them at the ready and in reach. If you’ve somehow finagled someone to wait on you, then you are clearly at an advanced level of staycationing and have outgrown this blog post. (I’m proud of you. Spread your message.)
It’s also important to consider your atmosphere. Before your staycation begins, clean up your house (or hire a cleaner) so it isn’t distracting. If you have larger jobs that can wait, but will weigh on you if you see them, do yourself a favour and hide them for now. You don’t want anything stressful weighing on your mind. Light some candles, make a relaxing playlist, and maybe add some fresh flowers. A robe and slippers also go a long way to changing your mindset to vacation mode. Pre-order a stack of books you’ve been eager to read or have a cinephile friend build you your own personalized film festival. Make sure that you have lots of the really indulgent snacks around – not the ones you eat without thinking, but the ones that you can’t help but eat slowly.
The next step is to plan a little adventure. Have a foodie friend make a recommendation for their favourite restaurant or go somewhere you have always meant to try. If you’re the ultimate foodie and nothing feels new under the Edmonton sun, might I suggest a wee drive to one of our many neighbouring communities? There are some wonderful gems in the suburbs or small towns that surround us. If none of that appeals to you, why not find an online cooking course, and create an elaborate meal from scratch? With online grocery delivery and the ability to transport experts into your own home, there really is no need to venture out if you don’t want. Whatever you choose, I highly recommend eating outside, and including plenty of really good wine.
You might also consider having a massage therapist, or an esthetician, come to your home to give you a little pampering. Or, consider setting up your own spa. This staycation is all about taking care of yourself, so whatever feels luxurious deserves to be considered.
Staycations don’t have to be the “lesser” vacation. They can be just as relaxing and fulfilling. They take some effort, and a lot of boundaries, but they are very much worth it. And, think of the money, and the traffic headaches you’ll save!